From Jerome to Allie, March 29, 1863

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie, March 29, 1863


Peirce, Jerome
Lexington, 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, Josef Rokus (Transcriber)


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


5.4 X 3.45
5.9 X 8.75
11.15 X 8.75
5.85 X 8.75






Letter #93


Lexington, KY.

Text Item Type Metadata


Lexington, Ky Sunday P.M.
Mch [March] 29th 1863
My dearest wife,
In glorious old Kentucky!
A beautiful sunny Sabbath and have just got our temporary tents pitched and have just taken a little cold lunch and the next just moment I will send a token to you.
I can hardly express my feelings as I attempt to write you! After just one week of continual excitement and change of scene through the vast and varied scenery of our magnificent country! I have sent you accounts from Baltimore, Cumberland, Md, and Cincinnati. Arrived at the latter city at 7 o’clk P.M. on Friday. Remained on board till yesterday morning when we crossed the river to Covington, Ky., a fine city of some ten thousand inhabitants and waited all day till 5 o’clk P.M. when [we] took [railroad] cars to this place. Arrived about daylight, or before, managed to get a little sleep in the cars (cattle cars with rough seats) and the first object that met my gaze from the right hind door was the Clay Monument, a splendid shaft, 132 ft. high, to Henry Clay.
And it seemed we were but a few rods from the cemetery and a mile from Main St. Washed up at a spring near by and visited the monument and the cemetery. Cannot describe the settings now in full. Remained at the cars till about 12 No [Noon] when we marched over here a few rods on a beautiful spot and very much like the College grounds at Cambridge, not so artistic, but equally pleasant, fine large trees, grass as green almost as are found. Fine old mansions all about us, the city in view, one old tower like the old church at old Cambridge, and indeed it looks very much like it, every way. So you may judge we are pleasantly located as we are more so than ever before.
Of the future, it is said we are to remain here for the present on the defensive, a fixed camp here, but ready at any moment to check raids and enable Gen. Rosecrans to keep his whole force unbroken.
There is a grand old Union stock here and we are well received, and with some surprise so far from home, etc.
We are about 72 hours from Boston by rail and can get our mail almost as soon as in Virginia. Have received none since a week ago last eve. And you must know I desire much [to] hear from you. Have been very well on the passage and feel better still. It is cool and Marchy here but the country looks forward here and there are fine gardens all about us. Citizens and ladies are already calling on us and when we get our tents “stockaded” or raised as at Falmouth, we shall be fixed very pleasantly.
The people here take a very cheering view of affairs and predict an early end to the war. This section is the only country left where they can make raids stealing various stores for the Army and with Gen. Burnside and the troops in the larger cities no doubt exists but what we can protect it and thus destroy the last hope of the Rebels.
Church services in the Penn. regiment this morning and enjoyed them much. Prayer by Mr. Brown, the chaplain, and the Lieut. Col. with singing and remarks appropriate to the occasion made a very interesting occasion. Then Ben E. strolled awhile together, talking over home, associations of the spot and Burns, the poet! To think I am under the shadow almost of Clay’s Monument!
You must look at the maps and follow me better than I can describe. Of course, we lost sight of much fine country in riding in the night but ‘tis very lovely here.
Will write friends as fast as I can find time, but shall be very busy for some days. Am grateful for being so safety but so far from home and trust all’s for the best and may this find you all in health and cheer.
Love to all and as ever your loving husband,

The chaplain and I are getting more acquainted. He has a copy of Shakespeare like mine. At Cincinnati.

P.S. Sent you quite a letter from Cin. [Cincinnati] and with some little pieces for Lulu. Kiss her for me and tell her Papie never forgets Mama and little Lulu and looks at her little picture often.
J. H. is well and visiting here.

NOTE 1: Henry Clay (1777 – 1852) was an American lawyer, planter, and statesman who represented Kentucky in both the United States Senate and House of Representatives. Clay helped elect John Quincy Adams as president, and Adams subsequently appointed Clay as Secretary of State. Clay served four separate terms in the Senate, and he ran for the presidency in 1824, 1832 and 1844, and unsuccessfully sought his party's nomination in 1840 and 1848. In addition, he created the Whig Party.
Clay died on June 29, 1852, in Washington, D.C., at the age of 75. He was the first person to be lain in state in the United States Capitol rotunda. He was buried in the Lexington, Kentucky, Cemetery. The Henry Clay Monument, shown below, was erected at the cemetery in 1857 and consists of a 120-foot tall Corinthian column surmounted by a statue of Clay. The remains of Clay and his wife Lucretia rest in two marble sarcophagi on the floor of a vaulted chamber at the base of the monument. Clay’s estate, known as Ashland, is also located in Lexington and is now open to the public.

NOTE 2: 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 3: The “J. H.” that Jerome referred to in this letter was Joseph H. Peirce. He enlisted as a Private in Orange, Mass., on August 4, 1862, at age 18. Jerome also enlisted in Orange on the same date, but as a corporal. Jerome was 31 years old at the time. According to the Unit History, Joseph H. Peirce was taken Prisoner of War at Pegram Farm, Virginia, on September 30, 1864, (See Letter No. 227) and he was later exchanged. He was discharged on June 21, 1865. Joseph H. Peirce was the son of Joseph Peirce, one of Jerome’s brothers, and was, therefore, Jerome’s nephew.

Original Format





Jerome Peirce 1863, From Jerome to Allie, March 29, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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