Fulkerson Family Papers
Letter, Abram Fulkerson to his wife, Selina
1863 May 18
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RE: Death of Gen. Stonewall Jackson
May 18, 1863
My dear wife-
Your last kind letter was recd by friday's mail. Your dear letters are my greatest pleasure and do away in a great measure with the horror of separation. The frequency with which we can communicate with each other is a rich blessing and brings us as if we're almost together.
One of our pickets came in the other day and reported that a Mr. Davis was at the lines and desired to enter. This report took me very much by surprise, for although you had mentioned the probability of his coming yet I did not look for him. He only stayed a few hours. After dinner (a very poor one without apology to him) I went [around] to show him some of the curiosities of Cumberland Gap, which he seemed to think would compensate any one for making the visit. He went back up the valley and expected to get home by Wednesday next. Will see you Sunday, if not sooner.
The intelligence of the death of Gen. Jackson came upon us like a shock. We feel that his death is a national calamity. The poorest soldiers among us appreciated his worth - loved the man, and mourn his loss. I knew him well.1 He was my preceptor for more than four years and whilst during that time I did not appreciate the man, as school [schoolboys?]are not like to do, yet I always had great reverence for the man on account of his piety & uprightness of character. Among the many heroes of this revolution, none have lived so much adored, none have died so much deplored, and none have left a character as spotless as that of Stonewall Jackson. Could his life have been spared till the close of this cruel war, the unanimous voice of a grateful people would have proclaimed him chief ruler of the nation. But God has seen proper to take him from us, and what He does is right and for the best. It is [illegible] therefore that we make the sacrifice cheerfully, th'o we cannot see why our country should be deprived of his services at his her hour of greatest need.
I have no news of importance more than you will see in the papers. The news from Ky is vague and unreliable. It is reported and believed that there are three or four Regmts at Barboursville, 30 miles distant. That Burnsides is preparing to invade E. Tenn. on a large scale there seems no longer to be any doubt. A southern woman the wife of a Lincolnite told Mrs. Patterson today that a runner had just come across the mountain to tell the Union people, they must stay at home, that the Feds would be in, in about three weeks, that where they were found absent it would be an evidence of disloyalty. I will not be surprised if they make an effort about that time.
Mr. Patterson started to the R.R. today - is going to the salt works. I asked him to stop and see you all, but he would not promise. No prospect of any goods yet. Do you want any money? When you need money or any thing else you must not fail to let me know. My love to mother & Kate. Write often,
Your affectionate husband AF.
1Jackson was a professor at VMI during Fulkerson's cadetship.