From Jerome to Sisters Mary and Hattie, February 7, 1863

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Sisters Mary and Hattie, February 7, 1863


Peirce, Jerome
Jaquith, Mary Frances
Jaquith, Hattie Walker
Newport News, VA.


From Jerome to Mary and Hattie


Jerome Peirce


Jerome Peirce Collection, National Park Service


HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington




NPS, Civil War Study Group, Ben Raterman (Transcriber)


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


6.41 X 4.1
6.19 X 12.05






Letter #69


Newport News, VA.

Text Item Type Metadata


Newport News 7th Feb 1863
My very dear Sisters Mary and Hattie,
Will you accept of a word of thanks, in another letter from me, for your kind letter? I wish I could write you something “real interesting” but the rain is beating in and makes a little blacker mark occasionally as you see, when it strikes my paper.
Have been waiting for a letter from Will since the fight and you may know I am happy with you that our friends escaped the death blow and I trust they will soon be restored to you and that in God’s good time we shall meet again at the old home in P.V. [Probably Pleasant Valley]
How I wish you could all be here some sunny days to stroll on this beautiful river beach! Would we not dream of Powhatan and his daughter, not forgetting the gallant dead who fell near here, Little and Big Bethel. And then how much the wrecks of the Cumberland and Congress bring to mind. And they are both in sight by a few steps walk.
The river is about 4 miles wide here, a clear expanse of blue water with a forest on the opposite shore and the whole country is dead level with a little unevenness. ‘Twould be a lovely scene, very, but as it is, it is charming and in warm weather with birds, verdure and flowers, a fit use indeed for taste and fashion of Rebeldom, about 40 miles to Richmond.
When settled we shall be busy with the various duties as at muster, guard and detail of a brigade such as duty at the wharf, for there is much to do. So you must not think unmindful of you but share this letter, as we shall have to be “soldiers” here.
Tell Will I wish much to hear from him. Wish I could get to him for it is only a few miles to him, 20 or 30, or he to me. Hope to meet them someday yet.
With the love of your Bro. [Brother]
TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES (Ben Raterman and Josef Rokus)

NOTE 1: His “sisters” were probably actually his sisters-in law Mary Frances Jaquith (Born in 1841) and Harriet (Hattie) Walker Jaquith (Born in 1845).

NOTE 2: In referring to the “recent fight,” he was referring to the Battle of Big Bethel which was one of the earliest land battles of the Civil War. It took place on the Virginia Peninsula, near Newport News, Virginia, on June 10, 1861.

NOTE 3: The union ship Cumberland was rammed and sunk in an engagement with the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) at Newport News, Virginia on March 8, 1862.

NOTE 4: The Union ship Congress was anchored off Newport News, Virginia, as part of the Union blockade of that port on March 8, 1862, when she fell under attack by the Confederate CSS Virginia (ex-USS Merrimack) and five other small ships. After exchanging broadsides with Virginia, Congress slipped her moorings and ran aground in shallow water. The ironclad and her consorts attacked from a distance and inflicted great damage on the ship, killing 120. Ablaze in several places and unable to bring guns to bear on the enemy, Congress was forced to strike her colors and raise a white flag. Heavy shore batteries prevented Virginia from taking possession. Instead she fired several rounds of hot shot and incendiary causing Congress to burn to the water's edge, and her magazine to explode. Eventually, during the battle, Congress sank by the stern.

Original Format





Jerome Peirce 1863, From Jerome to Sisters Mary and Hattie, February 7, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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