2 March 1863: “A few days since I wrote to you suggesting that our church should send one of her most prominent ministers to labor in this army…”

Item description: Letter, dated 2 March 1861, believed to have been written by Thomas Jackson “Stonewall” Jackson.

[Item transcription available below images.]

Item citation: From folder 1 of the Margaret Junkin Preston Papers #1543, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

March 2nd 1863

Dear Colonel,

A few days since I wrote to you suggesting that our church should send one of her most prominent ministers to labor in this army. And I named Dr Palmer. Yesterday [Tucker?] Lacy came over, and is so released from his charge as to enable him as he thinks, to remain with the army till the war closes! As he has come, I write to say that I would not have suggested the name of  Dr. P. had I expected Mr. L. Soon after I arrived here, Mr. L. came to see me, and I explained my desire to secure his services, and when he left, I hoped that he would soon return, and if a chaplaincy should not be accepted by him, that he would at all events labor awhile with the troops. Though he could not determine the matter as he was still [connected?] with his charge. As I heard nothing more from him, I gave up the idea of his returning. But now that he has returned, and is interested in the cause, and we have several armies for which provision should be made, I do not feel that a proper distribution of ministers would give my army corps another. But if the subject has been mentioned to Dr. P. or he should come on, I will do what I promised towards his support and will be glad to have him.

The thought has been presented that it might be best for the support of each [state?] that has an army in it to see that it has some prominent minister with the army. After Mr. Lacy has seen more of the present arrangement for meeting the spiritual wants of our troops, I hope that he will with God’s blessing be able to give some proper plan. I am much gratified at his coming at this time, as I hope that it will be the means of devising a plan which which will result in much good. I have had but little experience in Christian labor, he has had much. And I would have far greater confidence in a plan of his suggestion than in my own views. I hope that you will be [sent?] to the Genl. Assembly and after Mr. L. has [taken?] a good view of the field you may expect to hear from him. Should you go to the Genl. Assembly, I hope and pray that whilst there you will under God’s direction be the means of at least sowing seed of the blessed fruits of which will be seen when the time comes for our people after God shall have given them peace in answer to their prayers, to say what kind of government will most secure His blessing [?] should be [considering?] the [subject?] now and be praying over it.

Very truly yours,

T.J. Jackson

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