Monday, November 12, 2012

1862 November 12 Camp Cooper

Camp Cooper Nov 12” 1862
My own darling Jennie
In the letter I sent you this morning I prom
ised you a long one in the course of two or three days
and in order to make my word good I commence
this evening and shall try and tell you many things
of our operations here, my notions of the war and will
make some suggestions as to your operations at home.
Home  with what pride and satisfaction I can speak
of home.  The place where my wife & children are, where
all that I hold dear is.  A place I can call mine be-
cause I am not indebted to any one for it.  You
dont know how home sick your letter made me and
yet it done me more good than any other letter I
ever received from you.  it was so cheerful in its tone
and told me so much about all the little minutiae
of home, what Jim said, what little daughter said
and what our precious little baby was doing
I have told it all over to two or three friends who
returned the complement [sic] by telling me about their
little chaps.  I would like to have seen you making
bread  I expect the next thing you will be washing
butter & packing it away for market.  By the way
when I said “send me some of your bread & butter I did
not mean for you to send me anything more than a
sample of each, for I know you have not more than
a sample to spare.  So soon as Stephen gets his
corn shucked I think he had better dig holes for
shade trees in front & around the house.  You cant
plant out a whole orchard next spring or this
fall, but I would try and plant 6 or 7 peach trees
as many summer & fall apples and as many winter
apples.  The sooner the whol holes are dug the better
it will be for them.

[page 2]
 There is no sort of doubt about it, I ought to be there
to plant those trees and attend to your stock for you and
I dont know how you are going to manage without
me nor do I see much prospect of my getting there very
soon.  I dont know what the Yankey nation intend to
do.  if they will be quiet, so will we, but if they try to
drive us out of this Valley of Virginia they will have
to whip us first, for we intend to fight them cer-
tain and fight them hard in the bargain.  and as
I dont think they can whip us I think it is quite
likely we will remain here for the winter.  In the
mean time what will be done towards making peace
are we to have another summers fighting or
are we to have peace and quiet now this is one of
the most interesting questions which now agitate the
world and at the same time one of the hardest to an-
swer because our hopes & wishes all run counter
to the probabilities of the case.  when we look at
the present position of affairs, the power and position
of the Federal armies, the bad temper of Lincoln and
his supporters growing out of repeated and disastrous
defeats and the apprehension he must feel that
European powers may interfere to stop the war,
and the certainty that the Democrats having a
dead majority in the lower house and will have
the power to stop the war by refusing to vote
supplies, when they get into office which will
be just 12 months from next month, are facts
which will stimulate the Federals to put forth
every exertion to conquer us in the next 12 mos
I dont know or see anything that can stop
the war before that time except the inter-
vention of England & France of which I have but

[page 3]
little hope or such success on our part as will
check the furor & madness of the enimy [sic] and de-
moralize and destroy their armies, which is in-
deed a very probable thing.  If so be that we
can avoid a fight for the next month we will
be a third stronger than we now are and will
be almost irresistible.  our men are in fine health
better than ever before.  they are in fine spirits, and
more in a humor for fighting than I have ever
known them.  by spring we will have together one
half of the men called for under the new conscript
law and will then under God have an army
if not equal in numbers, at least so in spirit and
in power.  an army that can whip the Yankes to death
and when once more whiped [sic] they are done for
because they will get no more men from Northern
Democratic Governors.  Besides nearly half of Lincolns
new levies are drafted men whose term of service
expires in six months, and here is our chance for
peace.  It looks gloomy dont it.  Yet under the prov-
idence of God who has ever been with us and
will never forsake us if we do right we can
and will come off victors.  Here is another view
Lincoln has put in the field and in active service
much the larger portion of his new men, they cant stand
a winter campaign and will more than the half of
them will be in the hospitals in the next two mon
ths.  his armies must then be diminishing and the
harder he pushes his campaign this winter the
worse it will be for his men.  If therefore we
are not conquered this fall, Lincoln himself
will find that his situation is so hopeless that
he may himself agree to overtures for peace

