From Jerome to Allie, March 23, 1863

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie, March 23, 1863


Peirce, Jerome
Chesapeake Bay, 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, Ben Raterman (Transcriber)


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


6.56 X 9.39
11.3 X 9.45
6.51 X 9.4






Letter #91


Chesapeake Bay, VA.

Text Item Type Metadata


Chesapeake Bay P.M. 23rd, Mch/63
My ever dear Allie,
Nothing particularly new to write but I know how eagerly you will look for some account of each step in my wanderings.
Well, yesterday P.M. as expected orders came to break camp and march and so after waiting at the landing for some little time before dark we went on board the “Kennebec” steamer for Baltimore. Left at an early hour this morning and after a few moments waiting at the fortress steamed up and have had a very pleasant passage. It is about 4 o’clock and we expect to reach B. [Baltimore] before daylight but will not land till after. Expect to encamp between Fort McHenry and B [Baltimore] city.
Capt. Sawyer is “officer of the day” whose duty it is to see that all is orderly on board. We have half of the 36th and portions of the 43rd and 100th Penn Regts. on board. The rest are on board the “Mary Washington” who is a faster boat and left us some time [earlier] this morn. Co. B. is on board of her so I miss some of my usual companions. Time passes very pleasantly. Have read some and played euchre and studied the geography of the bay. I never can admire it too much and as I write. Its deep blue looks lovely in the extreme. The Maryland shore on the right is far off while the left, Va., is much nearer and plainer to the view, while numerous craft in and outward bound removes the lovely appearance.
Men are about decks writing up their letters, diaries, etc. I need not say how good it seems to be heading north and I fondly hope we shall remain in the vicinity. The story has been that we are going ‘west’ but the strong suspicion is that we will not get far that way. Altho ‘tis possible. We may surprise some of the northern people by and by. I will not now relate all I suspect about it.
The “Kennebec” is an old acquaintance of mine for many a time I have seen her leave Boston for Portland and Bangor.
Slept on deck with J.H. where I now [am] writing sitting on my knapsack.
You did not mention how long you would remain in and around Boston but I suppose you will return to B. [Billerica] I mailed a letter yesterday to you. You had better send your letters to Washington and perhaps they will stop at B. [Baltimore.] At any rate I shall get them. Hope a mail will meet us there for when we are moving it seems particularly pleasant to get letters from home.
Am in good health and spirits and feel quite pleased that I am going to B. [Baltimore] as I desired much to visit it. Still, we may not get a chance to go to the city but enough for historical lesson.
Ben Edmands’ wife has gone to Wheeling Va. as a sort of governess and companion in a pleasant family and it is pleasant for both as she was ambitious to do something. What a deserving race these little wives are!
Must leave a chance for a word if the letters are not called for till morning.
Tell me all about your visit to B. [Boston].
Received a letter on Sat.
Tuesday morn. All right at Baltimore. Going ashore soon.
All well. As ever, your
TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES (Ben Raterman and Josef Rokus)

NOTE 1: The following information from the Unit History describes where the 36th Massachusetts Regiment was located in March of 1863. 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 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: The USS Kennebec was a Unadilla-class gunboat built for the U.S. Navy following the outbreak of the Civil War and was named for the Kennebec River. Kennebec was launched on October 5, 1861, in Thomaston, Maine and was commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on February 8,1862. She was decommissioned on August 9, 1865. No information on a Union ship named Mary Washington could be found, and no ship by that name appears on a list of Union vessels in use during the Civil War.

NOTE 3: 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. Sawyer was discharged on account of disability on February 19, 1864.

NOTE 4: Benjamin B. Edmands enlisted as a Private at age 27 from Brookline, Massachusetts, and he was subsequently promoted to Corporal. On January 20, 1864, he was discharged for promotion as a Lieutenant in the 54th Massachusetts Regiment of Volunteers.

Original Format





Jerome Peirce 1863, From Jerome to Allie, March 23, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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