From Allie to Jerome, November 29, 1863

Dublin Core


From Allie to Jerome, November 29, 1863


Peirce, Jerome
Billerica, MA


From Allie to Jerome


Allie Pierce


Jerome Peirce Collection, National Park Service


HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington




NPS, Civil War Study Group, Paul and Louise Marahrens, Nathan Varnold (transcribers)


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


"5.03 X 8.03" - 1st Scan
"10.05 X 8.03" - 2nd Scan
"5.03 X 8.03" - 3rd Scan






Letter #181


Billerica, MA.

Text Item Type Metadata



Billerica Nov. 29th, 1863
My ever dear husband,
Again it is Sunday eve. and I am seated at your writing desk to hold a little converse [conversation] with you. Did you think when you got the desk that your wife would write so many letters upon it and send them to you in the Army? How little one knows what is before them and is it not well? I remember very well when I wrote the first letter upon this. My heart was so happy. I look around upon our little home at Peyron Place and saw the comfort we were surrounded with and felt that I was truly blessed. Could I have then looked forward six short years and seen the change, my heart would have been saddened, would not yours? And this turns my thoughts back to the time I first met you all the way through the first time I saw you at Sunday School, the boys around you, the smiles you had for them, and then you coming in the shop with Charles, the call with Albert, your first visit at Billerica to see Daniel Preston’s family, my visit to Charlestown, going to lecture with and the invitation given at Mr. Pratt’s, your call at Aunt Zaschiek’s, the Sunday eve. at Wymans, the letter that was waiting my arrival home, your first visit here, your staying at the depot one night, my being introduced to your friends, [???] sickness and death, our fixing up our little home, our wedding, the arrival home, Mary’s first fortnight with us, our being left alone in the quietness of our little home, our first visit home, the first Thanksgiving and Christmas at home (at [???]) and so on to the birth of our little boy, our disappointment, my summer at home, George and Inez being with us, Inez being married, my summer at home in the pleasant shade of summer under the old trees, our quiet days at home, Hannah S. coming on from Ohio, our quiet Thanksgiving at home, Mary Eliza being with us, the Christmas present of our little girl, our packing up and moving to Orange, our life there although much was unpleasant there, was much that was pleasant, the war, you enlisting, my stay at Worcester, my visit at Boston and Orange, settling here for the winter, your coming home after a year’s absence, your return. All this rushes into mind faster than I can pen it down.
My dear husband, I hope your married life was not unpleasant to you, it certainly has been very far from that to me. When I look through all this and think how much has transpired in the time we first met, what will be the coming years? I dare not look into the future but I live on from day to day thinking “one day nearer to God and thee”. Our lives here are but short and I feel that those days ought to be spent together.
Jerome, our being separated these years will be a lifelong lesson, will it not? I hope you will come home soon, and that our home may be reopened and our happy days continued, and surely if we keep on pushing the Rebs, we shall soon have them all in our control. We have had glorious news lately, and is it wrong when I think I am glad my own dear husband is not in this battle? We hear Grant is having victories. Meade is pushing Lee, has him out of his entrenchments. We have taken C. I dare not tell how many prisoners, all of which my heart swells with joy.
We are having spirited war meetings here and some are enlisting. Among the first was Edward Adams. He made the most spirited speech and enrolled his name. Last night he called a meeting and was to speak. Capt. Ranlett and Alonzo were there. Capt. R. was president. Alonzo spoke but no Edward appeared, has caused much talk. There is to be another one tomorrow eve. Branle wants to go but the folks are feeling so bad that I hardly think he will.
I stayed at home from church this morning. Went this afternoon and I took Lulu. She did better than I expected. She wanted me to tell you of it. I received the letter written at Cumberland Gap Friday and truly glad was I to get it. It was a nice letter. Last Sunday after writing your letter Branle and I went down to Mr. Whitfords and Mr. Deans. I did the washing as mother was busy with butter. Tuesday I cleaned my chamber, wish you could see it and cleaned tins. Hattie went to Chelsea. Wednesday it rained. Had a letter from Ellen. She wants me to go and sew for her as she expects to be married this winter. I guess Alonzo will not go back to the regiment.
Thursday was Thanksgiving day. I cooked the dinner so Mother went to church. In the afternoon Mr. Salloway called. He had a splendid sermon. He gave me his photograph. Only think, one more Thanksgiving and then you will come home. I am counting the months, shall soon begin to count the weeks. Friday I sewed upon Lulu’s clothes to get her ready to go to Boston. I forgot Thanksgiving. Dr. H. and wife called and Mary Eliza with two young men spent the evening. Saturday it stormed all day. We heard the bells in Lowell and guns from Lowell and Boston. Hope it was good news. Tell Joseph H. that I got his letter and will answer soon. I shall go to Boston Wednesday, weather permitting.
Love to brother Benj.
My love to Henry Nelson and Mr. Stevens.
Love and a kiss from your own little
Wife Allie.

Keep this. It done me good to read it.

NOTE 1: The “Alonzo” Jerome referred to in his letters was Seth Alonzo Ranlett. Ranlett enlisted in Co. B of the 36th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment as a Private on July 24, 1862, at age 22, and he was from Charlestown, Massachusetts. He was promoted to First Sergeant on August 27, 1862, and was commissioned as a First Lieutenant on December 1, 1862. On December 17, 1862, he was appointed Adjutant of the Regiment. He was mustered out “on account of physical disability from disease incurred in the service” on February 20, 1864.
Ranlett was born on March 18, 1840, in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and he died May 21, 1905, in Newton, Massachusetts. Ranlett’s wife was Ellen Peirce Ranlett, with a date of birth of March 22, 1842, and a date of death of January 12, 1914. They were married on January 21, 1864. Ellen Peirce was one of the children of Foster Peirce and his wife Catherine Abby Beaman. Also, Foster Peirce was a brother of Jerome. Therefore, the Ellen that Jerome mentions in his letters was one of Jerome’s nieces, and starting on January 21, 1864, Alonzo was the husband of one of his nieces.

NOTE 2: The “Joseph H.” that Allie referred to in this letter was Joseph H. Peirce. He enlisted as a Private in Orange, Mass., on August 4, 1862, at age 18. Jerome also enlisted in Orange on the same date, but as a corporal. Jerome was 31 years old at the time. According to the Unit History, Joseph H. Peirce was taken Prisoner of War at Pegram Farm, Virginia, on September 30, 1864, (See Letter No. 227) and he was later exchanged. He was discharged on June 21, 1865. Joseph H. Peirce was the son of Joseph Peirce, one of Jerome’s brothers, and was, therefore, Jerome’s nephew.

Original Format





Allie Pierce 1863, From Allie to Jerome, November 29, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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