From Jerome to “My own dear ones”, October 27, 1863

Dublin Core


From Jerome to “My own dear ones”, October 27, 1863


Peirce, Jerome
“My own dear ones”
Camp Nelson, KY


From Jerome to “My own dear ones”


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).


"5.55 X 3.17" - 1st Scan
"7.86 X 9.91" - 2nd Scan
"7.86 X 9.91" - 3rd Scan






Letter #172


Near Camp Nelson, Ky.

Text Item Type Metadata


Near “Camp Nelson” Ky Oct 27th 1863
My own dear ones,
Came down here some over a mile yesterday P.M. where the train is that we expect to go to Knoxville with tomorrow and I am sitting here under my tent all alone with only your dear selves to speak to.
Have been writing to the “Socials” thru Charles Smith and thought I would begin another message to you. My pen works bad and the wind blows quite cool and I fear I shall make sad work especially when I have no news, only waiting but I know you are ever watching and working and that any word is ever welcome so before I leave I must come once more.
Wrote you Sunday. Wrote to Joseph’s folks and Haynes also and strolled about camp reading a little and wishing so much that we could be on our way, for it is the dullest of all work waiting. But yesterday Capt. Holmes came along with an order to draw fifteen days rations and get them to the teams and I am here watching them and Capt. H. [Holmes] went on to Crab Orchard and I do hope he will effect something for the poor fellows for I am told they are dying off and suffering as they must be if there isn’t better care of them than when I left.
The “scare” from the “raiders” is all over and the trains are moving on again and they say the roads are all clear, only bad some of the way, but they are at work repairing them to Knoxville so we hope to get along very well and I feel as though I could endure anything better than laying here and I should be all right if the mails could come all right but ‘twill be a long time before I shall hear anything from any of the friends.
What should we do now but [put] the faith in a higher power? “Tis here I learn how little we can do and I trust my experience in these times will not be without some good.
Have told you about my return so far so I have nothing new but I am well and shall try and keep so to the end and what more can I do? How much, and constantly, you are in my mind! And little Lulu too. May she be well and happy and still remember her papa who loves her more than he can tell for all he is so far away. I should feel like a piece of “drift wood” did I not know that the dear ones at home still loved and remembered me in all my wanderings.
The sun is out warm but the wind is cool and I shall have to stop awhile. Shall not mail till tonight or morning and will add a word then.
Wednes[day] morning. Still here watching our rations. Don’t know when we shall start. So much work to get so many wagons started.
After I finished writing yesterday, walked about five miles to see about things. Hear no news and can only repeat that we are waiting not knowing an hour before hand what is coming.
Shall have to assist the drivers along etc. and shall have a tedious time I expect but I’ve seen home and you all! and so I can work on.
I can’t interest you much but you have a line and I hope that will be something. Will improve every opportunity of sending back but you must not be surprised if I am silent a long time by and by.
I hope you will see the Adjt. (Alonzo) and he can tell you many things perhaps about the journey.
Must close and mail this today as it is time my regular letter was sent. Keep cheerful and let us hope the winter will not pass without some good fruit, individually and nationally.
Shall hope to get some message from you one of these days. It seems strange and lonely without the mail but I shall try and keep my mind busy.
Love and kisses for Lulu. And once more,
As ever your loving husband,

NOTE 1: Otis W. Holmes, from Milford, Massachusetts, enlisted as a Sergeant at age 27 on September 8, 1861, in the 25th Massachusetts Regiment. He was transferred as a First Lieutenant to Co. F of the 36th Massachusetts on August 12, 1862, and then to Company B of the 36th on May 2, 1863. Holmes died in Harewood General Hospital, Washington, D.C. on June 23, 1864, of wounds received in action near Petersburg, Virginia, on June 17, 1864.

NOTE 2: 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 “My own dear ones”, October 27, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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