From Jerome to Allie, February 8, 1863

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie, February 8, 1863


Peirce, Jerome


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).


6.7 X 4.55
6.35 X 9.37
11.31 X 9.39
6.43 X 9.48






Letter #71


Could not be determined, possibly Newport News, VA.

Text Item Type Metadata


Sunday 8th Feb 1863
It is Sabbath P.M. and a scene very different here from what it is there.
It is 3 o’clk. Frank Crafts is sitting here in our tent talking with Jos H. and I thought I would send a few lines, not a letter for owing to the prospect of moving, we are full of preparation, cleaning up clothes, mending, etc. etc.
It is a sunny mild day, but oh the mud and I felt compelled to buy some boots $9.00. This sounds dear but it will be dearer without them. I enclose $5.00 and will more from time to time, reserving a small sum for myself. We rec’d $25.18 to Nov. 1st and hope for more before long.
We have various rumors as to our destination, but I think we are going to Suffolk Va, which will enable me to see Frank and Will and be but a short trip, only about 120 miles and little marching. We may go farther south, but I give you the most prevalent surmise. More of one Corps are gone and the deserted camps look dreary enough, but we find a good supply of fuel and of easy access. We may move tomorrow but I think within four or five days at the furthest.
We are all in fine health and spirits and are glad to leave this do-nothing and ill-fated place and trust to see something better and less mud.
Rec’d a paper with the little book from Mary, many thanks. It brought up old times, for it was one of the first things I noticed in my visit to B.
I had hoped to have written you a good letter today, but there’s no settled rest for us at present and I have got things pretty much in order and want to be off, especially if I can meet Frank and Will.
I keep the “Dew Drops” in my watch pocket. Pollyanthus can think of it, and I shall thus be reminded constantly of the dear ones at home.
Shall expect to hear from you tonight, but we have to get our letters ready by 5 o’clock and mail don’t arrive till evening.
I am very comfortably fixed for a move. A new pr. [pair] of pants and other things are all right besides, t’will soon be warmer and Spring with us will be along “right soon”. I long to hear the birds and gather some flowers of “Dixie”, and trust my “flowers” at home will not droop nor fade at my long journeys and absent so far from them, for I think of them constantly.
Tell Mary and Hattie I will write them each some time when I can be very interesting.
Wrote Abbie a day or two ago and ventured a note to Mr. Ellis, thanking him for his interest in my book affair and recalling the occasion at B. [Possibly Billerica], Mr. S’s ordination.
Have had only [one] meal today but shall go about supper soon. Get along very well with two meals. I see by the “Register” that Mr. Chaffee is “settled” as Boston minister. He was at Billerica.
Pardon this poor affair for this time. Wish it was more in the spirit of the day, but I do not forget some attention to it be it ever so busy. I send a letter of Henry P. that it might interest you. I think it does finely.
A kiss for Lulu and love most abundantly from your affect. [affectionate] husband

Write immediately on receipt of this 8th letter.
Frank C. wishes to be remembered.

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, his nephew.

NOTE 2: The “Pollyanthus” (correctly spelled “Polyanthus”) is a herbaceous flowering plant which is a hybrid between the wild primrose and primulas. Although it is speculation, he might be referring to keeping some of these flowers (along with “Dew Drops” (possibly also referring to a flower)) in his watch pocket. It is conceivable that Allie and Lulu sent him these flowers in a previous letter.

NOTE 3: The “Soldier’s Letter, etc.” notation on the envelope was written on the upper right-hand corner of the envelope, where a stamp would normally be affixed. Charles T. Canfield, who was 38 years old and from Worcester, Massachusetts, was the chaplain of the 36th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment from August 28, 1862, until October 20, 1863, when he resigned. The rubber-stamped note “Due 3” was apparently stamped over Canfield’s hand-written note by a post office official. An identical note written by Canfield (and also the “Due 3” note) appears on several of Jerome’s letters. Canfield (and Jerome) apparently believed that this notation would make it unnecessary to affix the three-cent stamp required for a letter at that time. However, it appears that they were mistaken. Whether or not the three cents postage due was actually collected from Allie could not be determined. It is interesting to note that in more recent times, U.S. service personnel in war zones have been allowed free franking privileges by writing “Free” or “Soldier’s Mail” in the area of the envelope where a stamp would normally be affixed. There is also a note on the envelope that reads “No Stamps”.

NOTE 4: “Mr. Ellis” was Rev. George E. Ellis, the pastor of the church in Charlestown that the family attended before it moved to Orange, Massachusetts.

Original Format





Jerome Peirce 1863, From Jerome to Allie, February 8, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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