Tuesday Morning Dec 23d 1862
My own dear Wife
Sunday evening I recd orders to send two regi-
ments to picket in Buckners Neck & Yesterday I was
ordered to follow with the rest of the brigade to be
on duty 7 days including Sunday. So I am here.
I brought my wagon & all my baggage & am just as
comfortable as I was at my other camp. Had a
very hard days work yesterday. I was in the
saddle from a little after sun up until dark. My
business here is to
long and resist the crossing of the enimy [sic] at
all points & at all hazards. I have a splendid
position which I am fortifying & making stronger
This step has been taken not because the Yankeys
have made any show at crossing, but as a
precaution. It is I understand the purpose of our
Genls to fortify the line of the River from Port
Royall to Fredericksburg and then be ready
to receive our friends whenever they may show
themselves, in the same style in which re re-
ceived them at Fredericksburg. Yesterday just
as I got here Edward rode up – having come
down from his camp to see me. I had no
time to sit down & talk with him but he
rode around with me for two or three hours
and then returned to his camp. He says he
has not received a letter from Florence since
the 6” of this month but has heard from her
through other sources. All are well. I also
met yesterday your cousin Hilary Jones – he
is a Major of Artilery [sic] and has been assigned
to our Division as Chief of Artilery [sic]. I took
quite a fancy to him especially when he told
me he had been a school mate of yours. He is
a very nice fellow indeed. He told me that
he had understood that Genl Jackson now
professed that he could see prospects for peace
heretofore the Genl would not allow any one
to hear that he can now see light ahead
I must confess that I cant see much myself.
But I am not going to write this letter about
the war – I want to write about home. Stephen
ought now to take advantage of every warm spell
to get his corn ground ploughed. In the first
place he must plough the garden & then the
corn ground. In ploughing the latter he must
not plough up the ground intended for the new
road – during the cold weather he can get off
a good many rock which
the field. You can also begin to plant trees –
cedars ought not to be planted until February –
but all others may be now just as well as
any other time. After breakfast, I was up before
daylight this morning and wrote this much by candle-
light. I some how this morning feel more like talking
& writing about home things than usual – not that
I expect to get there shortly, but I suppose I am
just a little home sick. I would like to be there to help
plant trees & lay off the garden and see if I could not get
some good stable manure in town to put on the
garden and get some plank to make fences which
is so much needed and then I want to see my wife
& baby & my little daughter & my boy, and have a
good long talk with them all. I have a great
dele [sic] to say & could hear you all talk a long time
without getting tired or absent minded. I could even
hear a long dissertation from Stephen on the sub-
ject of farming & raising stock. By the way how is
Frank doing is he improving any – I want him to
get fat by early spring for I intend to sell him then
at the best price I can get for him. If made fat he
will bring $600. You will have to do your spring ploughing
with fly before she can be sold, then I think you can
sell her & one of the colts keeping the best of the
two for our own use. I think the dun colt will
make the best & largest horse, though you & Stephen
can tell better than I can by the time you want
to sell. Horses are enormously high in the army &
very scarce & in great demand – we lost a great
many in the recent fight. If the war should
end this winter and it is possible and some
say even probable, and I shall be spared to get
home to you all How happy we can be. How
thankful we will be – God has dealt with us
in great mercy and I have faith that he will
continue his mercy & if our people would pray
in the right spirit and with believing hearts I
believe He would ere another spring opens deliver
us safely from our enimies [sic] & give us a peace
with our independence as a people.
Edward told me that he expected to send Florence
to Georgia this winter and that if he did so Hetta
would go with her and Lou would go over & stay
with you. This is an arrangement which I know
would please you and I would therefore be glad
to see it carried out. This is selfish is it not, but
if it pleases all parties it certainly is a very
harmless piece of selfishness. I dont recon your
father will like it so very well, but I doubt not
he can do
Wednesday Morning. I was kept so busy all day
yesterday that I was unable to finish my letter
& last evening George Whit & I had an invitation
to take supper out & so we did at a Mr Skinkers
near by and thus we enjoyed the comforts of home
for a brief space. The general impression here is
that the Yankeys will not resume offensive operations
in this quarter again during this winter and
it is in my opinion doubtful if any other
attempt is ever made here. I hope before the
next two months of winter are passed that
something may hapen [sic] which will lead to a
peace. The Yankeys say we will have peace in
the spring but they are as tired of it & more
so then we are, and the wish in thus are
in no doubt the father of the thought My darling
take care of yourself & children. I long to see you,
but cant you must therefore write me some long
letters & as often as possible I have not heard
from you now since the 13’ of this month and
tomorrow is Xmas – And a merry Xmas I wish
you all be happy just as if I was there & tell
the children we will get old Chris Kringle back again
“My own dear Wife”, salutation – Warren’s wife Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson Magruder Warren.
“the brigade”, line 3 – Warren was in temporary command of the 3rd Brigade, Taliaferro’s Division, 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, which consisted of the 47th & 48th Alabama Infantry regiments, and the 10th, 23rd, & 37th VA Infantry regiments.
“the River”, line 16 – Rappahannock River.
“our friends”, line 18 – Yankees.
“Edward”, line 21; page 3, line 32 – Jennie’s brother Edward J. Magruder, Lieutenant-Colonel, 8th GA Infantry.
“Florence”, line 26; page 3, line 32 – Florence Fouche Magruder, wife of Edward J. Magruder.
“Hilary Jones”, line 29 – Hilary Pollard Jones. He was a graduate of the University of Virginia and in 1859 became the headmaster of the Hanover Academy.
“Genl Jackson”, page 2, line 6 – Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, Confederate general, commanded the 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
“baby”, page 3, line 4 – Warren’s youngest daughter ten month old Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson.
“my little daughter”, page 3, line 4 – Warren’s oldest daughter seven year old Lizzie.
“my boy”, page 3, line 4 – Warren’s son six year old James M.
“Frank”, page 3, line 10 – This was one of Warren’s war horses.
“your father”, page 4, lines 7&8 – Warren’s father-in-law James Magruder.
“George”, page 4, line 12 – Jennie’s brother – George S. Magruder, Private, Company C, 13th VA Infantry. At the time of the letter he was temporarily assigned as Colonel Warren’s orderly.
“Whit”, page 4, line 12 – Whitfield G. Kisling, Adjutant, 10th VA Infantry.
“ETH Warren”, page 4, signature – Edward Tiffin Harrison Warren, Colonel, 10th VA Infantry.
[transcript by John P. Mann, IV]