From Alonzo to Allie, May 12, 1876

Dublin Core


From Alonzo to Allie, May 12, 1876


Ranlett, Seth Alonzo
Boston, MA.


From Alonzo to Allie


Seth Alonzo Ranlett


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).








Letter #253


Boston, MA.

Text Item Type Metadata



Boston May 12th 76

Dear Allie,
I wanted to write you yesterday but could not and perhaps today is more fitting. I have been so much in the spirit with my old comrades the last few days that I seem to have annulled 12 or 15 years of my life and to be living over again my soldier life.
Of course you know how prominent a position Jerome must then be filling in my thoughts and I feel that I must write you a few words to say how much I am sharing in your grief for him today and how ill I reconcile myself even yet to his loss. The duty of addressing our Post on Memorial Day this year has been assigned to me but I feel really misfit for the task. Going over the memories of those war times and trying to find words in which to speak of my lost comrades completely numbs me and I dread the approach of the day.
And if my sensibilities are so harrowed up, how must yours be, who date from this day 12 years ago, your irreparable loss. As the years go by, it seems to me that my affection for Jerome and my other beloved companions who fell grows greater and I find myself less able to think and speak of them with fortitude. They go deeper into my heart and I bring them less willingly to the light. Yes, there were sad days with the old 36th Regt and many a heart is aching over the losses that befell us in those sad May days of ’64. Let me be counted with yours as one of the chief mourners for Jerome.
Nellie is well and sends a great deal of love. She is very tired today as we had our Church Sociable last night at our home and she has been very hard at work lately getting ready for today. Our good nurse Mrs. Walker arrived quite opportunely yesterday to help take care of baby last night and I don’t know what we would have done without her for he was very restless all the even’g [evening], though he is quite well as are all of us, I am glad to say.
I hope you will be better as the spring comes on and better weather.
Excuse this hasty letter. It may not appear like much of a comfort, but it means a great deal more than it says.
Give my love to Lulu and regards to all the family and believe me, with much love.
Affectionately yours,

NOTE 1: This letter was written 12 years to the day of Jerome’s death at Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia.

NOTE 2: Seth Alonzo Ranlett went by Alonzo, and married Jerome’s niece, Ellen (aka Nellie), on January 21 1864. Alonzo was from Charlestown, entered the service as Private in Company B of the 36th Massachusetts Regiment on July 24, 1962, promoted to First Sergeant on August 27, 1862, promoted to First Lieutenant on December 1, 1862, appointed Adjutant, December 17, 1862, but was mustered out on account of physical disability from diseases incurred in the service on February 20, 1864.

NOTE 3: Alonzo Ranlett wrote five chapters of the History of the 36th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers 1862-1865, namely, the chapters titled The Kentucky Campaign, In the Rear of Vicksburg, The Movement on Jackson, The Return to Kentucky, and In East Tennessee.

Original Format




Seth Alonzo Ranlett 1876, From Alonzo to Allie, May 12, 1876, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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