From Jerome to Allie, April 11, 1864

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie, April 11, 1864


Peirce, Jerome
Location not indicated. Based on previous and next letter, it was written at Annapolis, MD.


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 (Transcriber)


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






Letter #206


Annapolis, MD.

Text Item Type Metadata


Mond. Apr 11th, 1864
My Ever dear Allie,
(Health improving fast)
‘twas a beautiful day yesterday and I anticipated so much pleasure in writing you and Abbie undisturbed, but was doomed to disappointment and in here I tell you why and finally concluded to wait and hear from you by mail today and so finish. But no news from any one. Perhaps the P.M. mail will yet bring something
We are quietly taking camp life. Guard duty, which I have done once. Hope when Col Goodell comes, ‘twill be taken off. Officers all off down town with wives. Expected drill today but I was left undisturbed to make my new ‘chevrons’. Took some pieces of my old pants cut them out, stitched with black to form the stripes and sewed them on so. I think they are quite neat and do you see I sewed at least 75%! For the little things are quite important on duty. I’m all in new Bib & Tucker dark and light blue, new shoes and look well enough to go to meeting with you anywhere, which I should like right well to do in old B. [likely Boston]. When shall I? Alas: I can’t tell. I hope the whole Command would go to Worcester in a body and then home but all looks doubtful now and I can hardly ask a furlough with any chance of success.
News, I have none. Have been very busy ever since we came, getting clean and in some sort of order. Our camp looks like Newport News again. ‘A’ tents all white and neat. Four and five in a tent. Pine boughs for bedding etc. etc. I’m alone just now.
Suppose you are busy as ever. How often I wish your poor heart and hands more leisure that you can refresh them more. You have my constant thoughts and prayers for all good angels to keep and sustain you. You spoke of reading the Epistle of John 3rd. I believe I read it yesterday and have read them all several times – so comforting and sweet and how appropriate for a letter! Have had very poor opportunities of late for a faithful reading of the ‘word’ but I hope to do so now. Am going thru Ezekial now with other selections which I always add from Psalms or New Test[ament].
While we were having our lunch at Pittsburgh Pa. a lady distributed tracts and the ‘Soldier’s Almanac’. A copy of the latter came to me. A great amount of excellent scripture matter and other items in a little pamphlet which I can fold in my pocket book and I prize it much. I still have the ‘Dew Drops’ which Mary gave me in my vest pocket. I speak of this for I do take real comfort with them. Had a ‘Register’ yesterday. What a loss was Ann King! And yet, as Abbie said, what a living example! One of those deaths which cause us to ask who can fill his place? But I see Dr. Bellows is away for the vacant place.
How still it is here just now! How much I wish you were here! ‘twould be delightful – so orderly and home like!
J.H. has been here. Is trying for a furlough. Hope he’ll obtain it. Wants you and Lulu to meet him at Orange if he gets home. But more of this if he goes. He wrote you yesterday.
But how are all at home? Frank to make a change. Hope it will prove for the best. Am glad you go out to tea. Don’t be afraid of little commotions. Soldiers wives must be privileged somewhat. My regards to Mr. Hill. Should think Mary must have a nice time with her friend Mary M. She must write me soon.
Will and Hattie and really housekeeping. Shall write them today. I can’t help but think and sigh for the good time we might have in W now, but must still hope on. Where is darling Lulu? She is running about and hearing the birds sing by this time I suppose. They do here where I go for water. Give her a good kiss for Papa, and you too. I use my toothbrush and am as kissable as ever and always.
Your own
Transcriber’s Note: The following note, written in red pencil on light blue paper, was enclosed in the same envelope that contained the above letter, along with a small U.S. 34-star flag label:

Dear Allie,
For Safe Mailing
Per Sergt. Woodward

Transcriber’s Note: The following note was written on the back of the small U.S. flag label along with some scribbles, almost certainly made by Lulu:

From little Lulu
to her dear Papa.
May 15th 1864


NOTE 1: The location from which Jerome wrote this letter is not indicated in his letter. However, there is little doubt that his camp was in or near Annapolis, Md., because his previous letter, dated April 7, 1864, and his following letter, dated April 15, 1864, were both written from Annapolis, Md. See also the following two Notes.

NOTE 2: Per the Unit History: December 20, 1863 – April 6, 1864. The regiment moved numerous times in eastern Tennessee, including in the Knoxville area, before being ordered to move by train, by way of Baltimore, to Annapolis, Maryland, where it arrived on April 6, 1864.

NOTE 3: Per the Unit History: April 23, 1864 – April 27, 1864. On April 23, the regiment left its camp in Annapolis and marched toward Washington, D.C., reaching the capital two days later. There, the Ninth Corps, including the 36th Massachusetts Regiment, was reviewed by President Lincoln and General Burnside from the balcony of the Willard Hotel.

NOTE 4: Part of the postmark of the envelope that contained this letter was removed when the stamp on the envelope was cut out. The remaining postmark reads “OR_____, MS. APR. 19”. At the time of the Civil War, the official post office abbreviation for the state of Massachusetts was “Ms.” or “MS”. (At the time, the abbreviation for Mississippi (which is now abbreviated “MS”) was “Mi.” or “MI”. The official abbreviations for the states have changed a number of times, most recently in 1963.) Therefore, it is a virtual certainty that this letter was mailed from Orange, Mass., on April 19, 1864, eight days after Jerome wrote it. Based on the above note referring to the $20.00 and Lt. Woodward (who was from Orange, Mass. per Note 5 below), it is very likely that Lt. Woodward went home on leave to Orange, Mass., and mailed the envelope and its contents from Orange. That explains the elapsed time between the date of the letter and the postmark date.

NOTE 5: Per the Unit History: Lt. Philip G. Woodward, from Orange, Mass., enlisted as a sergeant at age 25 on Aug. 6, 1862, in Company H of the 36th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. He was promoted to second lieutenant on Oct. 26, 1863, and to first lieutenant on May 15, 1864. He was wounded in action at Cold Harbor, Va., on June 3, 1864, but returned to duty. He was promoted to captain on Oct. 13, 1864, and was mustered out of the service with the 36th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment on June 8, 1865. For reference, Jerome Peirce was also from Orange, Mass., he enlisted as a corporal on Aug. 4, 1862, and he also served in Company H of the 36th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. In addition to Woodward and Peirce, twenty other men from Orange enlisted between Aug. 4, 1862, and Aug. 8, 1862.

NOTE 6: The ‘Register’ newspaper was The Christian Register (1821–1957). It was the leading American Unitarian weekly, published by the American Unitarian Association, Boston, until 1957 when the title was changed to The Unitarian Register. In 1961, the journal merged with The Universalist Leader and is still published today by the Unitarian Universalist Association as UU World. Jerome refers to it in other letters. It also published Allie’s death notice in its March 18, 1920, edition.

Original Format

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Jerome Peirce 1864, From Jerome to Allie, April 11, 1864, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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