Stonewall Jackson Papers. 1854 March 4

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Date: 1854 March 4
Item: Letter
To: Laura Jackson Arnold
From: Thomas J. Jackson
Place: Lexington, Virginia
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Lexington, Va.
March 4th 1854

My Dear Sister,

Your kind letter was gladly received, and read. Permit me to congratulate myself on being the Uncle of another niece as pretty as Grace. I hope that you will accept my kindest congratulations and give the same to Mr. Arnold. As yet I have heard nothing of Mr. Tanner.

I hope that Mrs. Hillie is improving in health. I am anxious about her claim, no recent account has been given me in reference to it. Should nothing be reported to me before summer, I shall go to Staunton in person and see about it. Until that time my occupation requires me to be at the Institute.

We have recently been called to mourn the death of my mother-in-law, she without any apparent uneasy concern passed in to that unseen world where the weary are at rest. Her life was such as to attract around her many warm friends, and if she had any enemy in this world it was and continues to be a secret to me. Hers was a Christian life and hers was a Christian death. She had been afflicted with rheumatism for several months previous to the close of her life and on Saturday preceding her death she had the return of hernia which had formerly afflicted her. On the 23rd of February about 3 o'clock P.M. her husband told her that her end had come. She asked how long she could live and he told her two or three hours, and although the Physicians had the same day pronounced her symptoms favorable, she appeared perfectly reconciled. She said that she was not afraid to die and that she found Jesus precious to her soul. {insert along margin} She asked us to kiss her and told her children to live near to Jesus and to be kind to one another. When asked by one her daughters what they should do without her, she replied that the Lord would provide. She was strongly attached to her family and [they] to her; yet she appeared to have no concern about what would become of herself or family, such was her complete confidence in the promises of the Bible. She felt assured that God would provide for her family and she felt that she was going to her saviour, with whom she expected to enjoy unending happiness. Her death was no leaping into the dark. She died with the bright hope of an unending immortality of happiness.

My sister, Oh! That you could thus live, then might you thus die. Do you not remember how much you are concerned about your children when you apprehend the approach of a dying hour. Do my sister turn to God and cast all your care in Jesus. I believe that you had our Mother's and Warren's prayers and now you have mine, and more than mine. My Dear Sister, do seek religion.

Remember me very kindly to each member of the family, my wife sends her love also.

Remember me to all enquiring relations and friends.

Your brother Thomas

©Virginia Military Institute Archives, Lexington, VA 24450