From Jerome to Allie, August 2, 1863

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie, August 2, 1863


Peirce, Jerome
New Milldale, MS


From Jerome to Allie


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)


"6.6 X 4.35"
"6.3 X 9.5"
"11 X 9.4"
"6.15 X 9.35"






Letter #146


New Milldale, MS

Text Item Type Metadata


New Milldale Miss[issippi] Aug 2nd 1863
My dearest Wife
One of the loveliest Sabbath mornings! Have been quite busy since before our reveille. First breakfast, coffee and beans that seemed almost like “home baked”, cleaning up about tent, etc., fetching water. Then took a look into my testament when I found snugly folded in a paper a miniature that looked very much like the one I’m writing to. How and where is the original to this morning? Sought the shade of a tree nearby and thought a few lines to her could find acceptance.
Yesterday came another mail, yours of the 17th and 19th July. One from Abbie of the 19th, also a nice letter from Ellen P. of same date. Was so glad to get them for we shall no doubt be on the way up the river by tomorrow or next day and I may not write from this place again.
Have no news, only what I hear from home and everybody here is talking over the draft and the boys all know someone [who] is drafted. I saw the someones first in the Boston Herald. Saw and how sorry I was that Joe was among them. I was indeed sorry for the folks, so much help and tact as he had for home business duties but I trust he will have a short term. Wish my service could excuse [his] service but I know he will meet it like a man. I see Mr. Sulleway and Gilmann are victims. Will they come? Sam Walker too. What will he do? But the country must be saved and the work finished and if all lend a hand it can be done right soon.
Abbie gave me an account of Joe’s visit to the city to see if he could go in the Navy, etc.
Am glad the riots are quelled and trust that little touch of war was enough to show the people what law and order was and what we’re contending for.
Here all is quiet and on the rest but all are eager to be off for the North. This morning each company was called into line and the adjutant read the “order” from General Grant, handsomely acknowledging the prompt and energetic services rendered by the “Ninth A. C.” [Army Corps] and complimenting them and ordering the inscription on their colors: “Vicksburg and Jackson”!! and turning the Corps over [to] their former commander.
It’s now talked that we’re going to Virginia eventually with headquarters at Newport News with General Burnside. “So must it be”. Another story is that we remain for “recruiting” near Louisville, Ky but the former is more likely as the remaining work is eastward and recruiting, of course, will be from the East, for the Corps has been sadly cut up in this campaign.
A large lot of ambulances came last eve. and took away our sick and we must be on the move soon.
Am glad to tell you the same pleasant fact that I am well, excellently and how very much I have to be grateful for, for I did have some narrow escapes while before Jackson [Mississippi] to say nothing of disease, the effects of the climate and hard marching, but we were relieved for a while of knapsacks and moved in lightest order. Shall have much to tell you about it [when] I see home (and shall try to just as soon as we get North). The universal impression is that we’re going to Virginia.
Had a nice friendly letter from Mary and Joseph the same day with yours. The tone was as I desired and I had just written them. I have written them quite regularly and as often as I could. Mary expressed much disappointment of your not visiting them this summer, but you know best about that. You doubtless hear all the news from O. [Orange] all about the draft, etc. John Wheeler is among them.
I suppose Foster’s folks are all at the mountains, “Jefferson Hill” for some weeks. Alonzo received letters from E. [Ellen] and doubtless receives a due return and will while he is resting.
The boys are getting rested and recovering their worsted spirits somewhat. Disease seems to be subsiding. Captains Smith and Buffum are about again. Captain Sawyer is gaining and of the Orange boys Harrison Goodard is recovering slowly. Osgood Rich is still quite slim, his fever and ague turning to a regular fever, so I understood last and that was yesterday. Henry Mayo and the rest are well.
How I wish I could be with you all in quiet rural old Billerica today, hear a good sermon, call on some good friends and see all the dear familiar faces! What a blessed time ‘twould be and then to take my darling Lulu by the hand and tell her about the beautiful birds and posies I’ve seen. Some of the prettiest flowers fade so [I] come to press them in letters. But she knows Papa loves her and always sends her a kiss. I gave “Uncle Ben” her letter (and yours) and the little boy. He has a quiet, earnest way of acknowledging things. Sends his regards and was very thankful for your letter thought ‘twas beautiful and will try and do his duty by your husband.
We hope for some rare times now for we’ve no fear of forced marches and the battle’s din for the present at least and we can chat of “this, that and the other”, our wives are not forgotten. I wish you could correspond with Mrs. Amy “for she is a love of a woman” I know and is a noble brave girl and writes finely.
Abram Cutter writes fine letters to Ben and he lets me read them. And now thank Frank for his letters to me. Tell him I will remember him in particular one of these days, and for good brother Joe as an “old soldier” what good word can I say? If he must “rally to the flag” and for his personal self I know he will not flinch. He can benefit much by some advice about becoming used to camp life, etc., but Frank can help as much perhaps as I but let him as much as possible stick to simple food, even Army rations. The great thing is to take care nights and keep the stomach in good order.
Am short of stationery.
As ever, your loving husband Jerome.

