From Jerome to Allie, September 16, 1862

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie, September 16, 1862


Peirce, Jerome
Camp "Forbes" Brookville, MD.


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, Donald Pfanz (Transcriber)


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


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Letter #13


Brookville, MD.

Text Item Type Metadata


Camp “Forbes” Brookville Md 16 Sept 1862
My very dear little wife and daughter,
It is almost 8 Oclk A M, just after rations, which means Coffee and hard bread, and meat, and I assure you it “goes good” too. Well, we haven’t much news that certain, so I am going to have a rambling conversation answering questions &c[.] You will probably hear by my letters of Sunday, that we expected to move suddenly. well that proved a “hoax”, a sham messenger got into camp, and the Col wouldn’t move. We are among rascally rebels who are very good to our faces but would gladly see us cut up, but we are enough for them, so don’t feel alarmed. It is cloudy and Cool. I am feeling very home like. This may sound strange, and let me here ask you to dismiss at once, and forever, from your mind the thought that I was dissatisfied with my home. God knows I love you all sincerely, but when I saw and felt the condition of the Country, all employments at home, and especially at mean rates of compensation, seemed contemptable in Comparison, with standing under the Flag in defense of the best Country and government on earth, and I am glad more so than ever that I done as I did, for it places you and me in a more elevated condition than ever and if I live thro’ it, it will bring its own “exceeding great reward.” There is something in the stir and commotion of Soldier life, which you women can’t fully realize perhaps, and which we think not the less of you, there is a wonderful fascination in the thought of the work we are doing. The married men, I notice, and I have talked with many of them, are the most happy, and devoted in the service, while the young and single are the inconstant and faultfinding. So much for having something to defend. So I want you to feel as a soldiers Wife what I do as a “Soldier of the Army of the Union”! Well, I did think of our wedding day, a lovely day here (or at Leesboro Camp 10 miles back) and thought I should mention it but slipped my pen.
You speak of a letter written the 11th. I got one written the 7th and one this Morn which I enjoyed so much over my bread and Coffee and glad you are well. I want to hear of you as cosily fixed at B with our effects, goods &c with you. Jos H. had a letter this morning from his mother, very kindly. She had written you. Jos. had gone to Royalston. Lottie Houghton was threatened with a fever. Will Miller sick at Alexandria in hospital. Ballon (Supt.) was to be first Leut. of a new company. Lively times, there[?] [are] so many men going to war. Saw B Edmonds yesterday. Says Wm. Finney, says, he feels almost ashamed to be seen in the street while so many are in the Army, and that’s how they feel
We have a rumor in camp this morn that we are to start for somewhere, where we shall be pleasantly fixed for some time to come, where we shall have a pleasant “habitation and a name”. I hope it may be so, for in foul weather it would be agreeable, very, but we are fast learning to have no faith till the moment of action. No papers in camp yesterday but those we received from home, and they will be very welcome. It is so good to feel when we leave drill for the tents that there is something from home to greet our eyes. We are exceedingly favored with the men—a good set too—yes some four ministers in the ranks. Service on Sunday by the Chaplain. A good speaker, and a common sense discourse on the evils common in Camp. Swearing, gaming &c &c[.] Read drawn up in line, closing with dress Parade or guard, which takes about a 100 men[?], a fine sight. The drummers, or Guard if they have one[,] marches in front, from Right, (the head of the line) to Left, and back, wh[e]n the Sergeants come to the center in front, and report their number &c, whether absent “or accounted for.” they return to place, then Commissioned Officers, Capts &c. Come to Centre, march forward to the Col, who gives any orders, he may have, to be Communicated to the men, when the Companies are marched of[f] by the Sergeants to their quarters. The neighboring people, ladies slaves &c (There are scarcely any young men to be seen here) were present at the service, while the cannon were booming away to the west towards the mountains, where we expect McC and Burnside were punishing the rebels. We hear the guns at a distance every day, more or less, and the summit of the Virginia mountains are in sight from some elevated[?] spot. In marching, we halt for a few moments about every mile and over, have a halt for an hour or so, when we fill our Canteens, drop knapsacks, & take a lunch. It is expected we shall march from 10 to 15 miles a day, or more as we get used to it. I saw an account of the march of troops a few days before us over this road, which pronounced it worse even than anything in the Richmond Campaign. The dust is fearful on these roads, but our Reg bear it like “regulars.” Our Orderly Sergeant, Fisher of Northfield[,] is quite unwell. Sort of a fev[e]r and trouble in the bowels. No other sickness of note in our Co, which is full. Leut Howe will have his commission. Henry Mayo sends his love to you. I like him more than ever. Jos H is just about the same as ever. Well and wild in talk. he is on guard today. The slaves bring us “Hoe Cake” hot in butter, roasted apples, pies &c. which are good. I don’t indulge much but occasionally a little something tastes very good. Will try and look out for the money. The Camp abounds in singular characters. We have a Billy Howard who is half Spanish, used to live in C, knows Mr Everett (O.C.) who has befriended him, used to be missionary on board of a War Ship, has been in the English Army in India, was at Delhi in the great Rebellion, also in the 25th Reg, was injured at Annapolis, and had to return home. Enlisted at Gardner. A good hearted fellow, and I like him much, one of the Corporals &c is quite a talker on religion but now tro[u]bled with doubts, but is a smart debater. 28 years old. Would be called a back slider, but is nearer the mercy seat at heart than a great many of more pretensions. Have no trace of Frank[.] Shall write to W.
Have written about all I can think of. Will write Sarah, and Ed Peirce and Ed Haynes by and by—be patient all.

As ever your loving husband
[Marginal notes]

[Page 2] Shall keep our knapsacks tho’ lightened. Shall not send any thing home.

[Pages 2-3] News favorable this morn. Please inclose stamps occasionally as we can’t get them easily here.

[Page 5] Had a letter from Abbie. Wrote to Billerica the other day.

Original Format

Letter / Paper




Jerome Peirce 1862, From Jerome to Allie, September 16, 1862, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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