Stonewall Jackson Papers. 1853 February 1

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Date: 1853 February 01
Item: Letter
To: Laura Jackson Arnold
From: Thomas J. Jackson
Place: Lexington, Virginia
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Va. Military Institute
Lexington, Va.
February 1st 1853
My Dear Sister,

I hope that ere this your health has improved and that the returning spring will reanimate your feelings, and suggest the idea that it is but the symbol of the endless beauties and enjoyments of the world to come. The passage of Scripture from which I have derived sufficient support whenever applied is in the following words "acknowledge God in all thy ways and he shall direct thy paths." What a comfort is this!

My Dear Sister, it is useless for men to tell me that there is no God, and that his benign influence is not to be experienced in prayer, when it is offered in conformity to the Bible. For some time past, not a single day has passed by without my feeling his hallowing presence whilst at my morning prayers. I endeavor to live in accordance with the above passage which means as I understand it, in all thy ways acknowledge God and he shall take care of you in all respects. What better protector can we desire that one who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent and who hath promised that he will take care of us in all things, and in addition to all this the pledge coming from One who cannot lie.

Our weather here has been quite cold for sometime back, but at present it is very beautiful; too much so to be of long duration I fear. Persons I believe have generally filled their ice houses.

I rather begin to despair of the peaches as I have not seen a dry one to my recollection since returning home.

You remember that during the past summer I was very much reduced in flesh, at present I have more than desirable and sometimes endeavor to reduce it, but the nervousness with which I have been so much troubled and the disagreeableness of cold feet induce me to adhere to the indulgence of the palate. But my dishes are very plain: generally brown bread is the principle article for Breakfast and Tea and sometimes I probably do not taste meat for more than a month and I have not to my recollection used any other drink than cold water since my return home, and hope that such may continue to be the case.

I heard from Judge Allen a few days since: Cousin Mary is well, one of her daughters is rather ill. I met the daughter at the Alum Springs during the past summer. She is a beautiful girl.

Though I desire to hear from you frequently; yet I never wish to do so when there doing so, requires that your eyes should be tasked. To know that you are destroying or endangering the happiness of yourself, and those around you, produces more pain than the receipt of a letter cam compensate for.

Cousin Harriet Murdock was well when her last letter was written. A letter from her is daily expected.

Your Brother, Thomas

©Virginia Military Institute Archives, Lexington, VA 24450