From Jerome to Allie, August 23, 1863

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie, August 23, 1863


Peirce, Jerome
Nicholasville, KY


From Jerome to Allie


Jerome Peirce


Jerome Peirce Collection, National Park Service


HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


August 23, 1863


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


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


"6.9 X 4.5" - 1st Scan
"6.4 X 9.3" - 2nd Scan
"11.4 X 9.3" - 3rd Scan






Letter #153


Nicholasville, KY

Text Item Type Metadata


Near Nicholasville, [Ky.] 23rd Aug 1863
My dearest Wife,
Sitting here in my tent. “Inspection” just gone through with Jos. H. [Joseph H. Peirce] writing home. A very pleasant, airy Sabbath morning. I again “essay” something to you.
Have been somewhat disappointed last week, no letter since Monday, as we [were] going on board the [railroad] cars, except a back mail. But, I know you have written as I heard by Alonzo’s letter from his mother that you were “getting better” from a severe cold etc.
What shall I tell thee? for all is quiet and monotonous in camp, and what I am sorry to add, [is] a great deal of sickness in camp caused by the change of climate, sort of a fever. At least one half of the men are sick, but most of them, if not all, will recover after awhile.
So far, J. [Joseph H. Peirce] and I have been, and are, very well and hope to keep so.
The chief event of the last week has been meeting Mrs. Edmands and expect to dine with them today if nothing happens.
She is very pretty and healthy [and] is stopping at a house nearby, where Ben can see her. Had a pleasant chat, and showed her Lulu’s picture, and she called it a “sweet” picture. She has one of these quiet but deep natures, and I wish you could become more acquainted.
The presence of a lady is quite an item here, and I imagine some of the higher officers are almost envious of him. Of course, he is [in] the best of spirits. Another event will somewhat surprise you. Yesterday, who should come to us but Mr. Stevens from Orange, last from the Portsmouth Grove Hospital, R.I. He is in good health and spirits. There is a prospect that J.H. will leave me, and if he does, Mr. S. [Stevens] will be my tent mate. J.H. expects a detail at Div. Headquarters, but not certain. Have had a new Commander (of the 1st Div.). Genl. Welch died at Cincinnati and Genl. Ferrero is his successor. Has just rode by here with his “orderly”, a solid looking man with a “big moustache.”
Well, Allie mine, ‘tis a quiet morning and I am thinking of you, then I can talk of myself or surroundings. Have been looking and talking over my pictures and wishing to myself that I could see you. A whole year has passed since we were encamped, the 2nd next month, since we left Worcester and mustered in as a Regt. on the 27th this month, and I hope some way will open to see home before many months pass.
Sad times in Orange over the death of the boys, and now they must know of Harrison Goddard’s death. His uncle is coming out.
Saw the Adjt. (Alonzo) last eve. Has letters from the mountains, and is anxious to see E [Ellen]. Another Lieut. (Sibley) of ours died and [was] buried at Louisville, a sad case, just married before he came out, was in the 15th [Massachusetts] at Ball’s Bluff. [He was] a quiet, modest man and was esteemed by Alonzo, and [his death] saddened him very much. But you will think I am talking of sad things but life in the army is like life at home, health, sickness, and death, and the first year, is what tells on soldiers.
I hope you are “all well” of your late illness and finding some means of cheer in the company of friends and from the “good word”.
I hope Mr. S. will be spared going into the Army if he can be of good service there. I do not wish to see good pastors taken from their places, and their trials would be severe here, unless they have a “tact” for the sphere, then they would be invaluable. (I will close this, this P.M.)
P.M. Oh, Allie! I am so dull and sleepy! Went about noon with Ben E. [Edmands] and had a pleasant call, a good mile walk. Had a nice dinner with the family. Their name is Coombs, plain farmers, and a western table. The father said grace before eating. One daughter and some four boys. Mrs. E. [Edmands] is quite pleased with the country, wishes you were hereabouts so much. Says she could find you employment in Wheeling with her. What do you think of it?
It is one of those drowsy days and I have had a long nap since my walk, and now comes Dress Parade, and closing of the mail.
You see I have written close and I fear I can hardly fill it this time! But you will overlook it this time I’m sure when you know that I think not the less of you. But the Camp is becoming very dull. If we could only move and move North! and all things looking like peace and a dismissal from the service! But we must wait patiently.
Remember with love to all, and accept for this time from
Your loving husband
Jerome P

NOTE 1: The “Jos. H.” that Jerome 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.

NOTE 2: The “Alonzo” Jerome referred to in his letters was Seth Alonzo Ranlett. Ranlett enlisted in Co. B
of the 36 th 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 3: The “Ben” referred to in this letter was Benjamin B. Edmands. He enlisted as a Private at age 27
from Brookline, Massachusetts, and he was subsequently promoted to Corporal. On January 20, 1864,
he was discharged from the 36 th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment for promotion as a Lieutenant in the
54 th Massachusetts Regiment of Volunteers.

NOTE 4: William H. Goodard enlisted from Orange at age 21 with Jerome on August 4, 1862. He died of
disease on August 17, 1863.

NOTE 5: Frederick H. Sibley enlisted from Fitchburg, Massachusetts, at age 24 as a Sergeant in the 15 th
Massachusetts Regiment on July 12, 1861, and was transferred as a Second Lieutenant to Company I of
the 36 th Massachusetts Regiment on August 22, 1862. He was subsequently promoted to First Lieutenant
on August 2, 1863. Sibley died in the U.S. General Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, of disease contracted
during the Mississippi campaign on August 12, 1863.




Jerome Peirce 1863, From Jerome to Allie, August 23, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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