From Jerome to Allie, February 15, 1863

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie, February 15, 1863


Peirce, Jerome
Newport News, VA.


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, Jim Boise (Transcriber)


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


6.5 X 4.5
6.5 X 9
11 X 9
6.5 X 9






Letter #72


Newport News, VA.

Text Item Type Metadata


Sunday 15th Feb 1863
My dearest Wife,
You will think it a long while since my last [letter] and I do not remember the date of it, but I sent $5.00 in it.
I can but give you a word now as the mail closes in a few moments and I have been busy every moment since our arrival here.
Left F__g [Fredericksburg] Tues 8 AM by rail and steamboat, reached here Fri P.M. Had a fine and even delightful trip down the Potomac from Aquia Creek and across the Chesapeake Bay. Just enough of cloud, wind, and sunshine to give a pleasing variety. Intended to have sent a pencil diary, but have not finished it. Will send soon as finished. We are on the bank of the James River, a long level plain, woods in the rear and some four wide miles of river. It is a lovely spot. A beautiful beach but a few steps from our quarters. The banks are about 40 feet high and sandy. The wrecks of the “Cumberland” and “Congress” are in sight and two or three gun boats laying near to look out for the new Rebel ironclads at Richmond. Also the “Minnesota” frigate.
Have been busy fixing up our tents like the old ones when yesterday we were ordered to stop work for we are to have “A” tents.
Probably we shall be here some time. Hope so for it is a so pleasant. Warm and threatening rain this morn. On duty yesterday P.M. at the landing some two miles away and this morn drawing rations so have been occupied. Yours of the 11 and 12 number came yesterday. Also stocking book and papers. Many thanks. Am in “tip top” health and spirits and shall try to keep so in spite of friends at Orange. J.H. well and just as usual.
Letters from Abbie, Edward Peirce, Mr. Mayo, also Sarah’s sister.
Thanks to Hattie for her letters. Will write ever so much when we get “settled”. Imagine a morning and you will have an idea of the state we are in but I shall have enough to talk about by and by.
Have not heard from Frank and Will since the fight. Am glad they are safe.
Sad news from Alonzo. Words are in vain but I trust he will yet recover.
I enclose $3.00 more. Have had to spend most of the remainder and I regret it but ‘twas positively necessary. More in the future.
As ever yours with love of your husband
P.S. 1
Newport News Va
Letter No. 1
Newport News

P.S. 2
Direct as usual till further notice.

NOTE 1: The “J. 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: 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: The “Alonzo” Jerome referred to in his letters was Seth Alonzo Ranlett. Ranlett enlisted in Co. B of the 36th 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.

NOTE 4: The “A Tent” or “Wedge Tent” was a canvas tent stretched across a six-foot long horizontal bar with two vertical supporting bars in the front and back. These Civil War tents could sleep up to six men, but could only accommodate four men comfortably. If five or six soldiers were sharing the tent, they would have to turn over at the same time. It was a rather large tent and was not easy to transport when an army was on the march.

Original Format





Jerome Peirce 1863, From Jerome to Allie, February 15, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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