From Lucy M. Ellis to Jerome, March 8, 1863

Dublin Core


From Lucy M. Ellis to Jerome, March 8, 1863


Ellis, Lucy M.
Walpole, MA.
Peirce, Jerome


From Lucy M. Ellis to Jerome


Lucy M. Ellis


Jerome Peirce Collection, National Park Service


HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington




NPS, Civil War Study Group, Paul and Louis Marahrens (Transcribers)


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


5.00 X 7.79
9.92 X 7.79
5.00 X 7.79






Letter #81


Walpole, MA.

Text Item Type Metadata


Walpole, March 8th/63
My dear friend,
Thinking you will be glad to hear from me in your far distant resting place. I must tell you how grateful I was, and so were all our family, to hear directly from you. I know you are farther removed now, but I trust my little missive will find you, and in some leisure moments you will know that friendly hearts follow you in your dangerous paths, and pray [to] the Heavenly Father to shield you from harm and return you to kindred and home.
You will like to hear from the good city of C [Charlestown] and that I have lately passed a week there. I knew at that particular time I should not see my reverend brother as he was absent at Baltimore but it was a more convenient time for me. In his pulpit, I heard President Hill now of Cambridge. The teachers held an evening meeting at Miss Loving’s. Mr. Everett was able to preside and is looking quite well, I am glad to say. Miss Walker appeared as usual. The most feeble looking person I saw was Mr. Studley, the Superintendent. I called at Miss Stetson’s, Miss Gregory’s and, of course, at Mrs. Greenleaf’s. Mr. G. is absent most of the time. I do not see great changes from time to time, but there are some whom we miss. Mr. John Hurd who was so constant in attendance, we shall see no more.
I think I wrote you that Mr. Ellis’ brother was to be married. The happy event occurred on the coldest day of the winter, the 7th of Feb. Mr. Ellis and I drove to Newton and I never was out so long in so severe weather but we received no material harm. The ceremony was performed by the brothers and everything passed off well. There were over forty friends present and all went “merry as a marriage fete”. It is pleasant to have the house occupied again where Mr. Ellis’ mother lived so long
I think I wrote you we had Mr. Adams with us. He will be with us another year probably, and it is very pleasant for us. Both he and Mr. Ellis went to the inauguration of President Hill and the exercises gave them much pleasure. Ex-President Quincy was carried in to be present on the platform. Although over ninety, and with a dislocated hip, he has much animation left.
Two weeks ago the ladies of Walpole held a levee for the benefit of the Sanitary Commission. We had an address from Rev. J. F. W. Ware which was of course excellent, with music, etc. in the church, and in the vestry all good things to eat, a fair table, post office, etc. to obtain all the money we could for the good cause and over $200 was collected after all expenses were paid. It is expended in flannel, which the ladies are to make us for the sick and wounded soldiers. I trust it will do good for those who are suffering for their country. We enjoyed the evening very much and so a double object was gained.
I have heard much of Alonzo Ranlett’s illness. I trust he is out of danger now as I do not hear sadder news which was anticipated. I learned that Ellen had gone with her parents to see him. For her sake as well as his other friends, I hope his life will be spared. What do you hear from your own home, of your wife and little Lucy? I hope they are well.
We have a snow storm today so I have not been out. I am looking forward to a sleigh ride which I very much like. I am glad you can have books for it is your comfort everywhere. I hope you have a good chaplain and I know your thoughts go home at sacred seasons and you may think that friends are remembering you. I read the Atlantic Monthly which Mr. Adams takes and it is very pleasant. We miss him much at his vacations. He is one of the right kind of persons to be in a family.
Mother and Mr. Ellis send kind regards to you. Write whenever you can.
Yours truly,
Lucy M. Ellis

NOTE 1: Lucy Ellis apparently was the sister of Rev. George E. Ellis. Rev. Ellis sent a letter to Rev. Ballou in North Orange, Massachusetts, on June 15, 1864, with notes he wished to have read at Jerome’s memorial service. (See Letter No. 225)
The following are more details about Rev. Ellis. George E. Ellis was the pastor in the church in Charlestown, Massachusetts, that the Peirce family belonged to prior to moving to Orange, Massachusetts. An Internet search provided the following details about him. George Edward Ellis was born in 1814 in Boston, Massachusetts, and he died in 1894, also in Boston. He graduated from Harvard College in 1833 and from the Harvard Divinity School in 1836, and he was ordained in 1840 as the pastor of the Harvard Unitarian Church in Charlestown, Massachusetts. From 1857 until 1863, he was professor of systematic theology in the Harvard Divinity School. In addition to being the pastor at the church, he also wrote and lectured extensively. George Ellis resigned from the pastorate of the Harvard Unitarian Church in 1869. He was president of the Massachusetts Historical Society and also a member of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University in 1850-1854. Harvard awarded him the degree of D.D. in 1857 and that of L.L.D. in 1883. He is buried in the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

NOTE 2: The United States Sanitary Commission was a private relief agency created by federal legislation on June 18, 1861, to support sick and wounded soldiers of the Union Army during the Civil War. It operated across the North, raised an estimated $25 million in Civil War era revenue (or approximately $400 million in 2018 dollars) and in-kind contributions to support the cause, and it enlisted thousands of volunteers.

NOTE 3: The “Alonzo” 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. 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 Jerome 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.

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Lucy M. Ellis 1863, From Lucy M. Ellis to Jerome, March 8, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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