From Jerome to "Pollyanthus" (Probably Abbie), May 10, 1863

Dublin Core


From Jerome to "Pollyanthus" (Probably Abbie), May 10, 1863


Peirce, Jerome
Middleburg, KY.


From Jerome to "Pollyanthus" (Probably Abbie)


Jerome Peirce


Jerome Peirce Collection, National Park Service


HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington




NPS, Civil War Study Group, Barb Davidson (Transcriber)


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


4.49 X 8.01
9.85 X 8.01
4.49 X 8.01






Letter #110


near Middleburg, KY.

Text Item Type Metadata



Near Middleburg Ky 10th May/63
My dear “Pollyanthus”
It is quite early Sabbath morning. The sun is shining warmly into my tent (it sets end to the east) and I thought before there was too much stir I would send a few lines.
You have I suppose seen Allie lately and she has told you how and where I was and I wrote you thru Hattie the 28th ult. [last month] but I have to turn to the old spot and send in a little messenger for we must not let the wires get rusty or broken.
How much I would love to be with you all and attend church and forget for a season the scenes of the camp, but alas, not yet can that pleasure be ours.
Rose at 5 o’clck and went to the brook to wash and ran upon some flowers which I send. The brook reminds me of Suckees at the bridge where we have so often crossed and I assure you I have seen but few places in my journeys that are more pleasant in summer than that and “Prospect Hill.”
The season is not of course fully on, but I doubt whether there is as great a variety of flowers here as at home. I find “Innocents” [flowers] as at home. Sent some to Henry Peirce yesterday. The strawberry is in blossom, violets too I found.
Well we have been here (in this place) a week changing camp about a mile to this spot last Monday in the midst of a heavy shower, where we were wet through but were soon in tents expecting to leave in a day or two but this [is a] soldier’s life.
The rumors now are that we shall move back towards Camp “Dick Robinson” by Tues[day] or Wedns., the “Rebel raid” having failed entirely in this state. But I have given up surmising where we may be.
We are suffering great anxiety about the news from Gen. Hooker. Contradictory accounts, but we hope for final success. Surely if ever a people were being schooled, we are, and I trust the lesson will not be in vain.
But how are you all and how do you get along in school? What of the boys at Suffolk (Will and Frank)? Wrote them last, but I know they have been very busy of late.
And how is my Lulu? How did Mama look to her? When shall I see her? I hear she is well and a very good and happy little girl. I hope so and I see not how she can be otherwise. Does she run about the yard and out to the barns?
I want much to hear direct from you now that Allie is at C [Charlestown]. She seems very happy and I am glad she can work with her old friends. I did not love to think of her as in a shop but I presume she will be happier doing for herself in some way if she thinks it best and I hope I gave no wrong impression in anything I said before for I fully appreciate all that you at the “old home” in particular are doing in the care of little Lulu and I do hope she may repay it in being some company and comfort to you. You must tell me all about her and her little doings in your next. Give her a kiss for Papa and accept these little posies for it is all I can send her. I think much about her. Her mother tells me she has a pencil. She must write me as she used to in Mama’s letters.
Shall write Allie today. Give love to all the friends and tell me all the items at B [Billerica]. How do church matters prosper? Expect the folks are busy with farm work. It is a hilly country here and we are in a valley. It is called the “Nobbs” and newly cultivated by the “poorer” class. We see many slaves. They visit the camp.
Do you hear anything from Jonny Bacon or Baffour?
As ever affectionately yours
Bro. [Brother] Jerome.

Mailed you a paper yesterday. Excuse blots, camp “signs”.

NOTE 1. Although there is no name in the salutation, based on previous, very similar letters, it was almost definitely written to Allie’s sister Abbie. He used “Pollyanthus” (a type of flower which is correctly spelled “Polyanthus”) as a term of endearment. He often refers to himself as the brother of Abbie, while, in fact, he was her brother-in-law.

NOTE 2: Abbie (Abigail) Jaquith was Allie’s younger sister. Abbie was born in 1836, and she died in 1915. Allie (Albinia) was born in 1834, and she died in 1920.

NOTE 3: Camp Dick Robinson was a large Union Army organizational and training center located near Lancaster in rural Garrard County, Kentucky. The camp was established on August 6, 1861, despite the protests of Governor Beriah Magoffin, a strong secessionist and Southern sympathizer. It was located about halfway between Cincinnati and the Cumberland Gap, and was about 30 miles from Lexington, Kentucky. It was constructed on the farm of Captain Dick Robinson, a strong pro-Union supporter. The post served as a rallying point for local loyalists, as well as for Unionists who had left their homes in eastern Tennessee in order to enlist in the Union army. In 1862, the Confederate Army seized the camp and renamed it "Camp Breckinridge," in honor of Confederate general and former U.S. Vice President John C. Breckinridge, a native Kentuckian. The advance of the Union army into the region forced the Rebels to abandon the camp, and Federal troops regained its possession for the remainder of the war. After hostilities ceased in 1865, the camp was phased out of existence.

NOTE 4: Regarding the “Rebel raid,” he is almost certainly referring to Morgan's Raid (or Expedition) which was a diversionary incursion by Confederate cavalry into the northern U.S. states of Indiana and Ohio during the Civil War. The raid “officially” took place from June 11–July 26, 1863, and is named for the commander of the Confederates, Brig. Gen. John Hunt Morgan. Although it caused temporary alarm in the North, the raid was ultimately classed as a failure.
The raid covered more than 1,000 miles, beginning in Tennessee and ending in northern Ohio. It coincided with the Vicksburg Campaign and the Gettysburg Campaign, and it was meant to draw U.S. troops away from these fronts by frightening the North into demanding their troops return home. Despite his initial successes, Morgan was thwarted in his attempts to re-cross the Ohio River and eventually was forced to surrender what remained of his command in northeastern Ohio near the Pennsylvania border. Morgan and other senior officers were kept in the Ohio state penitentiary, but they tunneled their way out and took a train to Cincinnati, where they crossed the Ohio River to safety.
The activity described in this letter as the “Rebel raid” apparently preceded what is now considered to be the timeframe of the raid, i.e., June and July 1863, which Jerome would not have known about, of course, when he wrote this letter in May of 1863.

Original Format





Jerome Peirce 1863, From Jerome to "Pollyanthus" (Probably Abbie), May 10, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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