From Jerome to Allie, March 22, 1863

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie, March 22, 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).


6.65 X 9.52
11.6 X 9.51






Letter #89


Newport News, VA.

Text Item Type Metadata


Sunday Morn 22nd Mch [March]/63
My dearest wife,
The sun is out once more and still we remain here but expect every hour to be called to march. Thought I would just say a word, not to tell you any news. The ‘story’ still is that we go “west” but I still believe it when fairly on our way.
Have had a dismal time for the last few days, so very stormy but sun is appearing and soon all will be dry and sunny.
Received this morn my ‘warrant’ which I shall send home by advice of the Capt. so you will have an opportunity of seeing the doc [document]. Take care of it.
One sergeant and one corp. [corporal] failed to get their warrants, so a vacancy in the sergeants, and two or three corpls. [corporals] are to be appointed.
Your letter from Boston came last eve. Hope you will find much pleasure in your visit.
I hope my friends will not think I am a traitor just because I happen to be in the field and am cautious in my judgment as to the conduct of officers. I see a thousand things in our experience to make me so, and for Copperheads no one loathes them more than I do. I would gladly perform my duty in extinguishing them in a professional way. So don’t blush for me. I pray for what in Heaven’s name can I do more to prove my sincerity than bear like a good soldier the life in the field. And it looks quite “cool” for folks comfortably fixed at home to feel too anxious about our opinion about one who is just beyond the power of evil and if he deserves it. I trust he will be kept there by all means. I trust this will end the matter.
All is confusion and I cannot write you what I would for Sabbath morn. [morning]. I shall hear of you often and all your moves. May you be kept in security and peace especially of mind which “passeth understanding”.
Give my love and adieus to all friends and let us hope for an end to the present trials and a happy reunion.
As ever your loving husband,
Jerome Peirce.
NOTE 1: The Unit History provides the following information about where the 36th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment was located around the time this letter was written. On February 10, 1863, the Regiment moved to Newport News, Virginia, where it remained in camp until March 22, 1863. On March 23, 1863, the men of the 36th 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: In the 1860s, the “Copperheads” were a faction of Democrats in the Northern United States who opposed the Civil War and wanted an immediate peace settlement with the Confederates. Republicans started calling anti-war Democrats "Copperheads,” likening them to the venomous snake. Those Democrats accepted the label, reinterpreting the copper "head" as the likeness of Liberty, which they cut from Liberty Head large cent coins and proudly wore as badges. By contrast, Democratic supporters of the war were called War Democrats. The “Copperheads” represented the more extreme wing of the Northern Democrats. Republican prosecutors accused some prominent “Copperheads” of treason in a series of trials in 1864.

Original Format





Jerome Peirce 1863, From Jerome to Allie, March 22, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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