I do not think he ever went South during his connection with this Institution, except at the time of his marriage to Miss Morrison,1 and then did not go beyond Charlotte, North Carolina. His professorship was held by him without any interruption until the commencement of the war in April, 1861. Then he was furloughed by the Board of Visitors as long as his services might be required in the army, with the understanding, at his own request, that he would resume his duties at the Institute at the close of hostilities. His summer vacations were usually spent in visiting his friends in West Virginia or at the Virginia springs. On one or two occasions he visited a “water cure” establishment in Vermont. In the summer of 1856 he went to Europe, his furlough having been extended by the Board of Visitors to the 1st of October. I am very sure he was not in New Orleans between July, 1851, and April, 1861. I never heard General Jackson allude to astrology, nor have I been able to find any one among his former associates who had. I have had many conversations with him on religious subjects. His views of divine truth were as simple as a child's, and his life was that of an earnest Christian man, taking the word of God as ibis guide, and unhesitatingly accepting all therein revealed. He was proverbial for extreme reticence, and this was observable in his conversations with his his most intimate friends. I remain very truly,
Fort Meade, Florida, April 22, 1851.Colonel — Your letter of the 28th ultimo, informing me that I have been elected Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and Artillery Tactics in the Virginia Military Institute, has been received. The high honor conferred by the Board of Visitors in selecting me unanimously to fill such a professorship, gratified me exceedingly. I hope to be able to meet the Board on the 25th of June next, but fear that circumstances over which I have no control will prevent my doing so before that time. For your kindness in endeavoring to procure me a leave of absence for six months, as well as for the interest you have otherwise manifested in my behalf, I feel under strong and lasting obligations. Should I desire a furlough of more than one month, commencing on the 1st July next, it would be for the purpose of visiting Europe. I regret that recent illness has prevented my giving you an earlier answer.