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Stonewall Jackson Papers. 1859 February 19

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Date: 1859 February 19
Item: Letter
To: Laura Jackson Arnold
From: Thomas J. Jackson
Place: Lexington, Virginia
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Lexington, Va.
Feby 19th, 1859
My dear Sister,

Your letter respecting Thomas reached me this morning. You state that you wish I had informed you respecting him before the commencement of the second term. I had you a letter all ready to send, but before sending it, I thought that I would have another talk with him, which I did, and I told him that it would hurt your feelings very much to receive such a letter. In the interview he promised so fair respecting the future, that I told him I would not send it then. I can not well have him in my room all the evening; as among other reasons it is the time that Anna reads aloud to me as I can not use my eyes after night; but I shall have him in my room from time to time at night, and shall call him in after he has had time to get his lesson or such part of it as I intend to examine him on, and I hope by this means that he will study much more of evening than he has been doing.

I had him in my room this morning reciting in Latin & hearing his catechism. I don't know much about Latin myself. I shall hear him more frequently on his English Grammar. Next week he will commence studying Geography again as I have found that whilst he knows much about Geography, yet there are some parts of it with which he is not well acquainted, and every person should be familiar with it & the earlier with him the better. As with his present knowledge his geographical lesson will not take up much time, I may be able to give him some lessons in Spanish. Write to him all that I have written to you about him. I showed him your letter. What do you mean by using frank means with him if necessary?

I hope that you & Mr. A. will both soon be well. With the blessing of Providence we will visit you in July, though this need not prevent you from visiting us before then, and I hope you will do so as something may prevent our visiting you in July.

Thomas says his health is much better than it was at home, but it has not been so good in my opinion since he received his box of eatables. I never knew him until since that time to complain of deranged stomach or of its effects.

I require him since receiving your letter not to leave the lot without permission. Yesterday, this being Monday the 21st, he had his lesson very well for the Sabbath School. His Aunt has got him a gray pair of pants which fit him well. Also a dark round-about which she considers is too tight for a good fit. He has broken himself of those motions about the eyes of which you spoke, but he has contracted another very bad habit of working his upper lip and nose by means of the muscles. He also picks his nose instead of blowing it. I wish you would write to him about these habits and tell him to let his nose & lip remain at rest and to blow his nose hard until he gets it clean & then let it alone. I have talked to him upon the subject and I think that he has improved some. But it is very unpleasant to have to say such things to him as are calculated to wound his feelings.

As you authorized me to read your letter to Thomas, I saw that you wished him to send you the no. of yards in the dining room floor. We [Jackson does not finish this sentence]

My dear sister, do not permit yourself to be over anxious about Thomas. Remember that God withholds no good thing from them who love Him. Commit all things into his gracious hands. May He bless you with every needful blessing is the prayer of your affectionate brother,

Thomas


©Virginia Military Institute Archives, Lexington, VA 24450