Camp in Skinkers Neck
January 19” 1863.
My dearest Jennie
I was rejoiced at the contents of your note of the 15th
giving so favorable an account of Jimmys condition. I feel greatly
relieved but not entirely free from apprehension for he may get
worse or the other children may have it worse than he has, but
the history of the disease is that it is very apt to continue
mild or severe through a family as it starts, making due al-
lowances for the difference in constitutions, with our children
I am more fearful of the effects of it on Jimmy than either
of the others. I am however very hopeful that you will all
pass safely through this ordeal. I have nothing of special
interest to tell you though I propose to write you a full
letter which Lieut Rolston will carry up in the morning
The camp continues to be excited by various rumors as
to movements of the enimy [sic] indicating another advance by
them. I say “excited” but the term is not accurate, for
no rumor of the sort seems to excite our men, either be-
cause they dont believe them or because they are per-
fectly indifferent about a fight. I dont know which
it is. Among other things a report reaches me this evening
that a train of pontoon bridges arrived at our depot
to day. Now that looks like we intended to attack them, and
then again our artilery [sic] which was detached from the
brigades three weeks ago has returned – So it is – No one
knows what is before him or what to expect. One thing Genl Lee
has told us we need not expect, and that is furloughs, but a number
of our boys have the advantage there, they got the furloughs before he said
the word, and will leave tomorrow morning. We have had some
extremely cold weather but our men – I mean this brigade are so well
sheltered in their huts that they have suffered very little except those
on picket, and it has to turned out that our picketing comes this
week & this gives us a full benifit [sic] of the cold weather. I keep
my quarters and send out two regiments at a time, relieving them
every 24 hours. My relief will come Saturday. George went up
to day to see James & pay him the $400 and found his camp moved
somewhere, he could not tell exactly where. By the way you never
told me whether you got the $160 I sent you in my letter by Mr Effinger
You said you got the letter but said nothing about the money.
I am getting along as usual in command of the brigade, am
told almost every day that the brigade has never been in so good
a condition as it now is. I find it is regularly increasing in
numbers and in efficiency, and am glad to be able to say that
my efforts to improve it & benifit [sic] seem to be fully appreciated by
men & officers and also by Genl Taliaferro himself. This is exceedingly
gratifying to my feelings, and another thing that pleases me, is that
my seperation [sic] from my regiment does not seem in the least to dis-
troy either their kind feelings or respect for me, but I will not worry
you with such nonsense. You have never told me how your wheat was
doing I am fearful that you have had so much dry weather that
the crop will be a very small one. You know that we did not
have very much in the first place. In view of this fact I think
we could not do a better thing than to put out the balance of the
meadow (I mean the part we talked of puting [sic] in buckwheat) in
corn as well as the Liskey field, and if I thought Stephen &
Billy could manage it I would also plant the field next to Lights.
altogether it would be about 25 acres in corn and it seems to me
that by commencing to plough now or as soon as the weather will per-
mit they might plant and tend it all and it would pay much
better than wheat ever if we got no more than one dollar a bushell [sic]
talk to Stephen about it and see what he has to say on the subject
If such a plan of operation is agreed upon you might keep all the
piggs [sic] you are likely to raise and could not sell Fly until after
the corn was planted. I mention this matter now in order if
agreed on Stephen may now arrange his work to suit it. I am
still of the opinion that I will be able to get home in February
in time to complete all your plans for the summer. It would
be a mighty nice time for me to apply for a furlough when
Genl Taliaferro returns to take command of the brigade, but I
am fearful that will be too far off, as it seems to be conceded
that the command of this Division is reserved for Maj Genl Edwd
Johnston who was badly wounded at the battle of McDowell and
he from all accounts will not be able to return to service for
six months to come. So you see I must wait until the present
excitement passes away and then apply as a brigade com-
mander for leave to go and see my wife & children.
A new Brig Genl has been assigned to the command of the fourth
brigade in this Division and he has moved his camp down near
to me. I called to see him to day & found in him an old acq-
uaintence. His name is Nickols and he was formerly a LtCol in
Ewells Division. I used to meet him on picket at Manassas – and
charged with him at Winchester when he lost an arm – he is
a graduate of West Point for all of which promotions come easy,
though I suppose he did not think so.
