Feby 25” 1862.
My own darling Wife
I begin a letter to you this
morning before the mail has arrived in which
I confidently expect a long sweet letter from
my darling Jennie. I have almost concluded
to stake all my chances on raising a regiment
for myself under the authority received from
Pres Davis. I have just writen [sic] letters to Dr
Williams Lieut Chas Yancey & Capt A Taylor all
of whom are in the Malitia [sic] and are now
trying to raise companies. And either this
evening or tomorrow morning I shall go to
see Genl Johnston on the subject and if I
can get one will take a furlough at once
but if I fail in this, then I shall wait
a reply from Dr Williams and if it is encour-
aging I will at once resign & enter the field
for volunteers. It will be a great undertaking
but I will have this consolation, if there
exists amonge [sic] our people sufficient spirit
to carry on this war successfully I can
without doubt raise my regiment and
if such spirit does not exist then I shall
fail. the cause will fail and it matters
little where I am or what I may be doing
I have concluded on one more thing - you
must not go to H. B. to be confined - I am
apprehensive that the valley will necessarily
have to be abandoned and when that is done
we too will be compelled to fall back for
this position cant be held without the valley.
I am not stating this to alarm you and
if you will show the sense you have always
exhibited in hard trials, you will not be alarmed
I say to you in confidence that in the last
two days orders have been issued in this
army which to my mind plainly indicate
a backward movement. How far back we
are to go I cant even conjecture I hope not
farther than Culpeper but may be to the
Rapid Ann River [sic]. I am not at all certain
of any movement You know that we are never
allowed to know any thing. I only know this
that Genl Jackson has not nor can he get force
enough to hold his position. He will be com-
pelled to fall back towards Staunton. He may
not go back further than Shenandoah, but
that of course will depend on the movements
of the Yankeys. under all the circumstances I
deem it wise & best for you not to go to H.B.
and I have been thinking seriously of or-
dering Stephen to fall back also. It really
distresses me to think of those two old negroes
falling into the hands of the Yankeys. what do
you think I had better do with them if the
worst comes to the worst. Let them shift for
& maybe fail in the end. I am certain I dont
know what to do. I feel not a little depressed
by the news from the west, and may be disposed
to take rather a gloomy picture of things. I
am by no means despondent of our ultimate
success, if our men will only do their duty.
I am rather inclined to think that something
has gone wrong in the west. I fear that
we have suffered from treachery in some quarter
I dont understand on what principle a Genl could
conscent [sic] to an unconditional surrender of 12000
well equiped [sic] & victorious soldiers It beats any-
thing recorded in the world history. but I will
say nothing more about it. I dont want you to
say one word I have writen [sic] in this letter about
the probability of our army retreating from
this place. It is unsoldierly for me to write to
you about it but it will make no difference
if you will say nothing about it. I dont care
if you say that it is my opinion that Genl Jackson
will have to evacuate Winchester, just have I recd
your letter mailed yesterday from which I find that
you all seem to know more about our movements than
I do. But I am sorry to find that you are still
in the notion of going to the valley when I am
certain that in less than three months you
will be seperated [sic] from me by the lines of the
enimy [sic] & thus cut off from all communication
with each other. Yet it may be better for you
to be with Stephen & Franny even though I should
not hear from you for six months, but I cant
think so. If our army falls back to Gordonsville
it will there be in my power to be with you
without a furlough and if it does not - why then
I will out of my new commission manage to get a
leave of absence that will permit me to be
with you. I feel satisfied that our plan is
plainly to keep you for the present at Frescatti [sic]
I can give you a $1000 which inside of our lines
will be money to you but in Yankeydom will
be worthless paper. If after your confinement
will make no objection. In a week from now
I will have determined definitely on my plan
of operations which I doubt not will be to under
take to organize a regiment. this of course lets
me out of the service here & I can be with
you outside of Yankey lines but not inside
of them. You must try & take good care of
yourself my darling & wait your time. tell
my dear little daughter that I am much ob-
lidged [sic] to her for her very sweet letter I have
no doubt she thought over very many pretty
things while her little hand was busy scribling [sic]
down on paper. I am not entirely well yet
but think I am gradually improving. Dont
be uneasy about the news you hear half of
it is untrue & you know you cant help it if it
is. Give my love to Florence & the girls &
tell the boys to write to me of what they saw
Your devoted & affectionate husband
"Pres Davis", line 7 - 'Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America.'
