From Jerome to Allie, April 26, 1864

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie, April 26, 1864


Peirce, Jerome
Camp near Alexandria, VA.


From Jerome to Allie


Jerome Peirce


Jerome Peirce Collection, National Park Service


HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington




U.S. National Park Service, Lake of the Woods Civil War Study Group , Josef Rokus (Transcriber)


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






Letter #213A


Alexandria, VA.

Text Item Type Metadata


Camp near Alexandria, Va.
Tues. morning 26 Apr. ‘64
Allie dear,
Arrived from Annapolis last Eve. some four miles from Washington in a little valley towards A. [almost certainly Alexandria] near Fort Scott. Left Annapolis Sat. morning. A tedious little march but I am happy to tell you I am very well indeed in lameness. Feel like myself again.
A great day yesterday tho [???] Washington where we were received very enthusiastically Genl. B. [Burnside] and Pres. Lincoln on the balcony of Willard Hotel to salute us as we passed, some forty thousands “Company front” and a splendid sight. Henry Mayo’s and Nelson Smith’s folks “there to see.” Came with Joseph H. who met me on the street at W. [Washington] and is writing by my side. He is well and feels repaid for all he has been thru with.
Cannot write you much now. Have no idea where and when we go from here and it seems to be a secret no one can even guess. We imagine to the South side of the James [River], Suffolk perhaps.
Expect Mr. Mayo and Smith here today. The boys got a ‘Pass’ and remained in W. [Washington] last night. Had a good sight of W. [Washington] City and the men, women and children treating us to everything, not the Washington of 1861! The president looks pale and careworn very.
J.A. is detailed to Genl. Parke’s Hd Qurs. [Headquarters]. Orderly same as with Genl. Ferrero who commands the Black Troops.
Hope to hear from you today.
We’re in First Brigade Second Division now. Direct accordingly via Washington, D.C.
Weather getting warm and we’re reducing Baggage fast.
Mr. Heath from C [very likely “Charlestown”] is here. Came from Annapolis, as attentive as ever. He may mail this for me.
Give love to all. Will write more first opportunity. Hope the money all reached you safely. Tell me all about.
As ever yours,
J.H. sends love, disappointed not seeing you.

NOTE 1: The Boston Globe article of May 29, 1994, included the following excerpt from this letter: “A great day yesterday. Thro Washington, where we were received very enthusiastically. Genl. B., President Lincoln on the balcony of the Willard Hotel to salute us as we passed…The boys got a “pass” and remained in W. last night. Had a good sight of W. City…The president looks pale and careworn – very.”

NOTE 2: The Unit History of the 36th Massachusetts Regiment describes the review by General Burnside and President Lincoln that Peirce wrote about as follows: “On the evening of the 22d [April 1864] the command was ordered to be in readiness to march, and before daylight of the 23d the delightful camp was broken up, and the corps took up its line of march, not toward the harbor, but in the direction of Washington, following the line of the Elk Ridge and Annapolis Railroad. After a march of thirteen miles the corps bivouacked in the fields for the night. Very early on the 24th the march was resumed. In about six hours we reached the Baltimore and Washington Turnpike, and at nightfall the corps went into camp near Bladensburg, distant about eight miles from the city of Washington. At four o'clock on the morning of Monday, the 25th, reveille was sounded but, owing to a severe shower, the regiment did not march until about eight o'clock. When the march was resumed the corps passed through Bladensburg and continued in the direction of the city. We reached the outskirts of the capital about noon, and halted on New York Avenue for the command to close up, as we were to pay marching salute to the President and General Burnside, who were to review us from balcony of Willard's Hotel. It soon became known that the corps was to pass through the city, and the streets along the line of march were densely packed. The column was greeted with cheers and applause. Many spirited descriptions of this imposing scene were published at the time in the journals of the day.”

NOTE 3: The following information about President Lincoln at the Willard Hotel was found on the website “Located only a few blocks from the White House (at 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue), the Willard Hotel has welcomed many U.S. presidents, including Abraham Lincoln. The present building, completed in 1904, stands on the site of the original building which Lincoln knew. The first known visit of Lincoln to Willard's came at the end of his single term in Congress on January 27, 1849. Lincoln became a hotel guest shortly before his first inauguration as president in 1861. He arrived abruptly on February 23 after an assassination plot in Baltimore changed his travel plans. He was joined soon after by his wife and sons, remaining until his inauguration on March 4. Because Willard's was a social and political hub, Lincoln probably stopped by a number of times while president. However, only a few can be verified: A visit with Mrs. Lincoln on July 6, 1861, to attend a concert and his review of troops with General Burnside on April 25, 1864.

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Jerome Peirce 1864, From Jerome to Allie, April 26, 1864, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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