During the winter of 1862-63, Jackson and his staff remained at Moss Neck Manor. It still exists and, at the time, was owned by Richard and Roberta Corbin. Their young daughter, Jane, developed a friendship with Jackson and frequently visited his office on her parents’ land.
When Jackson and his men left Moss Neck on 16 March 1863, Jane Corbin was ill with scarlet fever. As the general moved on to plan his next offensive, his young friend seemed to be doing better. But the next day, the father who had not yet seen his own baby daughter, heard the worst possible news. Little “Janie” had died.
In front of all his men, the man who rarely displayed emotion in public broke down, sobbing uncontrollably. Perhaps, as one of his aides observed, he was crying not just for Jane but for all who had thus far died in the war between the states.
The following month, on 20 April 1863, Jackson met his little girl Julia for the first time. He was able to spend about nine days with her and Anna. Soon after their visit, Anna sent her husband a letter:
My precious husband-
I will go to Hanover and wait there until I hear from you again, and I do trust I may be permitted to come back to you again in a few days. I am much disappointed at not seeing you again, but I commend you, my precious darling, to the merciful keeping of the God of battles, and do pray most earnestly for the success of our army this day. Oh! that our Heavenly Father may preserve and guide and bless you, is my most earnest prayer.
I leave the shirt and socks for you with Mrs. Neale, fearing I may not see you again, but I do hope it may be my privilege to be with you in a few days. Our little darling will miss dearest Papa. She is so good and sweet this morning. God bless and keep you, my darling.
Your devoted little wife.
Soon after she wrote this letter, Anna’s husband would be mortally wounded during the battle near Chancellorsville.