This Memorial Day we commemorate Jonathan Pierson Loree, a Civil War soldier who was wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia on May 13th and died at Carvers General Hospital in Washington, D.C. on May 30, 1864. 

Jonathan Pierson Loree

The Loree family was among the earliest settlers of Mendham. Jonathan Pierson was the youngest son of Lewis Loree and Phebe Fithian, who lived most of their lives at 22 Washington Valley Road, built by his father Samuel Loree II. They moved to Brookside in 1873.

Jonathan married Margaret Ann Francisco in 1850 and they had five children: Emma, Sofronia, Josephine, George Arthur and Arthur Jonathan. He enlisted as a private in Company K of the 1st Regiment New Jersey Infantry on Jan 20, 1864. Fourteen letters to his wife during his time in the Infantry have been preserved. Here are three of those letters.

February 7, 1864

Camp near Brandy Station
February the 7th 1864

Dear Wife
Tuesday morning
I with the rest of my company left
Trenton NJ and landed in virginia
yesterday at Brandy Station and
marched a distance of miles and
joined the first New Jersey Brigade.
we are now in the camp of the 4th
Regt which is home now on a furlow.
I am well and enjoy myself very
well for the first experience of camp life.
I have had the pleasure of seeing many
of my aquaintances from Morristown
and other places. I wish to know if
you have received that $60 that I sent
you by Lawyer Little. if you have
send me 5 dollars for I have to get

more than I expected for there are
many little notions which the government
does not furnish us with. we are in
very comfortable quarters and have
a plenty to eat and a bunk to sleep
on there is no of importance
so I must close. Give my Love to
Father & Mother
and write as soon as you get this and send
me 25 cents worth
of postage stamps I have a plenty of
paper and envelops.

I Remain your Sincere
Johna Jonathan Loree
Comp K first NJ Vol
Washington DC

March 7, 1864

Loree letter 7 March 1864

Inscription in the logo:
Thou too sail on
0, Ship of State,
Sail on 0, Union,
Strong and great.

March 7, 1864
Camped near Brandy Station
My dere wife, I now
take the oportunity of writing
you & tell a litel abut a solger life.
I have tried [illegible]
a big march.. a week ago last
Saturday we started from
camp. we marched all day
Saturday and Sunday
untill we came
to a place caled
Madison court house. then we camped
untill tuesday and we
started towards camp. we
marched seven miles last night.
the mud was easley six foot inches
deep then we lay down on the
ground. the ground was covered
with snow. it was not very
could or we would all have
frosen the next morning.

we started again and
came in camp that night about
eight o clock. we marched about
thirty three miles that day and
I tel you that we was tired when
we came in camp. dere wife I
received your on thursday night
and was glad to hear from you.
Dere wife received the box
Sunday noon. it had ben open
and the things badley must.
i wish you had scent tobacco
in place of them harens
but still I was glad to receive
the things. tobaco is worth
one doler and quarter per pound
hear and buter is sixty cents.
tel henery and george march
that i send my best respects to
them. I am well and to find
you shall the same. I would
like to no how arte is.
write soon so I can
git the letere this week.
no more at present from
your Dere and affectionate

May 25, 1864
Written in a handwriting that is not that of Jonathan P. Loree

First Division Hospital
Fredricksburg, Va
May 25 (1864)

My Dear Wife
I take the
opportunity of writing these few lines
to you to let know how I
am getting along. I am sorry to rite
you that I got wounded on the 13
of May. a slight wound and I hope
in Blessings of god that it will
be well soon. There is one good
Consolation; we whipped the Enemy
and the Army is still advancing on
Richmond. we took about ten thousand
Prisoners and thirty-four pieces of
Artillery my Dear wife I expect to go
to Washington in a few days
and when I get a little better I
will try to get a furlough to go
home. the next Place I stop I will
write to let you know where I
am So you need not write

untill I send you another Letter
and then I can Let you know my
From your affectionate
Jonathan P. Loree
Co. K 1st Reg New Jersey Volunteers

May 31, 1864
Letter from J. H. Parks, Chaplain at Carver U. S. General Hospital to Mrs. Margaret A Loree.

Carver U.S. General Hospital
Washington, D. C. May 31, 1864

Mrs. Margaret A. Loree
It is my
duty to inform you that
Jonathan P Loree Co K.
1 N.J. Vol died at this
hospital yesterday – He
was brought here on the 27th severely wounded
in the right shoulder.
All possible was done for
him – He will be buried today – I sym
pathize with you but
commend you to the God of Comforting

J. H. Parks

Jonathan Pierson Loree was buried at Arlington Cemetery. Margaret died from typhoid fever a few years later on March 10, 1869 and was buried at Evergreen Cemetery. The three oldest children became wards of Cornelius P. Garrabrandt. The two youngest, George A. and Arthur J., were sent to the Newark Orphan Asylum in Newark.

Special thanks to Joan and Arthur Loree for sharing these letters. Jonathan Pierson was Arthur’s great-grandfather.