From Jerome to Allie and Lulu, December 11, 1862

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie and Lulu, December 11, 1862


Peirce, Jerome
Allie and Lulu
Near Fredericksburg, VA. (Falmouth side of the Rappahannock River per text in letter)


From Jerome to Allie and Lulu


Jerome Peirce


Jerome Peirce Collection, National Park Service


HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington




NPS, Civil War Study Group, Donald Pfanz (Transcriber)


For educational purposes with no commercial use. Courtesy of National Park Service, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP, FRSP 16095-16102 (FRSP-00904).


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5.5 X 8.35 - 2nd Scan
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5.5 X 8.45 - 5th Scan
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Letter #45


Fredericksburg, VA.

Text Item Type Metadata


Thurs Morn 11
Dear ones,
We are ordered to march at 8 ock. A battle is raging, and we move. We may not be engaged but I enclose what I hope will reach you.
Love to all as ever, and I hope to see you.

I enclose $5.00 more. I sent you three in my last. hope to hear all has reached you safely. Good-night
With a kiss, for Lulu And your dear self. Jerome

Have no means of knowing the loss on either side. Saw one or two wounded[.]

Thurs P.M. nearly 5 o’clk. 11 Dec /62
On the first page is a few hasty words I penciled, but concluded not to mail till fu[r]ther developments.
It has been an eventful day, beautiful in weather, but Oh for the horrors of war!
About 5 O’clk this A.M. the first guns opened, by the Rebs as we were laying the Pontoon Bridge for our forces to cross. Had an early breakfast, and marche[d] out to the field near our Camp where our Brigade have lain all day, ready to march, at a moment’s notice.
With a short cessation, at noon excepted, the roar of Cannon has been incessant, and shot and shell hissing thro’ the air, over the doomed City of F. The City is in flames, and we have walked down several times to observe the work of destruction. It is a fearful sight, but this only would seem to bring the traitors to terms. One lurid roll of smoke rolls up in front of us, while the Air is full of powder stench. A row of Cannon, a mile long, are playing upon the City. Jos. H. is just returned from the look out. says the fire is increasing. But enough of this[.] I know you would hear the news, and wish to inform you, of how matters are. We may move over the river at any moment, and of the future, we must trust to him “who doeth All things well. Will let you hear daily if possible. We are in good spirits, and feel assured that real work has commenced and the end must be near.
All sorts of rumors are in Camp, as that an attack on Richmond is being made in Conjunction with this &c &c. We have rested on Cedar boughs, all day. had Coffee at noon and to troops it don’t seem so much--a Chapter in War. The saying is among some of the boys, “Burnside has got his sleeves rolled up.”
But I know how you dear ones feel at home and I am not insensible to the time and occasion & trust to do my duty. Keep calm till you hear from some of us. We shall probably return to our tents tonight. We have only our overcoats, blankets, and three days rations of food.
I sent you some money $3.00 a few days since. I enclose $5.00 more[.] trust it will all reach you safely. A mail is reported in Camp but was not distributed on acct. of the position of affairs.
Can write no more now. heaven bless and keep you all, till I write again, which will be soon.
A kiss for little Lu.

As ever Your husband

Please send me a good pencil. have just upset my ink, and pencils are scarce and poor.

Should have written Lulu but for the situation, but you are in heavens keeping.

Evening at our tent once more

Enclosed, is the strange variable record of an eventful day, and the last expiring moments Jos. H. and I devote to friends at home. First Came the strange rumbling sound of wagons, which waked me early, then a stir in Camp—something was up. I couldn’t remain abed. Arose about 4 O,clk built a fire, ready for early movements, early roll call[.] In a line at 8. as before stated. Well just after I closed the pencil note while in the field, we were ordered to march. Halted, about a mile from the City, when we were soon, faced about, and marched back to Camp. Knapsacks restored[.] So here we are, as in the morning, and we have no idea of what the morrow has in store for us. As far as we know, the City is, in our possession by the planting of the bridges, under the terrible fire before mentioned, but so many troops were passing that we could be better off in our Camp, for the air is lurid and thick with heat and powder. The heart of the City, with scattered portions, are burned, and such a Contrast to the other day when I was at the riverside as mentioned in a former letter! But such is war! It was a fearful scene for some seven or eight hours, without a cessation, and then this P.M. later, till dark.
But enough—there seemed to me no shrinking. Everyone seemed nerved to a sense of their duty, and I believe the Thirty Sixth, would have kept the honor of the Old Bay State!
We all felt quite as anxious for you at home as ourselves, thinking of the report you would get of the Affair, and we only wish we could head the Telegraph. Franklin’s & Hooker’s Corp’s, or Artillery done the principle work, as I heard. Some three Pontoon bridges are across the Stream and we expect to cross the river tomorrow, sometime.
I hope to hear from you before long--the Mail is not yet distributed. possibly it will be in the morning.
‘Twas a strange scene in the field. while resting several had their testaments and bibles out reading. I took a bible, and [turned] to a Chapter in Jeremiah—quite appropriate, to the occasion, by chance.
Of course all this will Call out all the fortitude and strength of my loved Wife, and I trust you may be spared bitter pangs of the worst disasters of war. I had hoped that peaceful measures might prevail, and I still feel that we shall escape the dread ordeal of battle, but if not I pray for sustaining power to do my whole duty. I never felt Calmer or more resigned in my life, and I thought and felt much, very much these last few hours.
There seems to be a something that prepares the mind and nerve for the work.
It is late. I am quite tired. Will mention that we are having fine weather, and I am in excellent health, and drew some shoes and pants this, or last Eve, so I am very Comfortable, and we have lived finely of late—good, and plenty of food. I mention this as I knew you would think of the exposure, &c.

Original Format

Letter / Paper




Jerome Peirce 1862, From Jerome to Allie and Lulu, December 11, 1862, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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