[page 4]
rather than wait for the Democrats to compell [sic] him to
do it in the fall of 1863.  And here is still another idea
It is clear that Lincoln had prior to the late elections de-
serted his conservative friends of the north and gone heart
and hand with the extreme republicans & abolitionists.  the
recent success of the Democrats will compell [sic] to
go still more closely in accordance with abolition views
and sentiments.  Now, in one view of the case the abolition-
ists are as strong disunionists as we are.  That is, they
are in favor of a union provided they can subjugate
the South & compell [sic] her to abolish slavery, but before
they will conscent [sic] to a reconstruction of the union with
slavery still existing in the South they are for seperation [sic]
The Northern democrats are in favor of reconstruction
of the Union with additional guarantees to the slave
holder.  When therefore the Lincoln party sees that
they cant subjugate the South before the new congress
meets they will in my opinion take the lessor evil &
while they have the power acknowledge our indepen-
dence.  This is about the best view I can present of
our situation.  I am at last compelled to say that my
hope of recognition & English & French intervention is very
weak indeed.  I have little or no hope from that quarter
and dont believe one word that the Yankeys said about
it at Fredericksburg.  our own strength under Gods
guidance & protection is our hope and in this we
must rely and if we rely on this we will
see peace in less than eight months.  We have
had a report in camp which I dont credit, that
the Yankeys at Harpers Ferry had motioned and
refused to obey the order to advance.  I know
that a cavalry & artilery [sic] force did advance last
Sunday & then fell back & that we were expecting
a general advance & were preparing to fight them.

[page 5]
Thursday 13” 1862.  I finished one sheet of foolscap last
night in which I made an attempt to give you a full
account of my opinion of our situation & the probabilities of
a settlement of our dificulties [sic]  I confess that the
case looks gloomy and that it necessarily involves us
in a few more hard fights either this winter or
next spring and if the weather continues bright I think
it probable we may have an engagement yet this
month  but a present I see no indications of such
an event.  We are now receiving regular supplies of
clothing of all kinds and if the supply is kept up
for a week or two our men will soon be well
clothed.  When I first returned there was a great
complaint of deficiency in rations, this I have had
corrected and we now appear to be getting along
very well.  But I am much in need of a servant
Dr Campbell has not yet got the boy he was expecting
and I am fearful he will not be able to do so
hence if I can get St Clair I will take him.  The first
time you see Nuts [sp?] tell him to try and get him
or another boy for me  I will give $15 a month for
one, but ought to get one for $12.  If I was perfectly
well I would not care, but I am so often sick and
hence need so much waiting on, that I must have
a boy.  My health is just delicate and a march
or a little extra duty tires me so much that I am
fit for nothing.  but for the kindness of others who pitch
my tent and fix everything up I could not get
along.  but dont you be uneasy about me I am not sick
at any time to such an extent as to endanger my health
by remaining in camp, on the contrary I am standing
the service as well as anyone could expect.  I think
I could have an easier time if I only had the command of
my regiment, which I dont think will be long before I do.

[page 6]
I am surrounded here by some very pleasant families
some of whom have been very kind and I doubt not
others would be equally so if I would accept of
their attentions which thus far I have not had opportunity
to do.  but from this time will endeavor to avail
myself of.  I was going to take tea with Col Bakers
family last night but was prevented by the rain
& will go this evening.
    I am no little provoked at Joes failure to fix a
door to the smokehouse  you must get some one else
to do it at once.  He is certainly a most trifling creature
I intend to write to him to day and give him
my mind most emphatically.  I will not be trifled
with by any such a set of rascals.  I enclose the letter
in this one to you which if they have not commenced
work I want you to send to the office for Long.  I dont
think I have ever in my life been so worried as the conduct
of these men have has.  I can stand anything in reason, but
this is too much.  You remember Joe Braithwait or Long
was to buy fencing plank for you.  of course they have
done nothing and you must therefore get some one
or send Stephen out to buy the plank and you had
better do it at once  I think he can get them for
$2 a hundred square measure delivered to you & maybe less
Get not less than 3000 feet 14, 15 or 16 feet long
16 feet preferred, and from 4 to 6 inches wide.  I
used to buy such plank delivered at $1.25 per hundred
feet square measure.
  We have a batch of new Genls among them a Major Payton a
brother in law of Wilson Newmans, he was Genl Jacksons Adj Genl  his
appointment has created very genl dissatisfaction and in my opinion
is no fitter appointment than that of Jones.  a number of officers will
resign in consequence.  If such an appointment was made for this brigade
I would certainly resign.  Kiss my babys & believe me most affectionately

