MS 797 - Benjamin Basil Jackson Family Papers
|MS 797 - Benjamin Basil Jackson Family Papers
The papers of the Benjamin Basil Jackson family, consists of .5 linear feet of material centered on the family of B.B. Jackson of Crane Township, Paulding County, Ohio and his children, particularly Martha C. Jackson. Spanning the years from 1861 to 1922, the collection consists of Civil War correspondence written to and from B.B. Jackson and his son Andrew C. Jackson from 1861 to 1865 as they served with Co. G, 14th Ohio Volunteer Infantry from family members and friends, postwar personal correspondence of Martha (Mattie) Jackson, as well as correspondence related to her husband George G. Banks and their children.
The loan for duplication and transfer of these records to the Center for Archival Collections was arranged through the cooperation of Joanne Overmyer, Bluffton, OH on October 18, 1999, with additional material provided on January 6, 2000 with the cooperation of Joanne Overmyer and Barbara Barker of Antwerp, Ohio. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection. Duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and research. The register was completed by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts in June 2000.
Benjamin Basil Jackson was born near Clarksburg, West Virginia on February 26, 1821, the son of William and Hannah (Bennett) Jackson. On September 22, 1840 he married Elizabeth Jane Champion (Lizzie Jane) of Clermont County, Ohio. In 1848 they moved to Crane Township, Paulding County, Ohio, where (in 1860) the family consisted of children Andrew C., Martha C., Sarah, Stephen Orlando, and Robert William. Another son, Benjamin Junior is born early in 1862 (mentioned in a letter of Martha's of February 25, 1862). The family did have a total of eleven children, but some did not survive to adulthood, including Thomas, Ruby, and Chase.
In addition to farming, B.B. Jackson was active in Crane Township politics, serving at various times as Justice of the Peace, township clerk, trustee, and assessor. Jackson was also involved as a Freemason in several lodges wherever he lived, and in several literary societies, lyceums, and taught singing schools. This musical connection may account for the fact that during the Civil War his son, Andrew C. served as a musician.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Benjamin, then age 40, enlisted as a private with Co.G of the 14th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 26, 1861. He was appointed sergeant December 15, 1863, and was eventually mustered-out at the end of the war on July 11, 1865. Benjamin died on August 11, 1902 at the home of his son, Stephen.
Andrew, who was 19 at the time, also enlisted at the same time as his father, beginning his service as a musician with Co.G. On May 1, 1865 he was promoted to Principal Musician and transferred to Field and Staff, from which he was mustered-out on July 11, 1865. After the war he was married to Lucy Brown of Paulding, Ohio. He died in Paulding on July 12, 1923.
Martha C. Jackson, who is age 17 at the start of the correspondence in this collection, is also a central figure, with a major portion of the correspondence written by her or to her. Through her we get a sense of attitudes on the homefront during the war, the social activities of the times, and career options available to a well-educated, independent young woman.
Correspondence includes numerous letters from wife Elizabeth Jane Jackson, young son Stephen Orlando Jackson (around age 10), and George Banks to his sister Em as well as to his fiancée, Mattie, in addition to letters to and from various members of their extended family and friends.
|Scope and Content
The Benjamin Basil Jackson Family Papers consists of .5 linear feet of correspondence written to and from Benjamin Basil Jackson and his son, Andrew C. Jackson, while they were serving during the Civil War with the 14th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Co.G, as well as letters written to and from daughter Martha C. "Mattie" Jackson (later married to George Banks).
Although the letters from the warfront are the smaller part of the collection, with only 11 from Benjamin and 5 from Andrew, they are generally informative, with news of troop movements, camp life, and political opinions, and his personal situation. Letters written by Benjamin on September 27, 1863 and by Andrew on December 6, 1863 both refer to the Battle of Chickamauga and the actions of the 14th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
The larger segment of the Civil War portion of the collection consists of a fairly lively exchange of correspondence from home primarily between Benjamin and Andrew and his wife Elizabeth (Lizzie) and daughter Martha, dealing with the problems of running the farm, the conduct of the war, and local politics. There are expressions of some resentment toward some young men in the area who are not serving in the army while both her husband and son are serving and references to local Copperhead sentiments. Lizzie mentions in her letter of March 22, 1863 some pride the way that her children all have adapted to pitching in and working when they can't find someone to hire and how she feels it makes them more independent. Her letters to Andrew also mention conditions at home, including an account of how Martha and a neighbor caught and broke a three-year-old pony.
Martha's wartime letters also involve a mix of local news, political opinion, and personal activities. A couple of Martha's letters are written to fill out pages of letters started by her mother, for example the letter of March 23, 1862 to Andrew where Martha expresses her support for the idea of emancipation of the slaves from a speech she read by Carl Schurz. Her letters also give a picture of the increased responsibility and activities undertaken by women on the homefront. In a letter of May 3, 1862 she describes plans for ploughing and planting that year, expressing the fact that she enjoys working outside more than in the house.
The post-war letters of Mattie are diverse for the range of activities they illustrate. During part of the time, including at least part of the war years, she is employed as a school teacher. Later in the early 1870s she begins to learn to become a telegraph operator, moving to Staunton, Illinois for that period.
In addition, there is an interesting series of letters that highlight her social life and activities, as reflected in a series of three different (but associated) sequences of correspondence with "secret" or initially unknown writers. In the course of this correspondence there are references to the Presidential campaign of 1868 between Grant and Seymour, attitudes about women and marriage, and an account from one of the correspondents about his experiences during the war.
Another sequence of correspondence coincides with the period when the newly married George and Mattie Banks were homesteading in Kansas. Although the majority of the letters are written from family members in Ohio to the couple, there are numerous references to events, both at home and in Kansas, a few letters are included that were written from Kansas back to the family.
CORRESPONDENCE - B.B. JACKSON TO FAMILY
CORRESPONDENCE - ANDREW JACKSON TO FAMILY
CORRESPONDENCE - ANDREW JACKSON TO B.B. JACKSON
CORRESPONDENCE - LIZZIE JANE JACKSON TO B.B. JACKSON
CORRESPONDENCE - LIZZIE JANE JACKSON TO ANDREW JACKSON
CORRESPONDENCE - MARTHA JACKSON TO B.B. JACKSON
CORRESPONDENCE - MARTHA JACKSON TO ANDREW JACKSON
CORRESPONDENCE - STEPHEN O. JACKSON TO B.B. JACKSON
CORRESPONDENCE - STEPHEN O. JACKSON TO ANDREW JACKSON
CORRESPONDENCE - WILLIAM B. JACKSON TO B.B. JACKSON
CORRESPONDENCE - MISCELLANEOUS TO B.B. JACKSON
CORRESPONDENCE - MISCELLANEOUS TO ANDREW JACKSON
CORRESPONDENCE - MISCELLANEOUS (UNRELATED)
CORRESPONDENCE - MISCELLANEOUS (FRAGMENTS)
CORRESPONDENCE - REJECTION LETTERS
CORRESPONDENCE - MARTHA JACKSON WITH JOHN LOVE
CORRESPONDENCE - MARTHA JACKSON WITH O.A. REYNOLDS
CORRESPONDENCE - MARTHA JACKSON WITH "KNIGHT ERRANT'
CORRESPONDENCE - MARTHA JACKSON IN STAUNTON, ILLINOIS
CORRESPONDENCE - FAMILY LETTERS TO KANSAS
CORRESPONDENCE - GEORGE BANKS (UNION LIGHT GUARD)
DIARY - A.J. JACKSON
Folder 8 - List
Folder 10 - Legal - Furlough
Folder 11 - Legal - Affidavit