From Jerome to Allie, December. 29, 1863

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie, December. 29, 1863


Pierce, Jerome
Blaines Cross Roads, TN


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, Tom Neubig (transcriber)


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


"5.34 X 3.15" - 1st Scan
"4.98 X 8.08" - 2nd Scan
"9.96 X 8.08" - 3rd Scan






Letter #187


Blaines Cross Roads, TN

Text Item Type Metadata


Blains Cross Roads, Tenn.
Tues Eve Dec 29th Dec 1863
My dearest wife,
You will hear of my safe arrival here last Sat[urday] eve, as I wrote you Sunday morning and I promised you another in a day or two. And now ‘tis after lights out (or ‘Taps’) but a chance to mail tomorrow via Knoxville so I send you another hasty scrawl.
Now you must know that we changed camp Sunday P.M. and ever since we’ve been cleaning up around building tents and busy as bees and shall not write you as I would like to. But it seemed so glad to see your letters that I will mention the date of them and will read them over more attentively before I can say all I want to. Yours received were dated: Nov 1st (with Frank’s), 22nd (29th by Frank), Dec 7, Oct 22d. Others from Abbie with a word from you. ‘Will’ Haynes and Mother, Lucy, Alonzo and Ellen at different dates and one from Mr. Walker of Worcester which happened to escape the fate of those with poor Stevens.
My return to the Regt. brings so much to mind that I must wait more quiet moments to do it justice and you must be patient if I don’t mention items as you would wish. Have been hard at work and the fires trouble my eyes exceedingly as at Falmouth last winter and I write now with the greatest difficulty.
‘Tis fearful terrible what our boys have been thru with since the great retreat from Loudon and Lenore, the fight at Campbell’s Station and the final struggle at Knoxville, the suffering of hunger, cold followed up and harassed by the desperate foe. But they came out victorious. All were heroes and the 36th are on the roll of Massachusetts’ bravest souls, all honor to them. I venerate them and altho spared the terrible trial trust it will make me all the braver to bear.
We are now on very short fare, tho plenty of meat, but little bread or flour of poor quality but this is nothing. The sky looks bright. We are in a delightful camp, in good health. I am better if possible since leaving Tazewell. Things were unsettled in the Commissary Department and I yearned for the Regt. as my proper place and made haste to reach it. And such busy times felling trees, clearing away and burning brush right on a hill with lofty mountains still higher on every [???] (the Clinch Mountains), a few rods from the other camp where they were huddled together in line of battle behind breastworks but now in regular camp.
I am tented with a good fellow named Colburn from Westminster, not quiet well and evidently homesick somewhat but I see he cheers up a little. I try to attract his attention and do most of the housework. So you have a little idea of how we are.
There is much in your letters I would like to speak of but cannot much now. One where you reviewed our life since our marriage was dear to me. I shall send it home soon for you to keep. Don’t feel sensitive now because I have not done this before for I don’t know why I have not. I hope to do better in future for Lulu’s sake, little darling. Your account of her sayings and doings tell me of them all you can. I hope she will be good and learn to love what I have so much. I love to think of you and her looking over and handling our little treasures in pictures or verses and my heart leaps forward to the time when we can all together take comfort and something tells me we should.
And then to know the patriotism of the home is rising will cheer up and strengthen the boys in the field more than we can tell. Oh if the folks at home could see what heroism there is here and what a victory makes of men, ‘twould be a lasting lesson to them. Some are missing and many hearts will bleed (only think of Mrs. Stevens). But the great day is surely in store for us which shall in a measure assuage this great and present grief.
Just think of my letters among the rebels. Jos. H. tells me there were some from all my different friends, two from Murray, Abbie and many from yourself of course. They will not be [???] will they by the perusal. But with them perished such a good man.
They had got beautiful winter quarters at Leonore, and Henry Mayo, Nelson Smith, with Stevens and myself were to quarter together, and were waiting upon my return. I can hardly realize or be resigned to it. Heaven help and sustain her stricken heart.
Corporal Houghton was not killed but seriously wounded. Priv. E. was hit on the check leaving a little mark. Have just been chatting with him and it seems to be mutually cheering to meet again as it is. Of course, I haven’t had time to hear or tell all. He always bears you in mind. You must not be jealous about letters I only [write] you twice yet more as often (as I should) as anybody else. Bro[ther] F’s [Foster’s] is headquarters of many friends.
‘Tis late, eyes ache and I must close. Hope soon to receive another mail and as my house is done, a cozy one raised up two or three logs from the ground and quite roomy. If we don’t march soon, shall talk to all of the friends soon.
Love to Abbie, Mary, Hattie, all, Frank. Found a letter from Henry P. too. Will write sometime.
Of the future, all is uncertain. Camp talk says going North to Western Virginia, to Missouri, etc. etc. etc. Longstreet is still nearby, but doubtful about giving battle, etc.
Feel much interested for Alonzo. No doubt he has done for the best. Honor him for continuing in the service in some capacity.
For myself will see my term of 3 years closed and then see about the future.
Clothes that I left at Columbia were here.
A kiss and love always from
Your Jerome

Jos. H. appears well. Clings to me like a brother. Done finely in the late battles. Carried a rebel flag to the Genl. And game to the “back bone” so I hear.
Paid off a few days before I got here. Hope to be again soon. Please send me some thread, white and black linen. I have a little money enough for the present and am comfortably clothed. The boys sadly in need.

NOTE 1: Jerome returned to his regiment on December 26th, 1863, after being gone over a month in Tazewell in the Commissary Department. During that separation from his Regiment, he did not receive his mail.

NOTE 2: Edwin Stevens of Orange was killed Nov. 16, 1863 at Campbell’s Station, Tennessee. He apparently had 27 letters of Jerome’s in his knapsack, which was captured by the rebels.

NOTE 3: Private Augustus F. Colburn, age 21, of Gardner was in Company H and was wounded at the battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, where Jerome was killed. Colburn was transferred to the V.R.C. on February 6, 1865. (Unit History, p. 370.)

NOTE 4: Jerome’s potential roommates at Blain’s Crossing were Corporal Henry Mayo of Orange, who was killed at the Wilderness, (Unit History p. 369.) and William N. [Nelson?] Smith of Orange. He was promoted to Corporal and discharged for disability in Dec. 1864. (Unit History p. 372.)

NOTE 5: The “Jos. H.” that Jerome referred to in this letter was Joseph H. Peirce. He enlisted as a Private in Orange, Mass., on August 4, 1862, at age 18. Jerome also enlisted in Orange on the same date, but as a corporal. Jerome was 31 years old at the time. According to the Unit History, Joseph H. Peirce was taken Prisoner of War at Pegram Farm, Virginia, on September 30, 1864, (See Letter No. 227) and he was later exchanged. He was discharged on June 21, 1865. Joseph H. Peirce was the son of Joseph Peirce, one of Jerome’s brothers, and was, therefore, Jerome’s nephew.

NOTE 6: Blain’s Cross Roads was often referred to as the Valley Forge of the Rebellion due to the difficult times during the winter of 1863.




Jerome Peirce 1863, From Jerome to Allie, December. 29, 1863, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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