[The following was written sideways in the left margin of page 6]
P.S.  Enclose Longs letter in an envelop [sic] and
send it to him provided he has not gone to
work before this reaches you

“My own darling Jennie”, salutation – Warren’s wife, Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson Magruder Warren.

“little daughter”, line 15 – Warren’s seven year old daughter Lizzie.

“little baby”, line 16 – Warren’s almost nine month old daughter Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson.

“mos”, page 2, line 30 – months.

“Dr Campbell”, page 5, line 17 – Joseph L. Campbell, Surgeon, 10th VA Infantry.

“I will give $15 a month for one [servant], but ought to get one for $12.”, page 5, lines 21 & 22 – This is a very enlightening economic indicator.  Warren was willing to pay more for a servant than a private in the army was paid at the time - $11.

“if I only had command of my regiment”, page 5, lines 33 & 34 – At the time of the letter, Warren was still commanding Taliaferro’s Brigade (47th and 48th Alabama Infantry regiments, and 10th, 23rd, and 37th VA Infantry regiments).

“Major Paxton”, page 6, line 29 – Elisha F. Paxton.  He was promoted from the rank of major to brigadier-general over a number of higher-ranking, longer-serving officers.  Paxton upon his promotion took command of the 1st Brigade, Jackson’s Division.

“Genl Jackson”, page 6, line 30 – Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, Confederate general, commanded the Left Wing (2nd Corps), Army of Northern Virginia.

“Adj Genl”, page 6, line 30 – “Adjutant-General.  is the chief staff officer of the army, division, or brigade to which he belongs, and assists the general in the discharge of his duties; he keeps the roster of the officers; makes details for duty; makes up the morning reports, returns, etc.; publishes the orders of the general; and is the channel through which all reports to, and correspondence with the general, pass.”  [William Gilham, Manual of Instruction for the Volunteers and Militia of the Confederate States.  Richmond, VA: West & Johnston, 1861, pg. xiii.]  In civilian terms, the adjutant-general acts as the general’s secretary (administrative assistant).

“Jones”, page 6, line 32 – John Robert Jones.  Born in Harrisonburg in 1827, he graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1848.  Jones removed from Rockingham County but returned at the beginning of the War.  He initially commanded Company I, 33rd VA Infantry.  Jones was later promoted lieutenant-colonel of the 33rd VA Infantry.  In June of 1862 Jackson recommended him for promotion to brigadier-general and Jones took command of a brigade in Jackson’s Division.  Due to casualties suffered by ranking officers in Jackson’s Division Jones commanded it at the Battle of Sharpsburg.  After an artillery shell exploded near him, he claimed to be incapacitated and left the field.  For other actions preceding this, but especially for his action at Sharpsburg, he was severely criticized and considered by many in the division as unfit to command.

“If such an appointment was made for this brigade I would certainly resign.”, page 6, lines 33 & 34 – While Warren commanded the brigade on numerous occasions and received laudatory comments for his command performance, he remained a colonel.
    Raleigh E. Colston and George H. ‘Maryland’ Steuart, in succession, were assigned command of the brigade after Alexander G. Taliaferro was relieved from service in the field due to wounds.
    While Warren’s letters, written between this date and his death, will almost certainly speak to this situation of brigade command, we can presume that since both Colston and Steuart were reputable ‘old army’ officers, Warren had no real problem serving under their command.

“E.T.HWarren”, page 6, signature – Edward Tiffin Harrison Warren, Colonel, 10th VA Infantry.

[transcript by John P. Mann IV]

MSS 7786-g

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