"Dr Williams", line 8 & 15 - 'William Williams, early-War Surgeon, 10th VA Infantry, but sent home in May 1861 having not been officially appointed. He did not succeed in raising a company.'
"Lieut Chas Yancey", line 8 - 'Charles Albert Yancey. At the time of the letter he was serving a Lieutenant, Company C, 146th VA Militia. He did not succeed in raising a company and entered the service on 1 May 1862 as a private in company C, 6th VA Cavalry.'
"Capt A Taylor", line 8 - 'Archibald Taylor. At the time of the letter he was serving as Captain, Company A, 146th Militia. He did not succeed in raising a company. He remained at home until 1864 when he became an officer in the Rockingham County Reserves and later in the 9th and 3rd Battalion VA reserves.'
"Genl Johnston", line 12 - 'Joseph E. Johnston, commander Confederate Army of the Potomac.'
"H. B.", line 26; page 2, line 22 - 'Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Shenandoah Valley.'
"to be confined", line 26 - '19th century terminology for childbirth.'
"valley", line 27; page 2, line 3; page 3, line 24; page 4, line 11 - 'Shenandoah Valley.'
"Rapid Ann River", page 2, line 13 - 'Rapidan River.'
"Genl Jackson", page 2, line 16; page 3, line 19 - 'Thomas J. 'Stonewall' Jackson, commanding in the Shenandoah Valley.'
"an unconditional surrender of 12000", page 3, line 10 - 'This referred to the surrender of Fort Donelson, Tennessee, 16 February 1862.'
"Frescatti", page 4, line 7 - 'Frascati. Virginia 'Jennie' Watson Magruder Warren's ancestral home. The home is located a few miles north of Gordonsville.'
"after your confinement", page 4, line 10 - '19th Century terminology for childbirth.'
"wait your time.", page 4, line 19 - '19th Century terminology dealing with pregnancy and childbirth.'
"E.T.H. Warren", signature - 'Edward Tiffin Harrison Warren, Lieutenant-Colonel, 10th VA Infantry.'
Feby 25” 1862.
My own dear Wife
I have sent you a letter
to day but as I may not have a chance
to write to you in the morning and as
several new ideas have occured [sic] to me to
day which I want you to know I must
run with a second letter. After thinking
of the nature of my commission from Mr. Davis
I have deliberately concluded that it is simply
an order from the war department directing
me as Lieut Col to proceed to recruit a regiment
and that in the discharge of that duty I am
entitled to transportation free and to my pay.
And being an order from the war department
it supersedes Genl Johnstons authority over me and
hence I have the right to leave any day I see
proper. I will however take the pains to
call on the Genl in the morning and if I
am right in my mind, I will leave here
this week, will go to Winchester and
thence to H Burg & thence to Frescatti by the
15 March. But if Genl Johnston says I must
resign my Liet Coly here then it is a
horse of another colour and I dont know
about the leaving, because since I closed
my letter I have concluded that our army
will not abandon this point without a
hard fight. If I leave as Lt Col I can re-
turn at pleasure & take chances with
the rest but if I have to resign then
I will have to give up all just at a
critical moment when the fate of our
Confederacy may depend on a single
regiment doing its duty which may de-
pend on a single man being at his
post. I dont think Genl Johnston is
ready for a run yet. So be quiet &
keep up a cheerful flow of spirits and
be a very good wife as you are. I think
I will be able to be with you when you
will must want me.
Most affectionately & truly
"Mr Davis", line 7 - 'Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America.'
"Genl Johnstons", line 14 -
"the Genl", line 17 -
"Genl Johnston", page 2, lines 3 & 17 - 'All referred to Joesph E. Johnston, commander Confederate Army of the Potomac.'
"H Burg", page 2, line 2 - 'Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Shenandoah Valley.'
"Frescatti', page 2, line 2 - "Frascati. Virginia 'Jennie' Watson Magruder Warren's ancestral home located a few miles north of Gordonsville.'
"Liet Coly", page 2, line 4 - 'Liuetenant-Colonelcy.'
"E T H Warren", signature - 'Edward Tiffin Harrison Warren, Lieutenant-Colonel, 10th VA Infantry.'
[transcription and annotation for both the above letters by John P. Mann, IV]