From Jerome to Allie, October 18, 1863

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie, October 18, 1863


Peirce, Jerome
Long Island
Boston, MA
Boston Harbor


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, Jack Phend


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


"6.5 X 4.65" - 1st Scan
"6.15 X 9.15" - 2nd Scan
"11.5 X 9.25" - 3rd Scan
"6.3 X 9" - 4th Scan






Letter #167


Long Island, Boston, Mass., Harbor

Text Item Type Metadata


Long Island, Boston Harbor, Oct. 18/63
My own dear Wife, Allie,

Again at the old “South Picket Post” where I wrote you before last Wedns. [Wednesday.] So you see I am busy, not many days at my leisure. ‘Tis one of the lovely days. So calm and still, a real Sabbath, just a breath of wind which makes it perfect. The men with me are laying down and hardly a sound to disturb at all.
Thought at first I did not like to be on duty today, but I find it the most quiet, undisturbed way I could pass the twenty-four hours, especially as I can write and plenty of good reading. Yours of the 14th came to hand the next day and glad you were once again safely and quietly at the old place and Lulu well again. Have been laying and strutting about my limited sphere, reading, dreaming, etc.
Fri[day] noon had a little alarm. Was suddenly ordered to pack up and report to Capt. Holmes, but before I could get ready, the order was countermanded and I was of course a good deal in the dark. Yesterday, however, I was assured by my Capt. (of “B” [Company]) that I was to remain, so that will constitute the belief, at least till further orders. Capt. Holmes is to report at least once more, next Monday, and then I have no doubt, a squad will depart with him for the South.
You must know I pass a quiet, monotonous life here, regulations strict and must look out or something will go wrong. Have enjoyed myself much with reading some old “Harper’s” from the library. Yesterday, a capital story called ‘Regular Habits,’ with a nice love tincture and capitally told. No letters as yet since from the friends, excepting yourself, altho[ugh] I’ve [written] to Joseph and Foster’s family. Not quite time [for mail’s arrival]. Don’t know what the morning’s mail brought, if any. Shall inquire before I mail this. Expect I shall miss the services today, and I am sorry. The three or four Sundays before I can recall with real delight. Can we not? And now I hope you and the rest are able to make the most of it at B. [Billerica] and the thought will help me, too, very much indeed.
How much I should like to be with you and have a word with Lulu. Tell her Papa sits outdoors by the tent while the water is still all about him, a few cows grazing near him and that is about all the company, except the other Corp’l. By the way he was in the 6th [Regiment]. His name is T.F. Gardner of Lowell. Does not know Frank. He seems a fine fellow and I should judge had been well brought up. [He] was in Fort Halleck for the most part. Have just had a call from the Lieut. of the Guard. The officers are very pleasant men and I begin to feel quite at home.
Didn’t we have a severe storm? I waked up many times during Friday night, but the tent stood firm. Tis a grand place to read some solemn old sea story or parts of “Triflelon Papers” after a storm to see the breakers on the reefs about Boston Light, Nixes Mate, the “Graves” near Chelsea, and other places and hear their solemn moan.
Am glad to hear Abbie’s eyes are mending. Will address them and her one of these days. She would enjoy the “Sea Shore Poems” of Longfellow here. Is it not well to have something you can romance a little over when you are so often brought in contact with those who have little sympathy, for soldiers here are coarse, some of them.
I have already told you that my letters will be dull, for I can only think of you, watch the sea, the coming and departing vessels, muse over the distant lighthouses and headlands by evening light and then tell it all to you. And I feel how dear and sweet it is to have one who will value even these samely details and consider it another chapter in the life of her soldier husband.
Took from the library this noon “Tolla, a Roman Story” and hope to find some amusement. Shall expect a word soon from you again. Again, accept my love and all husbandly wishes for yourself and our little one, with what is due to others.
As ever your own entirely,

Take good care of your health. Don’t sit too long at a time.

NOTE 1: An article titled, “Regular Habits,” by Ludlow Fitz Hugh, was published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, December 1, 1859, pp. 72-88. Perhaps this is the article Jerome referred to.

NOTE 2: “The Graves” is another island lighthouse located in Boston Harbor.

NOTE 3: “The Sounds of the Sea,” and “The Secret of the Sea,” are two short poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The latter appeared in his collection, The Seaside and the Fireside, published in 1850. Jerome refers to other Longfellow poems in his letters, some of which he memorized.

NOTE 4: Tolla: A Tale of Modern Rome by the French writer, Edmond About, was published in 1856.

Original Format





Jerome Peirce 1863, From Jerome to Allie, October 18, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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