From Jerome to Allie, September 13, 1863

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie, September 13, 1863


Peirce, Jerome
London, KY


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, Tom Neubig (transcriber)


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


"4.96 X 8.08" - 1st Scan
"9.89 X 8.08 - 2nd Scan
"4.96 X 8.08 - 3rd Scan






Letter #161


London, KY

Text Item Type Metadata


Camp Near London, Ky Sunday 13 Sept 1863
My ever dear wife,
Once more on the march and at a halt where we are putting up for Sunday, a blessed privilege which does not often occur when moving.
Before you receive this you will hear of the move into Lenoir and feel disappointed at my not coming on. Alonzo wrote and mailed a letter home since we started and spoke of it, but the more I think of it the more I feel that it is “all right.” Almost everyone who has been home since this Miss[issippi] campaign have been very sick of the fever. Col. Bowman is now ill at home and I would not risk being sick now for anything except to see you and as long as you are well I hope that you will feel “all’s well.” Alonzo feels just so. If we stay here and we get over in this climate what we engendered in Miss[issippi], we shall be all right and he feels as this would cost him sickness if he had gone home.
I have been puzzled to know whether you would go to Foster’s expecting me or not so I sent a letter to F.P. & Co[mpany]’s care for you the morning we left Crab Orchard thinking you might go there.
Well we are 36 miles on our way and some of it was hard, exceedingly hot and dusty and over the wildest mountain region we have yet seen, villages 25 miles apart and rough enough looking at, that ‘Mt. Vernon’ and ‘London’ only think what names! But fortune still favors me and this time to another’s misfortune. The color bearer, Littlefield, was taken sick at noon of the first day so I am relieved of my knapsack. Carrying only my rations, tent cloth and a hatchet and am getting along finely. If I should be the one to bear the state colors of Mass. into Tennessee (the home of Gen’l. Jackson!) only think of it! I believe the 29th and 35th Regt have both sent home their state colors so we are the only one of the three Mass. Regts. here who have a state flag. But we’ll not anticipate for news (reliable) comes that we’re carrying all before us in Tennessee and we’re not wanted etc., etc. and perhaps we shall go back, but “don’t see it.”
I have come out into the woods to write you. So much noise and smoke from the fires and here I am on an old log in a pretty shady place and nothing but the murmurs from camp comes to disturb me.
Did you think of the anniversary of our wedding? We left C[rab] O[rchard] on the 10th, and I thought of it and under a burning sun we were struggling on over the rough roads of K[entuck]y. Will another year bring us together under the family roof? I hope and believe so and then what a blessed time we’ll have!
Mailed a letter to you and Mr. Murray this morning before we started and of course I have no news only that I am bearing it so far nicely and see no reason why I cannot go a great ways. Don’t know how mail facilities will be. We shall rest one day in four, no doubt and I shall send back whenever I can.
Have been busy, cooking and resting and little things that keep us employed on the march. One of the O. [Orange] boys, N. William Ward (not Edmund) is sick and I have tried to tend him some. Ought not to have started, bowel complaint and chills some.
It seems little like the Sabbath but however tired or confused, I always think of you and our blessed Sabbath at home on that day and long for the time when there will be no marching to dread on that day.
The whole division with Gen’l. Ferrero is with us and yesterday morning about 9 o’clk a.m. when the order came in to turn in and halt we were glad enough, for the day before we came 17 miles and did not reach camp till nearly 9 o’clk p.m. Fri[day]. Came by “Wild Cut”, a wild romantic mountain pass where there was a camp once and a battle between Gen’l. Zollicoffer rebel and the Union men. I don’t seem to recollect about it, but is well marked for there is rocks, caves, bad roads and steep hills all at once.
Had a big shower last eve. or p.m. and all hands of the officers were outdoors, for their baggage did not get here on acc[oun]t of the terrible going for teams, but I had my tent and Mr. Stevens came up so we had a house right off and during the shower the water ran most all over the floor! but I continued to make a fire and had hot coffee in the midst of it so checked all bad effects.
Well, Allie dear, I have been looking over this and am amazed to see what a fumbled up affair it is! but it is a marching letter written in the woods and I hope it will find all the friends well. How is Abbie? Will write her soon and the rest and hope to receive lots of letters from them and the papers will tell you more of the 9th A. C. [Army Corps] than I can begin to. We find much to amuse us, noticeable standing, the long walks and I enjoy the wild romantic country very much. Had such a nice bath when we got in and a little rested! Am feeling well and hope so to continue. Am glad Joe and Mr. Galloway are not coming for I know they are both particularly useful in their labors at home. Our Chaplain did not start. Don’t know when he will come along.
Love as ever to Lulu and all, and
Ever your own,

NOTE 1: Felix Kirk Zollicoffer was a newspaperman, three-term United States Congressman from Tennessee, officer in the United States Army, and a Confederate brigadier general during the Civil War. He led the first Confederate invasion of eastern Kentucky and was killed in action at the Battle of Mill Springs in January 1862.

NOTE 2: According to the Regimental History, Crab Orchard was quite a favorite resort of the people of Kentucky, and was celebrated for its mineral springs. “Whether the men tried the waters of the springs or not the writer cannot say; they certainly were not delectable to the taste, and it is very doubtful whether they were used medicinally”. (Page 78.)

NOTE 3: The Regimental History notes that on the evening of September 12th, a severe thundershower came up at night; the baggage being far behind, and the field staff without any tents. “September 13th, Sunday, we lay quietly in camp, — a very welcome rest—for the men were getting very footsore from the rough Kentucky roads. It would be hard to find worse ones even in rocky New England.” Page 78

NOTE 4: The Regimental History notes in mid-to-late August 1863, “Every day the effect of the southern campaign was shown in the increasing number of the sick. Many were sent to hospitals, and the regiment rapidly decreased. Chills and fever were most prevalent, and a disease similar to scurvy broke out and caused the death of several, whose flesh actually fell from their limbs before death relieved them from their sufferings. All complained of a feeling of exhaustion, and officers and men dragged themselves painfully and slowly about the camp.” Page 76.

NOTE 5: Ammiel Littlefield enlisted in Company F at age 36 from Milford, Massachusetts, as a Corporal. He was later promoted to Sergeant. Littlefield was wounded at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, the same battle at which Jerome Peirce was killed. However, he recovered from his wounds and was discharged on June 8, 1865, on the expiration of his term of service.

NOTE 6: Nathan W. Ward died of disease Oct. 21, 1863 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was in Company H with Jerome and Edmund Ward.

NOTE 7: Foster was Jerome’s brother, and owner of the Foster Pierce & Company business.

NOTE 8: Alonzo is Seth Alonzo Ranlett, husband of Nellie, Allie’s younger sister or Jerome’s brother-in-law.

Original Format





Jerome Peirce 1863, From Jerome to Allie, September 13, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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