From Allie to Jerome, September 15, 1863

Dublin Core


From Allie to Jerome, September 15, 1863


Peirce, Jerome
Billerica, MA.


From Allie to Jerome




Jerome Peirce Collection, National Park Service


HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington




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).


6.25 X 9
11.25 X 9
6.25 X 9






Letter #73


Billerica MA.

Text Item Type Metadata


Sunday, Feb 15th 1863 Billerica
My dearest Jerome,
It is Sabbath morn and while I am quietly seated in the sitting room, I wonder where you are. How much would I give if I could only look upon you if only for a few moments.
I received your letter written last Sunday [on] Friday morn and the money was all safe. Let me thank [you] for it. Be sure and not send me any if you need it yourself. I cannot tell you how much good your letter did me. When I received yours stating you were to move, I almost felt that I never should have another letter from your dear self. Joseph had been up to the office. When he came in I asked him if he had anything for me. He said, yes, a letter from Jerome. I barely pressed the document to my lips. It seems as though you yourself was there. Everyone marked the change in myself and asked what did Jerome say to calm your spirits so much. The prospect of seeing Frank and Will, I know it will do you as well as them good and the folks have sent the boys a large box of things (eatables) and they hope so much that you will have a taste of them. Would it not seem like home to eat some of Mother's pie and some of Mary's cake? Lulu helped to pack the box, as busy as a bee. You would have laughed to have seen her. I often wish I could set her in your tent for a short time. What do you think she would say? She talks so much about you and says, "Mama, I won't go away and leave you if Papa did and if you wait, he will come home and live with you in your house". “Sweet little comforter” is she not?
Sunday eve. Again my dearest Jerome do I take pen to address you. I was interrupted this morning. Mother, Father and Joseph went this morning. When they came home [they] said that Mr. Livermore preached. We almost concluded not to go out this afternoon, but finally Mother and myself went, and well paid was I for going. Mr. L. read from the fourteenth Chapt. of Romans. His text was the eighth verse.
He gave a fine description of Paul [???] that in his teachings he wish[ed] to remind us we were subject to the government of God however we might try to get away from it, still God holds us in his power. He liken[ed] the search unto a man that was trying [to] shake off the teachings of our Savior and the commands of God although they try and said they had nothing to do with it, that did not free them from it and although the South had tried not and said they were not under our government, that did not make them so.
He said he had tended three funerals lately, one, an infant of three months, an old lady over eighty, the other a fair maiden who was on the verge of womanhood. The infant was born a sufferer and knew nothing else, its recollections of this world (and he believed that in passing onto another world we do have recollections of this world) would be of suffering but after a time that would pass away as we had no suffering there. I cannot begin to tell you all but it was beautiful, his thoughts were. Then came the old lady. Although she had not any children of her own, yet she loved and was deeply loved by others and was a mother to many. She had passed an active life in doing good for others. As life advanced instead of caring for others and doing for others, she had to have others do for her and became as a little child. As she passed on, her recollections would be the kindness she had felt for others and what she had received. The young lady had begun to feel the responsibility of life but ill health overtook her. She became beautifully calm and quiet, first would only do a little light work then not anything. Finally, became entirely dependent for care upon the kindness of her parents, brothers and sisters. Her affections had expanded to those around her and was met and returned, and finally it had stood out as it did prominent in man and woman, [???] an interesting time and was returned by one who was in their Army and with love for all around her and one dearer than other, she passed on. Her recollections of this world would be that she was happy here in her love for others and theirs in return.
My dear Jerome I cannot tell to you as I would like to. It sent a calmness through my heart that I had not felt for several days. I can hear his voice now, and the singing sounded very sweet, and the day will close by my conveying some of my thoughts to yourself. Never do I feel more calm and happy than I do when conversing with your dear self. My thoughts turned today of our first meeting and as time moved on to our love. What is more sacred and holy in this world, that a true love and that being [???] by our love and trust of our Heavenly Parent. Here vividly comes in my mind your face as I first saw it, talking to the class of boys you had around you. I never shall forget the smile that wreathed your countenance, and my first visit to C [Charlestown] after our engagement, your uniting with the church. We have been separated several months and does not all the happy hours we have passed together come to mind. I am living them all over and are constantly reminded of you in our little Lu [Lulu]. She is a living picture of yourself. I cannot tell you what a comfort to me it is that she looks so much like you. If we are permitted to meet again in this world, let our love be so strong that nothing will separate us. Oh! How I wish you could come home. Sometimes when I think how long the time has seemed since you went away and how much longer you have to stay, it seems as though my heart would break, that my trial was more than I could bear. But, I feel that I still can hear from you by your own pen and that I can converse with you in the same way and I try to be patient and feel thankful that I can hear from you and write to you.
Mary came home Friday night and Miss Aradine Brown, where she boards, came home with her, a very pleasant young lady. She said give my love to your husband. She says she feels the greatest respect for those who have gone in the Army. Do you remember the young man that was so social with Mary at the dance we went to year ago Thanksgiving, Mr. Buffan? He was on board the vessel that was later at Charleston, S.C. His parents do not know his fate – if he is killed or alive. They feel shockingly, the suspense is dreadful. He is an only child. I think Mary’s school wears upon her. She was not looking very well. She sends ever so much love to you and J.H. She says she wishes she could see you both.
Yesterday afternoon Emily Drew came here. She is an adopted daughter to one of Mr. Ranlett’s sisters. They had heard from Alonzo. The fever has turned upon his lungs and he was troubled with a cough, a bad one. She thought he was not to have a furlough, that they did not grant a sick soldier furloughs, as they were apt to be sick again when they return to service.
I have not heard from Ellen for some time. Mary has written to her and I am to add a note. It is eight o’clock. Hattie is writing to Will, Mother to Frank, [???] in the rocking chair, Joseph reading the newspaper, our darling asleep. Am glad you wrote to Dr. E. I believe he is away from home now, however. I am glad your books afford you so much pleasure. Have you got the stockings and book? I have sent you a toothbrush and some thread in papers. Hope you will get them. My love to all. You read Capt. S. [Sawyer] note, and if you think best to give it to him, you can. If not, burn it.
Receive the truest love of your own wife,

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 “Alonzo” referred to in this letter 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. 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 is mentioned in this letter was one of Jerome’s nieces, and starting on January 21, 1864, Alonzo was the husband of one of his nieces.

NOTE 3: Captain Christopher Sawyer enlisted as a Captain at age 28 from Templeton, Massachusetts, on August 22, 1862. He was discharged on account of disability on February 19, 1864.

NOTE 4: Allie and Lulu moved in with her parents after Jerome enlisted. Several of the Jaquith family members are mentioned in this letter. As best as could be ascertained from several Jaquith family trees on, the Jaquith family consisted of the following members:
Father: Franklin Jaquith (1800 - )
Mother: Lucy Walker Jaquith (1807 - )
Albinia’s (Allie’s) siblings:
Ellen Jaquith (1832 - )
Abigail (Abbie) Jaquith (1836 - 1915)
Lucy Jaquith (1838 - 1841)
Franklin Jaquith, Jr. (1839 - 1922)
Mary Frances Jaquith (1841 - )
Joseph Jaquith (1842 - )
Harriet (Hattie) Jaquith (1845 - 1930?)

Original Format





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


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