Unknown Letter #16

Dublin Core


Unknown Letter #16


Peirce, Jerome
Falmouth, VA


From Jerome to Abbie


Jerome Peirce


Jerome Peirce Collection, National Park Service


HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


1862 or 1863


NPS, Civil War Study Group, Josef Rokus (Transcriber)


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






Unknown Letter #16


Falmouth, VA

Text Item Type Metadata


… morning (Sunday) when we were moved again in a circuitous route, resting on a steep bank, concealed till daylight when we moved back to our old quarters occupied on the preceding day. Spent Sunday inactive excepting a march to the city, where we stood all day in mud and water, when back again to the ravine! Some firing during the day, but things were evidently “dragging” their slow length along. Remained till Monday eve. when things looked like still and mysterious, a stealthy march to the city, moving to and fro, till toward midnight we passed the river, which was covered with dirt! And soon we were at an old camp, tired, surprised and I suppose defeated! Further I know not. “The ways of war are incomprehensible and past finding out.”
The fires of camp have weakened my eyes, so writing tires them. I must close, I would gladly keep on, fire is low but thought is busy.
I was much interested in your account of Allie and Lulu. How gladly would I relieve the loneliness of the one and feast eyes and heart with the companionship of both!
Oh, Abbie, of this I can hardly speak. I came from an honorable and in my heart of hearts from a pure motive. Is it all in vain? Are we to be forever defeated and our labors rendered void? We have a desperate age as a brave enemy. Would some of our leaders at home were here to see! One thing is certain, I loathe war. I have no words to express the feelings that takes possession of me as I recall the scenes of the last few weeks.
I have not said as much before, but out of the abundance of the heart etc. God forgive me if I am less brave but this slaughtering “his own image”!! So thought I as I gazed on four lifeless bodies in a garden in Fredericksburg in all stages of mutilation, such as I cannot here describe.
Forgive me for thus closing, you are when you can fill the mind with gentler things. May I be permitted so to do some future time and be again united with all that’s nearest and dearest.
As ever, your brother,

Registers [newspapers] are duly recd. [received]

Will try and find the 11th N. H. [New Hampshire Regiment] They were in the street at F. [Fredericksburg] on Sat. [Saturday] with us. Saw them on the march.

This is a partial letter from Jerome to Allie’s sister, Abbie. Although the salutation page, which would have contained the date and location is missing, based on the content of the letter, Jerome probably wrote it shortly after the 36th Massachusetts Regiment was engaged at Fredericksburg, Virginia, or in camp at Falmouth, Virginia, in late 1862 or early 1863.



Jerome Peirce 1862 or 1863, Unknown Letter #16, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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