From Jerome to Allie, March 20, 1863

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie, March 20, 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, Josef Rokus (Transcriber)


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


6.64 X 9.68
11.33 X 9.76
6.58 X 9.56






Letter #88


Newport News, VA.

Text Item Type Metadata


Newport News Va Mch [March] 20th 1863
My ever dear Allie,
Winter, winter! All at once! Yesterday it looked foul and hailed all day and towards night it commenced snowing and has furiously ever since, so we can almost rival you at home. And I passed most of my time in other tents where there were fires, for it has been the worst time to keep comfortable we ever had. I am sitting here with two blankets over my lap, overcoat on. Have just drunk a cup of tea, and by the way Co. B boys gave me some tea and you need not send any more for the present and for still another season by and by.
I must answer while I think of it a few questions. Capt. Sawyer has not been at home, nor will and if he did he could not go away from his course. He went on regimental business to Frederick City and Washington and returned day before yesterday.
About your letters, I can read them very easily and I am thankful for them.
And now Allie dear, I have to tell you that a change is taking place, in short a “movement” and for your dear sake I hope some of it is not true. The troops have been moving for some days and but for the storm, we should have been gone. It is said we are going to the ‘Western Department’ to join Gen. Rosecrans in Tenn. or Kentucky. We are to report at Baltimore as soon as possible. A great movement of the Rebels is expected as soon as the roads are passable in Kentucky and we are to meet them. Capt. S. [Sawyer] says we are certainly going there. He is eager to go but I shouldn’t be surprised if we went on the coast and remained at B [Baltimore] but such are the positive affairs now.
One thing, I know my health will be better away from the salt water. Have not been quite as well here as when in the country and I shall have a great chance to see the country. You must muster up your courage and feel “all’s for the best” if we can’t hear quite as often. I am fully in the belief that the war will end ere long and I shall see you again. You must not expect much of a letter this time and this is doubtless the last I shall write from this place to you. I shall keep a ‘diary’, and tear out the leaves and send [them] you as often as I can.
You will hear from Baltimore.
My cold is better and I fell well, and when the weather settles I shall be all right.
Wrote Abbie yesterday in hopes you would see her. Shall write Henry Peirce a short letter this P.M.
Everybody is in good spirits tho the O [Orange] boys don’t entirely like going west. I expect we go from B [Baltimore] to Wheeling and so to Kentucky. If so, shall make all the notes I can.
Expect you are having a ‘big’ storm and perhaps you did not go to Boston.
Don’t know when the next word from you will catch us, probably at B [Baltimore].
And now let me tell you to send your letters to Washington again as formerly and they will be forwarded.
They say we are to be paid off in a few days. I hope so and will forward you as before. 1st April is set as the time [for] 4 months pay the Capt. says. The captain is very happy and it seems good to see him again.
I hope now, dear Allie, you will keep up good spirits. There is one who watches over us and I sometimes feel as tho he had special care of our Regt. Don’t worry about accidents for we enjoy a great deal on these moves! We shall do a great deal of R [Rail] Road travelling. Shall take good care of myself.
Enjoyed your last letter much good and to feel you appreciate the Scripture[s] so much. We did indeed ‘wander’ when at O [Orange]. I used to feel it bitterly and it had much to do with my spirits often and I trust there is a happier future when the present clouds are passed. I hope you will find pleasure in your visit to B [Boston] and that I shall soon hear from you.
Jos. H. is again all right and wrote home today. Have not heard from Jamestown for a long time. Wrote Lucy yesterday. So you will hear from me somewhere. The O [Orange] boys bear you in memory but you must hardly expect them to write for they do much of their own.
A kiss for Lulu. When shall I meet you again? I can think of nothing more and there is confusion in the tent. Howe is the lieut. [lieutenant] and is with the Captain. So our Co. is “O.K.” and good fellows too.
Love to all from your ever loving husband
Jerome P.

P.S. The postage on the box was all right I suppose. I hope the Govt. [Government] will not lose anything on what soldiers send home.

NOTE 1: The Unit History summarizes the movements of the 36th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment in March of 1863 as follows: On February 10, 1863, the regiment moved to Newport News, Virginia, where it remained in camp until March 22, 1863. From March 23 until March 29, 1863, the men went by steamer to Baltimore and then by train freight cars, outfitted with rough board seats, to Parkersburg, West Virginia, and then again by steamer to Cincinnati, Ohio, and on to Lexington, Kentucky. They remained there, except for a short assignment back to Cincinnati to deal with possible riots during an election. Those riots never materialized.

NOTE 2: The “Western Department,” also known as the Department of the West, was a major command (Department) of the United States Army during the 19th century. It oversaw the military affairs in the country west of the Mississippi River to the borders of California and Oregon.

NOTE 3: William S. Rosecrans (1819 - 1898) was an American inventor, coal-oil company executive, diplomat, politician, and U.S. Army officer. He gained fame for his role as a Union general during the Civil War. He was the victor at prominent Western Theater battles, but his military career was effectively ended following his disastrous defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga on September 19 -29, 1863. He was subsequently reassigned to command the Department of Missouri. Rosecrans was briefly considered as a vice presidential running mate for Abraham Lincoln in 1864. After the war, he served in diplomatic and appointed political positions and in 1880 was elected to Congress, representing California.

NOTE 4: Captain Christopher Sawyer enlisted as a Captain at age 28 from Templeton, Massachusetts, on August 22, 1862, and he commanded Company H of the 36th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the company that Jerome was assigned to. He was discharged on account of disability on February 19, 1864.

NOTE 5: Lt. William L Howe enlisted as a Private at age 23 in Orange, Massachusetts, on August 4, 1862, the same date that Jerome enlisted, and he was assigned to Company H, as Jerome also was. He received a commission as a Second Lieutenant on January 30, 1863. On July 7, 1863, he died of disease at Milldale, Mississippi.

Original Format





Jerome Peirce 1863, From Jerome to Allie, March 20, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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