Hd Qurs Taliaferros Brig
Camp Near Skinkers Neck
My dear Jennie Dec 27” 1862
It passes belief that I am actually in
a house and have as comfortable quarters as
any one could desire. I was relieved to day
& located my brigade in the woods about one
mile from my picket camp – having first rate
ground for the men and a good house for
myself I am now in winter quarters but
dont know how long I will be permitted to
keep them I hope all winter, for it will be
difficult for me to fix up any better – why my
darling I actually have a better house than
you have – at least I have a larger room and
a better fireplace. Some of the troops I understand
in Genl Longstreets Corps are fixing up Winter
quarters – and our Reserve Artilery [sic] have all
gone into quarters. I will in the morning issue
an order directing my men to construct such Huts
as their tools &c will justify.
Sunday Morning. I am hungry & while waiting
for my breakfast will in order to keep in a good
humor try my hand at writing to you. A
budget of orders received late last night compelled
me to stop writing & go to work. I had a first
rate bed last night. It is now made up, the floor
swept up & the mantel brushed off & a good fire on
the hearth, so that every thing presents a neat appear
ance. The only fear I now have is that I may not
be permited [sic] to remain here as long as I would
like – I am fixed first rate & want to remain
just as I am. But my darling I get no
letters from you Jos Rice came yesterday he
said he saw you on the street last tuesday [sic]
but did not speak to you Jeddy Effinger also
recd a letter in which his wife spoke of Lizzies
children being sick & the death of little Jennie
but said nothing about you. So I take it for
granted you are all well, but I do want to
hear from you so much – and that is not
all I want to see you too and indeed I must
try & pay you a visit in February any how
but dont make any great calculations on it.
I cant myself know that I will be able to get
off but I intend to try any way. I want to spend
a few days in that month planting trees and
helping you prepare for summer, for I am
afraid you will not be able to prepare for
yourself. Now dont you think that a very
impudent speech. I have no doubt you do
but I am at a safe distance & as I get
no letters I am safe & can be as impudent
as I like. After breakfast – I really enjoyed
my breakfast though it was nothing extra - but
good. Corn bread – middling & gravy – molasses & coffee
with sugar – this with a good apetite [sic] made
all right. Oh darling if I was only at home
this morning you & I & the children would all go
to church in the wagon. It would be so very
[letter abruptly ends]
“Hd Qurs Taliaferros Brig”, heading – Head Quarters Taliaferro’s Brigade.
“Jennie”, salutation – Warren’s wife Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson Magruder Warren.
“my brigade”, line 4 – 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.
“Genl Longstreet”, line 14 – James Longstreet, Confederate general, commanded the 1st Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
“Jos Rice”, page 2, line 4 – Joseph A. Rice, 1st Sergeant, Company B, 10th VA Infantry.
“Jeddy Effinger”, page 2, line 6 – Gerald M. Effinger, Quartermaster-Sergeant, 10th VA Infantry.
“little Jennie”, page 2, line 8 – Unable to determine exactly to whom this refers, but it was not Warren’s ten month old daughter – Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson.
“the children”, page 2, line 29 – Warren had three at the time: seven year old Lizzie, six year old James M., and ten month old Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson.
The letter was unsigned but was written by Edward Tiffin Harrison Warren, Colonel, 10th VA Infantry.
[transcript and annotations by John P. Mann, IV]