Thursday, January 3, 2013

1862 December 23 Camp in Buckners neck

Camp No Camp in Buckners Neck
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 p defend a line two miles

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

[page 2]

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 talke talk to him about peace. I am glad

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 li are loose in

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

[page 3]

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

[page 4]

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 very well after a fashion.

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

affectionately ETH Warren

“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]

MSS 7786-g

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