From [Rev.] Levi Ballou to Jerome, March 7, 1864

Dublin Core


From [Rev.] Levi Ballou to Jerome, March 7, 1864


Peirce, Jerome
North Orange, MA.


From [Rev.] Levi Ballou to Jerome


Jerome Peirce


Jerome Peirce Collection, National Park Service


HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington




NPS, Civil War Study Group, Charles Brewer (Transcriber)


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






Letter #200


North Orange, MA.

Text Item Type Metadata


North Orange, Mass. March 7th, 1864
Bro. Peirce,
Yours in answer to my last I rec’d long time ago, almost forgotten when, I recollect however that I then thought I should immediately write. But month after month has passed, and still I have delayed; not without some admonitions of remissness of duty however. But, although I have failed to write, I have not neglected to inquire after you, and learned thro’ your bro., his family and others, of your movements, hardships, weary marches, privations and etc. during the many months of your absence.
I am sometimes almost bewildered, “struck dumb” when I think of the wide-spread sufferings and anguish caused by the wickedness of those who have for years been conspiring for the overthrow and destruction of the best form of government the world ever saw. The bitterness of separations, the broken ties that earth cannot restore, and the many valuable lives that are sacrificed. Why evil is permitted to exist in the world is a question that has often perplexed many minds. In our finite capacities, we truly “know but in part” and often “see as thro’ a glass darkly” the links in the chain of God’s government.
But so much as this seems apparent to all now, that the foul blot of human bondage and oppression which has so long stained and cursed our nation God designs to be wiped away when this rebellion is put down. Tho’ I fear “the end is not yet,” and some hard battles must be fought still, I confidently trust that we are steadily approaching toward the end.
Great advantages have been gained the past 12 months, and if no serious disaster befall us, the enemy must e’er long give up.
No local news excepting that people here are generally expecting a wide-spread attack of the measles, as many are now just coming down with them. Your bro. called last eve. said Charles was pretty sick with them.
Our friends here gave me a “surprise” 24th ult. by assembling at our house and presenting us about $37.00 cash. A generous donation, contributed by about 46 families here. The occasion was the more joyful as it came to us wholly unexpected and the company seemed bent upon having a cheerful good time. We prize it much not merely for the sum raised (however valuable that in itself may be) but for the spirit of friendship it speaks and the hallowed memories it awakens of former scenes and mutual labors for the cause of truth.
We are all of us enjoying comfortable health—our children all being at home with us. Charles Morton is now here on a furlough of about 30 days having re-enlisted. The snow is almost all gone and the ways very muddy; the Spring seems earlier than usual.
Remember us to all the Orange soldiers, Henry Mayo, Nelson Smith, Joseph H. Pierce, Edmund Ward, C. C. Harris, Artimus Goddard. The Lord bless them all. Br. Edwin Stevens ever faithful, true and worthy we can meet no more on earth; and Harrison Goddard, A. Bliss, D. Mellen, D. Stearns, H. Boyden all have offered up their lives on their country’s altar and fallen in a noble and worthy cause.
Our heart’s prayer is that the others may be spared. Our children often speak of our former Superintendent of S[abbath] School. All wish to be remembered.
Truly Yours
Levi Ballou

NOTE 1: The Rev. Levi Ballou conducted a funeral service for Sgt. Jerome Peirce on June 19, 1864, in the church in Orange, Massachusetts, where Jerome Peirce had been the Sabbath School Superintendent.

NOTE 2: The following background information about Rev. Ballou and his papers from which the funeral service sermon is excerpted is based on information from the Rare Books and Special Collections Department of the Hesburgh Libraries of the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana.
Levi Ballou was born on May 10, 1806, in Halifax County, Vermont. The Ballou family, of Huguenot descent, was central to the history of denominational Universalism in America. Theologically, the Universalists rejected the predestinarianism of Puritan Calvinism and held to the distinguishing principle of the ultimate salvation of all humanity. Organizationally, they were committed to what at times became an extreme form of congregational autonomy. In terms of denominational strength, the movement probably peaked in the late 1840s. Levi Ballou’s great-uncle was Rev. Hosea Ballou (1771-1852), the most important American Universalist theologian of the early nineteenth century. An older brother, Rev. Hosea Ballou II (1796-1861), was the first president of Tufts College, established by the Universalists in 1853.
Levi Ballou was a teacher and singing instructor before embarking on the study of theology. He began preaching in about 1836, itinerating mostly in the Connecticut Valley in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. In 1843, he settled at the first Congregational Parish and Society of Orange, Massachusetts, later known as the Second Universalist Society, in the north-central part of the state. The parish had long been supportive of Universalist doctrine. Ballou would remain there as pastor for the rest of his life. Besides preaching at Orange and in surrounding parishes, Ballou served on the Orange Public School Board and had an active interest in the establishment of Tufts College. He died of pneumonia on October 27, 1865, ten days after his last sermon at Orange.
Rev. Ballou’s sermons and papers include around 70 manuscript sermons written on sheets sewn into octavo-sized booklets, which average approximately 30 pages in length and appear to date from throughout Ballou’s career. More than half are funeral sermons, including four written for members of the 36th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment who were killed in the Civil War. The papers also include a 224-page manuscript log kept by Ballou from 1836 until his death, in which he recorded the date, place, and scriptural premise of every sermon or lecture he delivered, often accompanied by the payment he received.
The Ballou Papers were purchased by the Hesburgh Libraries of the University of Notre Dame in 2003 from Dan Casavant Rare Books of Waterville, Maine. They have been arranged and described by George Rugg, curator of the Rare Books and Special Collections Department of the Hesburgh Libraries. The sermon Rev. Ballou delivered at Sgt. Peirce’s funeral service is cataloged as “Folder 69 (MSN/EA 0502-69). Rev. Levi Ballou. Funeral sermon on 1 Corinthians 13:12. June 19, 1864. A funeral service delivered in North Orange, Massachusetts for Cpl. Jerome Pierce, Company H, 36th Massachusetts Infantry.”

Original Format

Letter / Paper



Jerome Peirce 1864, From [Rev.] Levi Ballou to Jerome, March 7, 1864, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


Copy the code below into your web page