Stonewall Jackson Papers. 1853 April 1

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

Time as it passes brings me to the renewal of the pleasant duty of writing to my sister, though there is nothing here of which I am aware that can be of interest to you, beyond what may be felt in an only brother. Let pleasure result from the mere act of writing to you. Our lives have been checkered in a most marked manner and we are still, notwithstanding all the ill omens of our youth, living even beyond the usual period of human life and I trust that before us are the brightest of our days. In taking a retrospective view of my own life, each year has opened as I consider, with increased promise and with my present views, the future is holding richer stores in reserve. Could you only believe with myself then would you also bear the present with patience and look forward to the future with a calm serene and pleasurable delight.

I too have crosses, and am at times deeply afflicted! But however sore may be the trials they lose their poignancy, and instead of producing injury I feel that I am but improved by the ordeal. But how is this accomplished? By throwing myself upon the protection of him, whose law book is the wonderful Bible. My dear sister I would not part with this book for countless universes. I feel ready to make every sacrifice to carry out the will of him who so loved us, as to give his only begotten son to die for me. How exceedingly great must have been that love!

The more I learn, the more dear does the precious volume appear to me. O Sister, if you would only pray! If you would only become religious! I derive much pleasure from morning walks, in which is to be enjoyed the pure sweetness of caroling birds.

The weather is delightful at present, and our peach trees are beginning to bloom, and in the course of a few more weeks, the forests will be clad with verdure.

Judge Brockenbrough's law school has closed its session and George Lurty has returned home; after having passed a profitable winter. If he will only make the best of his facilities, a brilliant career may be expected as his reward. He possesses talents of a high order.

I have not heard from Cousin Harriet for a long time. It appears she has forgotten me.

Sometime since, Cousin Sylvanus wrote to me, and stated that he was at home, but expected in a few days to leave for the west. Talk to the children for me as I would were I with you. Remember me very kindly to the whole family and to all enquiring relatives and friends.

Your brother, Thomas

©Virginia Military Institute Archives, Lexington, VA 24450