Friday, January 11, 2013

1862 December 26 Camp in Buckners Neck

Camp in Buckners Neck
 December 26” 1862.
My own dear Jennie
In the absence of something better to do
I commence a letter to you.  Yesterday James
paid me a visit and remained all night
with me and has just gone.  He is well &
in good spirits but like all the rest very
tired of the war, and like the rest thinks
we have some prospect of peace.  I cant see
exactly on what ground the opinion is based
but it is some how very generally believed that
the Lincoln party has played out & cant make
another campaign either this winter or next
summer and I believe the opinion is univer-
sal in the army that we will not have
another fight this winter and yet night
and day I hear artilery [sic] firing in the
direction of Fredericksburg.  This however
might be kept up for twelve months and
neither do harm or bring on an engagement
The Rappahannock River is a great institution
just now in keeping the peace between the
two Armies.  One of the Yankey pickets hollowed
across the river to me yesterday morning
“Burnsides has resigned and McClelland is again
in the field – Look out for yourselves” I who
we replied Yes!  But I have stoped [sic] all
talking across the river at least I have
taken steps to do it as far as I can.  I
am buisy [sic] fortifying this position and
am inclined to think we will never have
to use them.  We had yesterday a grand
XMass dinner & some company to help us

[page 2]
eat it.  I expect to return to my old camp to-
morrow having been on duty 7 days and I think
more pleasantly situated than if in camp.
  Oh Jennie You dont know how home sick I get.  I
cant help sometimes when alone, sitting down and think
ing how happy we will all be when the war is over
and making plans as to what we will all do, at
our little house, and then I cant help feeling very
unsatisfied when I think of our present situation
the uncertain duration of the war and that we
may not be spared to see the end of it.  If Mr
Lincoln could be put in the field for a few months
& compelled to take chances for his life & live on
camp diet I am inclined to think he would feel
more like stoping [sic] this unholy war.  as it is, his
political life seems to depend on his carrying on the war
and so I suppose we will have to stick to him as long
as he has the means or power to do anything against us
and probably that will be as long as he is president
but I dont think so.  I think he is very near his ropes
end and almost in despair.  Now is the time for France
If Napoleon will now step forth and say that he
in the name of humanity demands a cessation of the
war – he will succeed and for himself win more in-
fluence & power than five years of successful war
could gain for.  In the first place it would make
us his friend – the act would commend him to the
peace party at the North which at the next election will
compose a large majority of that section.  it will com-
mend him to all the people of the world who are now
suffering for the want of our cotton and who are
crying out against the war & praying for peace
in this continent.  Will he be smart enough to
see it and bold enough to act in the matter – I
fear not, and yet hope he may be up to the occasion

[letter abruptly ends]

“Jennie”, salutation; page 2, line 4 – Warren’s wife Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson Magruder Warren.

“James”, line 2 – Jennie’s brother James W. Magruder, 1st Lieutenant, Company K, 2nd VA Cavalry.

“Burnsides”, line 23 – Ambrose E. Burnside, Union general, commanded the Army of the Potomac.

“McClelland”, line 23 – George B. McClellan, Union general, commanded the Army of the Potomac until relieved in November 1862 when Burnside was appointed.

“Napoleon”, page 2, line 22 – a Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon III, was Emperor of France.

This letter is without a signature; it was written by Edward Tiffin Harrison Warren, Colonel, 10th VA Infantry.

[transcriptions and annotations by John P. Mann, IV]

MSS 7786-g

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