- Paperback: 306 pages
- Publisher: Badgley Publishing Company (March 12, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0692339329
- ISBN-13: 978-0692339329
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,464,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Affectionately Yours: The Civil War Letters of William R. Jackson and his Wife Julia Paperback – March 12, 2015
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About the Author
Cheryl Jackson Baker moved from her South Florida roots to pursue a career in Special Education. After obtaining her B.S. from Florida State University in the Education of the Visually Impaired, she taught for two years in Virginia. She obtained her M.A. from University of Northern Colorado in Orientation and Mobility after which she continued to teach blind and visually impaired students (from infants to clients in their nineties) until her retirement in 2009. Cheryl is an avid cyclist and hiker, having hiked all the trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and ridden in several bicycle tours for various charities. When not traveling or substitute teaching, she enjoys cycling the roads in the “foothills” of the nearby mountains. She and her husband, Phil, have lived in East Tennessee since their marriage in 1979. Their adult children, Matthew (and his wife and daughter) and Megan, live in Richmond, Virginia. When not traveling to visit their children, or other family, Cheryl has enjoyed traveling to various places mentioned in the book for research purposes. One of her next “projects” is to travel to all the National Parks across this expansive and diverse country of ours. This book about her great-great-grandparents’ Civil War letters, is her first.
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Cheryl’s professional treatment of the letters converts them into a “fly on the wall” picture of life during the war. The book brings to life a century and a half old package of letters to paint a picture of life in a time of an “ocean of misery,” as Julia wrote in one letter.
Julia is fearless in expressing her heart and mind. Her words often penetrate with sad truths about war. Once she wrote, “Merciful God the grief that I saw & felt that day & it was only a drop in the ocean of misery this dreadful war has brought upon our people.” She gave eloquent feeling to the always foolishness of war writing, “We never learn, even from pain.”
These letters are like listening to a conversation over a fence, giving voice to the agonies and joys of life between neighbors, though in this case a married couple.
In addition to the letters Cheryl has done a thorough job of research to put the letters into the context of the 1860s.
Not wanting to overstate it, but upon finishing the book I went to the Oxford dictionary to find the definition of a tour de force: “an impressive performance or achievement that has been accomplished or managed with great skill.” Cheryl’s labor of love has done that in bringing to life a personal story that resonates in our time.