The Letters of John M. Jackson– September 27, 1862

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 new column that sets the stage with our soldier’s background story.

This week have a letter from John’s sister, Delora and one from his brother Alonzo.

 Lewiston September 27 1862

My Dear Brother

It is with pleasure I take my pen to write you a few lines this evening after the labor of the day is over. I received your very kind letter last evening. I am very glad to hear from you but am sorry you was not very well. we hope you have fully regained your health by this time. we are all in usual health. Mother has been picking apples this afternoon but she says she has a leap more to pick. Mother says she is very sorry your visit home left an unfavorable impression she hopes next time you will enjoy

Yourself better. You wanted me to write to you about everything. things are getting along nicely but Alonzo is going to write you all about it. The most important news is Mr Jepson’s folks have had a letter from Leonard, so he can “exclaim in the language of another, I ain’t dead yet”. He was released on parole the 13th Sept. he is now with the regiment at Anapolis. he is very well and has been ever since he was taken prisoner. I am so glad that old sutler’s tent is demolished. I feel that there is one less at least to cheat the brave solder boys. Lowell called about two minutes Wednesday when he came up he told us some of the news.

Mother says she is very glad to hear there are prayer meetings and she hopes you are always ready to stand up for Jesus. Do you have them every night? Arabine said she understood Lowell too and is your new Capt. one that takes any interest in them. I cannot write you much more for I have  promised Alonzo some space. If you can think of any thing you want before father and I come down please send for it in your next letter. father thinks he can’t come next week (unless there is a prospect you leave Portland) because the thrashers are coming and Alonzo is going to Cattle Show. please write immediately. it seems an age since I saw you.

Your affct. Sister,


Lewiston Sept 29

Wee are all well this morning. I have not catched your colt yet but intend to next week.

I put a thumbscrew in the bull nose the other morning and let him out, he roared at me but continued not to pool verry hard. We are getting along nicely with our farming. we had 50 stacks of beans.

a few lines but more next time


Delora writes from home after an exhausting day and is sorry to hear that John’s health isn’t the greatest. She seems well herself and eagerly writes about home affairs. Their mother has been picking apples all afternoon and, apparently, has “a leap more to pick.” The family seemed to love plants and gardening, so it’s not too surprising that they had an abundant apple orchard.

A lot of things seem to be happening around town lately, and Delora explains that Alonzo will fill his brother in on what’s been happening, as he seems very eager to do so.  Mr. Jepson’s family received a letter from “Leonard,” possibly a relative of the family, which was exciting news- it was proof that Leonard hadn’t died at war. It must have been incredibly terrifying, not knowing whether or not a loved one had survived on the battlefield or not,  so the Jepson family was undoubtedly relieved to hear from Leonard.

Delora finishes with some exciting news: she and her father are coming down to visit John. She doesn’t think that they’ll be able to travel next week, but they definitely will in the near future. 

Alonzo also encloses a small message to John at the end of the letter. It seems that one of John’s colts ran away, for Alonzo manages that he was unable to find it, but intends to next week. One of the bulls has also been acting rather stubbornly, but Alonzo is confident that he will eventually calm down and be less aggressive over time. The farming has also been prosperous; Alonzo and his father managed to harvest fifty stacks of beans. 

But that’s everything Alonzo was able to write this time. He apologizes for such a short message and promises to write more in the next letter.

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