What do you all get to eat in Rockingham. I find that my
constitution is suffering for vegitable [sic] diet. I am perfectly well
but am to day suffering from skin irata disease – itching - not
from lice or itch – as every body would say it was here
in camp, but a humor in my blood caused by a want
of something besides meat & bread. I dont know of any
one except Dr Campbell who is so fond of good eating
& a good variety as I am, but have very little oppor-
tunity to indulge our tastes here I can tell you.
I have writen [sic] so much to you about our prospects &
the hope of peace that I am almost ashamed to write any
thing more. Yet I must confess that the signs from the
north indicate that we are to have thus either an out &
out peace party or a party so factious in its opposition
to the Government as to defeat it in all its efforts. No
men ever lived who succeeded when surrounded with
as many dificulties [sic] as now surround Mr Lincoln.
I am disposed to look very hopefully into the future,
and nothing gives me so much encouragement as the
fact that 300,000 of the Yankey army go out of ser-
vice the first of next May, and the hope of going out
at that time will not help to make them good soldiers.
Oh Darling I wish I was with you to night to help take care
of my darling little boy – tell him to be a good by boy
& make haste & get well so he can ride with papa when
he comes home. We will take some nice rides and
tell little sister she must hunt a heep [sic] of eggs so
I can have some to eat. Good night my darling
“My darling Jennie”, salutation – Warren’s wife Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson Magruder Warren.
“Jimmy”, line 2, 8 –
“my darling little boy”, page 4, line 24 – In all cases, Warren’s six year old son James M.
“children”, line 4; page 3, line 21 – Warren had three at the time – seven year old Lizzie, six year James M., and ten month old Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson.
“Lieut Rolston”, line 12 – Michael H. Rolston, 3rd Lieutenant, Company H, 10th VA Infantry.
“brigade”, page 2, line 4, 14, 15; page 3, line 14 – Warren referred to Taliaferro’s Brigade, the third in Jackson’s Division, Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, which consisted of the 47th & 48th Alabama Infantry regiments, and the 10th, 23rd, & 37th VA Infantry regiments. At the time of the letter, Warren was in temporary command.
“George”, page 2, line 9 – Jennie’s brother George S. Magruder, Private, Company C, 13th VA Infantry. At the time of the letter, he was on temporary duty with the 10th VA Infantry as Colonel Warren’s orderly.
“James”, page 2, line 10 – Jennie’s brother James W. Magruder, 1st Lieutenant, Company K, 2nd VA Cavalry.
“Mr Effinger”, page 2, line 12 – Gerald M. Effinger, Quartermaster-Sergeant, 10th VA Infantry.
“Genl Taliaferro”, page 2, line 19; page 3, line 14 – William B. Taliaferro, Confederate general, commanded Jackson’s Division, Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
“my regiment”, page 2, line 21 – 10th VA Infantry.
“Stephen”, page 2, line 29; page 3, line 6, 10 – A slave owned by Warren.
“Billy”, page 3, line 1 – A slave owned by Warren.
“Fly”, page 3, line 8 – A horse owned by Warren.
“this Division”, page 3, line 16, 23 – Jackson’s Division, commanded by William B. Taliaferro, Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
“Maj Genl Edwd Johnston”, page 3, lines 16 & 17 – Edward Johnson, Confederate general, did not assume command of the division until the major reorganization of the Army of Northern Virginia due to Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson’s death resulting from a wound received at the Battle of Chancellorsville, May 1863.
“fourth brigade in this division”, page 3, lines 22 & 23 – The Louisiana Brigade which consisted of the 1st, 2nd, 10th, 14th, and 15th Louisiana Infantry regiments.
“Nickols”, page 3, line 25 – Francis T. Nicholls, Confederate general. He had sometime earlier been Lieutenant-Colonel of the 8th Louisiana Infantry.
“charged with him at Winchester when he lost an arm”, page 3, line 27 – The charge to which Warren referred occurred during the Battle of Winchester, No. 1, fought 25 May 1862. The 10th VA Infantry, which Warren commanded, charged on the left of Taylor’s Brigade, in which the 8th Louisiana was a part. This charge overran the right flank of the Union defense and resulted in the rout of the Yankee army. During the charge Lieutenant-Colonel Nicholls was wounded in the elbow which resulted in the amputation of his left arm.
“Dr Campbell”, page 4, line 7 – Joseph L. Campbell, Surgeon, 10th VA Infantry.
“little sister”, page 4, line 27 – Warren’s oldest daughter seven year old Lizzie.
“ETHWarren”, page 4, signature – Edward Tiffin Harrison Warren, Colonel, 10th VA Infantry.
[transcription and annotations by John P. Mann, IV]