Stonewall Jackson Papers. 1856 April

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Date: 1856 April
Item: Letter
To: Thomas Arnold (nephew)
From: Thomas J. Jackson
Place: Lexington, Virginia
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Lexington, Va.
April 1856

My Dear Nephew,

Now for a letter to you, but I would much rather talk to you if you were here, but as I can't talk with you I do not intend biting off my nose by delaying myself the pleasure of writing. Thanks to you for your correction of my letter. And now let use see how many errors you can find in this yours. And now let us read your letter together, and let us number the wrong words. No (1) means to exclude, you wished to tell me to receive, just the reverse of this, and should have said accept. No. 2 should begin with the capital E because the word is an adjective derived from the name of a nation. No. 3 should for the same reason begin with L. No. 4 should be piece, look in your dictionary for both words piece & peace. No. 5 wants an e at the end. I hope that your finger has perfectly recovered. I am much pleased with your letter and want you to write often. Your little sealing wax experiment had much gratified me. And now I hope that you will put all the words which I corrected for you down on a separate piece of paper and memorize them safely so that when I next visit you they can all be repeated by you, Grace and Stark.

I am glad to see them doing so well in their studies. And if you study your Latin grammar well, I think that you will be apt to like it after you become well acquainted with it. We generally like those things best which we can do the best. We usually find that the little boy who can run faster than any other boy fond of running races and the one who can read the best of any in his class fond of reading. And the man who can talk better and speak better than others fond of talking and speaking. I want to see you a good talker, but especially a good speaker and your Latin is very important in making you a good speaker, and so study it with all your might. Besides the correction of my letter let us see if you can correct these words viz.: Philadelfia, Pensilvania.

Give much love to all the family.

Your affectionate
Uncle Thomas

©Virginia Military Institute Archives, Lexington, VA 24450