Stonewall Jackson Papers. 1848 March 23
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Date: 1848 March 23
To: Laura Jackson Arnold
From: Thomas J. Jackson
Place: Mexico City
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City of Mexico. March 23, 1848.
I have written a letter to Mr. Arnold and requested to be remembered to you in it but since finishing it I have concluded to send you one also. I received your letter of January 14th but the paper from Mr. Arnold did not come to hand but still I am as much obliged to him as though it had and trust that he will send others as they may have better success.
I thought at one time of writing a journal but I can not find the time as although I am usually up at six o'clock and retire to bed at ten and eleven still the day is not long enough. The morning hours I occupy in studies & business and the evening in a similar manner but generally taking a walk after dinner and sometimes a ride on the Passeo or elsewhere in the evening. The Passeo is a wide road on the south west of the city and about a half of a mile in length with a beautiful fountain in the center and is a place of fashionable resort. Families of wealth appear there in the carriages at sunset partly if not entirely for show. There is also a place of morning resort between the city and the Passeo called the Almeda which is a beautiful grove of about four hundred by six hundred yards and containing I think eight fountains. At the central one is celebrated the anniversary of Mexican independence and from this which is the largest beautiful walks diverge to the different outlets (the grove being surrounded by a wall). I purpose on riding to both these places this evening hoping to see something there more attractive than at home. When not on duty I generally pay a visit after supper or tea. Among those families which I visit are some of the first in the republic as Don Lucas Aleman Martinez del Rio and I also have the acquaintance of others of some distinction.
My studies are now principally directed to the formation of my manners and the rules of society and a more thorough knowledge of human nature and the latter I perceive from your letter meets with your approbation and I doubt not but that the former two objects will also as they are very important to a man's success in life. You will pardon me for the mistake I have made in turning the leaves of this sheet. But returning to my subject this country offers me greater advantages for acquiring graces than I will probably ever meet with again unless I should visit Europe. The book which I am studying is Lord Chesterfield's letters to his son translated into Spanish so that whilst I am obtaining his thoughts I am also acquiring a knowledge of the Spanish tongue. I have also purchased the work in English and after having read it in Spanish I then purpose on reading it in English. Subsequent to this I shall study Shakespeare's works which I purchased a few days since and then if I can obtain good histories I wish to devote some time to them.
If Uncle Cummins & Edward should leave Lewis I wish you would get Uncle Edward to box up my books which are in his possession and send them to you. I hope that you will try and write me a letter once a week. I should write more frequently to you if an opportunity offered of sending letters more than twice a month. Owing to my knowledge of the language of the country and the acquaintances which I have made I think that I pass my time more agreeably than the greater portion of the officers of the Army, but if your company could also be had I would spend my hours still more agreeably. My love to all enquiring friends. My health is as good if not better than usual. General Scott's case has been investigated. The charges against Col. Duncan were withdrawn. Also General Worth withdrew his against General Scott. General Pillow's case is now being investigated.
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