From Maria to Allie, September 10, 1863

Dublin Core


From Maria to Allie, September 10, 1863


Bliss, Maria M.
Winchester, NH


From Maria to Allie


Maria M. Bliss


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).


"5.79 X 3.15" - 1st Scan
"5.29 X 8.48" - 2nd Scan
"10.60 X 8.48" - 3rd Scan
"5.29 X 8.48" - 4th Scan






Letter #159


Winchester, NH

Text Item Type Metadata


Winchester N.H. Sept 10, 1863
Dear Mrs. Peirce
We received your letter written soon after the death of my dear brother in due season. We were very happy to receive a letter so full of feeling and Christian sympathy. Father wished me to answer it and I now improve an opportunity to do so. I cannot tell you what our feelings were when we heard of his death. It came like a thunderbolt. We did not know he was sick until we heard of his death. If I could only have been there to minister to his needs in his last hours, I should have felt differently, but it was not so to be and we ought not to murmur at the ways of Providence. His ways are not our ways. He takes the dearest objects of our affections from us and we can do nothing but bid them farewell and look to God for assistance to bear all with patience and Christian fortitude.
Augustus died very young but I trust he has not lived in vain. He has been a good boy always, a kind brother to me. I cannot realize that he is indeed gone, that I shall never look upon his face again. His work is early done but faithfully I trust and he is now enjoying the happiness of Heaven. He has no more foes to face, no more trials to endure, but is forever blest.
Hiram Woodward, when writing to his Aunt, of him says: “Let the autumn winds harp on the drooping leaves their softest requiem over him, let winter’s purest snow rest spotless upon his grave, let spring entwine her brightest garlands for his tomb, and summer gild it with her brightest sunshine, for it will be long, long ere we shall look upon his like again.” I cannot but be thankful that he had soldier friends around him to close his eyes and perform the last sad offices for my dear brother. I feel that although far from dear ones at home, he was tenderly buried by his companions. Although I may never visit his grave and drop affectionate tears thereon, yet will the clear dews of heaven moisten it, the birds will sing their sweet songs near him and the God of our fathers will guard his dust carefully and tenderly.
Father has visited the Captain of the Company. He is sick in Templeton. He spoke of your husband and said he was a noble soldier and honored his position. I was very glad to hear from him. I hope he may be spared to come back to you, to make glad your home, for I know you must be very, very lonely. How many sad and lonely homes have been caused by this cruel Rebellion.
I would like to see little Lulu, kiss her for me. I dare say she has forgotten me, but I remember her. She must be a great deal of company for you in your lonely life.
I am now at Mr. Atherton’s in Winchester boarding. I teach here in the neighborhood, have a very pleasant school. Please write me if you receive this and direct to Winchester N.H.
Remember me with much love as your true friend
Maria M. Bliss.

Maria Bliss’ brother, Augustus E. Bliss, enlisted as a Private at age 18 from Orange, Massachusetts, on August 4, 1862, the same date that Jerome enlisted. He died of disease on July 24, 1863, at Milldale, Mississippi.
Jerome wrote about the death of Augustus Bliss in his letter Number 143 in this collection, dated July 26, 1863, as follows: “Poor [Augustus] Bliss. I seldom or never felt so sad towards one who was not a relative. He was beautiful in death, fair as marble but, oh, the aching hearts at home. He was always dutiful and prompt and kept clear of the vices of Army life but his work is nobly done and it is well. He lies nearby at the edge of the woods where the birds are singing and noble trees wavering over him.”
Further research indicates that that his remains were reinterred at the Vicksburg National Cemetery at some point in time. The cemetery records show that Augustus Bliss was a Private in Company H of the 36th Massachusetts Regiment, that he died on July 24, 1863, and that he is buried in Grave No. 9700 in Section Q of the cemetery.
In addition, Augustus Bliss is mentioned in a letter dated March 7, 1864, (Letter No. 200 in this collection) that Rev. Levi Ballou sent to Jerome approximately two months before Jerome was killed as follows: “Remember us to all the Orange soldiers, Henry Mayo, Nelson Smith, Joseph H. Pierce, Edmund Ward, C. C. Harris, Artimus Goddard. The Lord bless them all. Br. Edwin Stevens ever faithful, true and worthy we can meet no more on earth; and Harrison Goddard, A. Bliss, D. Mellen, D. Stearns, H. Boyden all have offered up their lives on their country’s altar and fallen in a noble and worthy cause.”
This collection of letters includes a letter sent by Maria Bliss’ father, Milton Bliss, to Allie (No. 160), dated September 20, 1863, also lamenting the death of his son.

Original Format





Maria M. Bliss 1863, From Maria to Allie, September 10, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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