Love to all. Where is Mary of late? Love to Will Clark.
I know he will make a good soldier. My love to him. Shall feel deeply interested and want he should write me soon and may some good substitute appear for father and mother. I feel more than I can express.

Wrote you twice last week. Your letters are all received.

NOTE 1: The “Ellen P.” mentioned in this letter was Ellen Peirce. She was the daughter of Foster Peirce and Catherine Abby Beaman, with Foster being a brother of Jerome. She was, therefore, a niece of Jerome. Ellen married Alonzo Ranlett, who is mentioned in many of Jerome’s letters, on January 21, 1864. Ellen was born on March 22, 1842, and she died on January 12, 1914.

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: Foster Peirce was one of Jerome’s older brothers. The 1850 U.S. Census listed him as being born in 1812, living in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and being in the furniture business. It is interesting to note that when that census was taken, Jerome, then 19 years old, was living with the Foster Peirce family, with his occupation being recorded as a “gilder.”

NOTE 4: Captain Christopher Sawyer enlisted as a Captain at age 28 from Templeton, Massachusetts, on August 22, 1862, and he commanded Company H of the 36th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the company that Jerome was assigned to. Sawyer was discharged on account of disability on February 19, 1864.

NOTE 5: James B. Smith enlisted at age 23 from Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was appointed Captain, Company K, on August 22, 1862. Smith was wounded at the Battle of Pegram Farm in Virginia on September 30, 1864, but was mustered out with the Regiment on June 8, 1864, as a Major. He was subsequently promoted to Brevet Colonel for “gallant and meritorious service.”

NOTE 6: Amos Buffum enlisted as a Second Lieutenant in the 25th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers on October 12, 1861. He transferred to Co. D, 36th Massachusetts Regiment, on August 22, 1862. Buffum was killed in action near Petersburg, Virginia, on June 18, 1864.

NOTE 7: William H. Goodard enlisted from Orange at age 21 with Jerome on August 4, 1862. He died of disease on August 17, 1863.

NOTE 8: Private Osgood Rich enlisted at age 25 at Orange, Massachusetts, on August 4, 1862. He was discharged for disability on April 23, 1864.

NOTE 9: Corp. Henry H. Mayo enlisted at age 21 as a Corporal in Orange, Massachusetts, on August 4, 1862, the same date that Jerome enlisted. He was killed at the Battle of the Wilderness on May 6, 1864, just a few days before Jerome was killed at Spotsylvania Court House.

NOTE 10: 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 36th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment for promotion as a Lieutenant in the 54th Massachusetts Regiment of Volunteers.




Jerome Peirce
1863-08-02, From Jerome to Allie, August 2, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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