COLLECTION GUIDES

1862-1871; bulk: 1863-1865

Guide to the Collection

browse digital content

Representative digitized documents from this collection:

Restrictions on Access

Use of the originals is restricted. This collection is available as color digital facsimiles (see links below). Black and white microfilm is also available for use in the library.


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists primarily of letters from Edward Burgess Peirce of Lowell, Mass. to his parents during the Civil War.

Biographical Sketch

Edward Burgess Peirce was born in Lowell, Mass. on 27 May 1847, the son of John Nelson Peirce and his second wife Mary Miller (Alden) Peirce. He enlisted at age 16 and served as a drummer and a private in Company F of the Massachusetts 2nd Heavy Artillery Regiment, July 1863-Sep. 1865. He saw action primarily in New Bern and Kinston, N.C. After the war, he worked as a claim agent and assistant in the legal department of the New York and New England Railroad and held patents for a number of inventions related to railroad work. In the 1870s-1890s, he held many public offices in Lowell, serving on the Common Council, the Water Board, and the Board of Aldermen.

In 1870, he married Ella Augusta Folsom, and the couple had the following children: Charles Edward Peirce, John Alanson Peirce, and Florence Ethel Peirce (later Wright). He died at a sanitarium in Takoma Park, Md. on 25 June 1919 and is buried in the Peirce family plot at Lowell Cemetery.

Collection Description

This collection contains letters written by Edward Burgess Peirce of Lowell, Mass. to his parents from Camp Meigs, Readville, Mass.; Fort Totten and Fort Stevenson, New Bern, N.C.; and Kinston, N.C. during the Civil War. His letters describe the routine of camp life; provisions and troop movements; the Battle of New Bern, Feb. 1864; the yellow fever epidemic there, Sep. 1864; his health; the Battle of Wyse Fork, Kinston, N.C., Mar. 1865; and the end of the war. Peirce also requests money and goods from his parents and responds to news in Lowell. The collection includes a newspaper describing conditions in New Orleans, La. in 1862; a sketch by Peirce of Fort Totten; a history of the Peirce family; and a letter received by Edward Peirce's father, John N. Peirce.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mary A. Wright, Dec. 1999. Photograph given by Mary A. Wright, Jan. 2001.

Restrictions on Access

Use of the originals is restricted. This collection is available as color digital facsimiles (see links below). Black and white microfilm is also available for use in the library.

Other Formats

The collection is also available on microfilm, P-804, 1 reel.

Preferred Citation

Edward Burgess Peirce letters, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.

Persons:

Peirce family--Genealogy.
Peirce, John Nelson, 1801-1881.
Peirce, Mary Miller Alden, 1806-

Organizations:

United States. Army. Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiment, 2nd (1861-1865).

Subjects:

Drawings.
Family history--1850-1899.
Fort Totten (New Bern, N.C.)--Drawings.
New Bern (N.C.)--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
North Carolina--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Soldiers--Massachusetts--Lowell.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Health aspects.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Participation, Juvenile.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories--Massachusetts Artillery (Heavy), 2nd Volunteers.
Yellow fever--North Carolina--New Bern.

Materials Removed from the Collection

One photograph from this collection has been removed to the MHS Photo Archives (Photo. 9.1).