From Jerome to "Allie and friends", October 25, 1863

Dublin Core


From Jerome to "Allie and friends", October 25, 1863


Peirce, Jerome
Allie and friends
Camp Nelson, KY


From Jerome to "Allie and friends"


Jerome Peirce


Jerome Peirce Collection, National Park Service


HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington




NPS, Civil War Study Group, Paul and Louise Marahrens (transcribers)


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


"5.48 X 3.19" - 1st Scan
"5.04 X 8.13" - 2nd Scan
"9.98 X 8.13" - 3rd Scan
"5.04 X 8.13" - 4th Scan






Letter #171


Camp Nelson, KY.

Text Item Type Metadata


“Camp Nelson” Ky Oct 25th, 1863
My own dear Wife and friends,
Another pause in our journey and I send you a few lines once more. I wrote you from Cincinnati last Thursday which I suppose you received. Remained in C. [Cincinnati] till yesterday morning when we came here by rail and wagon. You know I told you this was the great depot for supplies for Burnside’s Army, about eight miles from Nicholasville, the terminus of the railroad. Time passed slowly in C. [Cincinnati]. Went to hear John B. Gough Fri. eve. The Home was crowded and not pleasant at all, rainy weather and dark, so it was impossible to read or amuse oneself.
Had a great military funeral, Genl. Lytle of Cincinnati who was killed at Chattanooga lately, a great favorite and ‘twas an imposing affair. He resided near the Home, and we saw it very well. The same P.M. quite a fire took place and the operation of the steam fire engines was another novelty, so we had quite a stirring time that day. Walked about the city and saw everything we could, but was glad to be on the move once more.
I learned this A.M. that Alonzo passed thro here, Thurs. P.M. on a twenty days leave of absence, am very sorry I did not see him. Tell him I am trying hard to get to the Regt. and am uneasy as a “fish out of water”, altho I expect ‘twill be a rough time going and after we get there, from accounts we have, roads [are] bad, and lose a great deal of the subsistence on the way.
For the last few days the country here has been much stirred up by another Guerilla raid, destroying a large lot of government stores at Danville and last night an alarm was raised in this camp, but today all is quiet and trains are leaving or preparing to and we expect to go forward Tues and soon after.
I can tell you little to interest, ‘tis the same old story. I begin to feel near the Army again, and think over my recent visit home. A pleasure on which I shall have to live for an uncertain period but I hope all will issue well sometime.
The weather is very cool, and the trees in full fall costume, and, of course, there is sort of a cheery feeling, and look to everything. We are stopping, three of us, in a building occupied by the guard at Hdqrs., some of the 21st boys taking our meals, about a mile away, altho we had some nice baked beans at their houses this morning. Have thought what a perfect day this must be with you! I do hope you have enjoyed it in a more truly Sabbath-like way than I have. Altho we had a delightful walk at early morning, some ways, to find acquaintances of some of the party but the sound of work is going on, and there is but little, save the sweet memories of the day to remind one of the hour. ‘Tis such times that I feel the weight, in full, of these times, and how sweet Home would be.
But how do you do my Allie? and Lulu too? When shall I hear from you? I cannot guess, but I shall hope you may be preserved in health and strength till the good time comes, and I expect it will be a good while, for ‘tis very difficult to get the mails through. Will take a few notes along and send back as often as possible, tho’ ‘twill be only the dull story of life along the road, but you can look on the map once in a while and imagine us walking along, slowly to the end, somewhere in South Western Virginia perhaps or East Tennessee. It took six weeks lately for a train to go to Knoxville and return, but they are constructing a better road, or improving the old one so soon will be better I hope in the future.
The friends must still share for the present these poor scrawls. They will at least tell you of my whereabouts and health, and if the latter is only spared, I shall do well. Am very well now, and only anxious to get “home” to the Regt. now I am fairly on the way.
Remember me to Alonzo. Hope to see him again by and by, tho’ I imagine they will try and keep him at home.
Love to all and ever your loving husband

NOTE 1: John Bartholomew Gough (1817 - 1886) was a United States temperance orator.

NOTE 2: William Haines Lytle (1826 - 1863) was a politician in Ohio, renowned poet, and military officer in the United States Army during both the Mexican–American War and Civil War, where he was killed in action as a brigadier general. Contrary to what Jerome wrote in this letter, Gen. Lytle was killed in the Battle of Chickamauga, instead of the Battle of Chattanooga, on September 20, 1863.

NOTE 3: The “Alonzo” Jerome referred to in his letters was Seth Alonzo Ranlett. Ranlett enlisted in Co. B of the 36th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment as a Private on July 24, 1862, at age 22, and he was from Charlestown, Massachusetts. He was promoted to First Sergeant on August 27, 1862, and was commissioned as a First Lieutenant on December 1, 1862. On December 17, 1862, he was appointed Adjutant of the Regiment. He was mustered out “on account of physical disability from disease incurred in the service” on February 20, 1864.
Ranlett was born on March 18, 1840, in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and he died May 21, 1905, in Newton, Massachusetts. Ranlett’s wife was Ellen Peirce Ranlett, with a date of birth of March 22, 1842, and a date of death of January 12, 1914. They were married on January 21, 1864. Ellen Peirce was one of the children of Foster Peirce and his wife Catherine Abby Beaman. Also, Foster Peirce was a brother of Jerome. Therefore, the Ellen that Jerome mentions in his letters was one of Jerome’s nieces, and starting on January 21, 1864, Alonzo was the husband of one of his nieces.

Original Format





Jerome Peirce 1863, From Jerome to "Allie and friends", October 25, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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