The Letters of John M. Jackson– July 5, 1864

On one of his usual treasure hunts in Maine, our CEO, Will Seippel  stumbled upon a massive collection of letters that belonged to a soldier in the Civil War. These letters will be published in chronological order in The Insider over the coming weeks, months and years, as we follow John Mower Jackson’s personal victories and struggles within the greater national struggle of the Civil War. Click here to read our introduction to this column that sets the stage with our soldier’s background story.

Lewiston July 5th 1864

My Dear Brother

I suppose mother has written all the news if she could think of any to write. I am sure I know of none but I will just write to assure you of my continued affection for you. We had a very quiet day yesterday. There was a celebration at Farmington and also at Portland. Many people went from Lewiston to both places. There were one or two strawberry festivals at Lewiston. Mr. Sargent has returned from Dexter. He has not decided whether he will go to settle there. He hardly feels that it is the place for him. Some in Greene are very decided to have him remain there but they do not take into consideration at all how he is going to be supported. If it is mentioned to them they say “Oh! Those who are opposed to him never gave much and make it an excuse not to give.” They are mistaken in this. W. Longley though perhaps not one of the best men has given liberally in years past. Uncle Josiah & the Parkers make some difference too, Mrs. Lemont has been one of the loudest. I don’t know whether she subscribes anything in her own name. She has always said her Father gave for the whole family, but now she has money of her own I expect she will give liberally. They have been getting money for a new SS Library and she gave 25. They wanted an expensive one for the large scholars. They are going today to get it. I feel in a hurry to see it.

I will not perplex you farther with Church quarrels. Our men are going to commence haying today They do not know yet who will help them. Mother makes cheese today. Delora is scouring the knives, I am glad of that.

Mr Sargent says Warren Mower is very pleasantly situated- has one of the best farms in Dexter. I sent you a Waverley yesterday but I don’t know as it is quite for boys to read love-stories

I ought not to write much more for I have got my weekly reports to fill this morning. This is a lovely morning just cool enough to be pleasant.

Excuse this short, dry letter and perhaps I will do better next time.


Here we have a short letter from Delinda written just after the 4th of July. The holiday was pretty quiet in Lewiston, and it seems that many people went to Farmington or Portland to celebrate. While Lewiston didn’t have a festive 4th of July celebration, they did have a festival or two for strawberries.

In some more personal news, many of the townsfolk are concerned about where Mr. Sargent will be moving. He visited Dexter and while he’s unsure if the town is a good fit for him, some of the residents of Greene think that it could be an exciting opportunity for him. However, Delinda is worried that the people in Dexter won’t be as supportive as Mr. Sargent’s friends in Lewiston,  so she is very upset to see him leave. Delinda writes that the people of Lewiston have always provided for Mr. Sargent and supported him,  so it’s sad to think that Mr. Sargent may not meet people who are just as wonderful in Dexter.

She closes by telling John that a Waverley is on the way, and apologizes for such a brief letter.

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