Hd Qurs Taliaferros Brig.
January 24” 1863.
My own darling
I have been in a mighty mix all day indeed ever
since yesterday afternoon and am not any better now
though from a different cause, for I this evening got your
letter of last Wednesday telling me Lizzie was quite sick.
I of course expected her to take the fever and although you
dont speak of her symptoms as being bad, yet your de-
clarations of uneasiness make me feel the same. I am
very thankful that Jimmy got over it so well. Dr Camp
bell seems to have feared more danger in his case than in either
of the others, and I am very hopeful that the other
two will get along as well and that you will escape
it entirely. Cheer up my darling & do your best to feel
that you can spare me in the trial, for after I have
told you of my troubles here you will see how under
present circumstances it is impossible for me
to go home. On Yesterday, in the afternoon the two
N.C regiments arrived & reported to me. I was not look-
ing for them & had no good ground to camp them on.
Taking for granted that my Ala friends desired to
leave as soon as the N.Cs reported, I addressed their
commanding officers a very polite note informing them
that were relieved from duty with this brigade &
requesting them to visit my quarters with a view to make
the necessary arrangements for their departure. The officer
commanding the 48” reported but Col Jackson of the 47” did
sent his Senior Capt who made no apology for Col Jackson
not coming. I broached the subject of their departure in the
most inocent [sic] way imaginable when the Capt Campbell
of the 47” (who is a Methodist preacher) very pertly informed
me that they were no longer under my command. I was
thunderstruck, confounded and as mad as forty Bedlomites [sic]
but simply replied – “Capt that is true, but you are on my
“ground” and I need it for the accomodation [sic] of troops that
“are under my command, but I want you to understand
“that although I am greatly embarassed [sic] by your remaining
“here, still so kind have our been my relations with these
“two regiments and so pleasant our intercourse since you
“have been under my command, so far from issuing an order
“for you to leave my encampment, I will not even express a wish
“that you will do so.” At this the Cap began a sort of apology
saying that he thought from the manner in which I commenced
that I intended to order them off. I told him that he had
no right to form such a conclusion, that my past conduct
& manner of doing business forbid it &c &c By this time
I suppose the interview had become rather embarrassing to
the Capt and he withdrew & I doubt not told all sorts
of stories about me to the regiment. This morning the 48th
behaving genteelly left, but the 47” still remains. But
now comes the best of it, the rations of the regiment gave
out to day, and this morning their Lt Col called on me
to get rations. I reminded him of Capt Campbells statement
that they were no longer under my command & that I had
no right to feed them – but by way of heaping coals of fire –
I told him I would recomend [sic] their care to the tender mercies of Genl
Taliaferro who might do something for them & did so but they
got nothing and will have to go away empty in the morning
But this is not all, while the Lt Col was at my quarters beg-
ging for something to eat, Maj Pendleton & Col McDowel of 1st N.C.
were at Col Jacksons having called on him to know when he
intended to leave, to which he replied “he would probably get
off by monday [sic] or tuesday [sic]. M P in endeavoring to do the polite
was expressing his regrets at the seperation [sic] & declaring how
satisfactory and pleasant had been our relations &c just as
a polite man would talk, to which Jackson replied that the only
thing he hated about it was leaving his quarters. But this
is not all – before any of this had occured [sic] Genl Taliaferro had
sent a communication of the most complimentary character
to each of the regiments expressing regrets of the seperation [sic]
recomending [sic] Genl Taliaferro for Maj Genl
&c yet when a paper ^ was sent to the 47” for their signatures
but one officer (a 2d Lieut) in the regt. signed it. Now
Jennie you know how well I have spoken [of] these men &
that I really had a high opinion of them, and you know
too that I have never since I commanded them treated them
otherwise than with kindness, perfect fairness & respect.
And I must confess now that I am deeply grieved at
their conduct. My disappointment in them is so great
that it weakens my confidence in human nature. I have
felt badly all day about it. And one of the worst features
in the case is that last night I recd orders to put my
brigade at once in complete fighting order, and be ready
for action at a moments notice, which I have taken
steps to do, and informed the Alas of the order, but still they
remain although a full hard days march from
their new brigade. And it was this fighting order
that bothered me & helped to mix things for me. At
the time I recd it I had two regiments on picket &
200 men working on breastworks. the N. C.s had
just come in & I know nothing of them, their
efficiency or their wants. All had to be done at once
& imediately [sic], and all in the face of my positive
conviction that we should have no more fighting
on this line. Well I hope by tomorrow mor-
ning to get through all preperations [sic] for a fight,
and now I will make this confession. For my
part I cant see anything that indicates a sign
of a fight, but something to the contrary. Yet as
Genl Lee insists with so much pertenacity [sic] that a
fight is about to occur, I confess I am beginning to
doubt the correctness of my opinion on the subject
and have come to the conclusion that Genl Lee very
probably has some information which I have not, and
I had better make up my mind to act accordingly
Now my darling I dont tell you this to alarm
you, but simply to show you that so long as Genl
Lee is in imediate [sic] expectation of a fight it is useless
for me to ask a furlough.
I am disposed to be pleased with the N. C regts
they are large & the officers that I have seen are
inteligent [sic], but I have been so much mistaken
in the Alas that I am determined to be a little
slow in making up my mind this time. Genl
Taliaferro is very much dissatisfied with his treatment
and I would not be surprised if he resigns. I have
not talked with him about it.
Sunday Morning 25 Jany [this is in the top margin]
My own precious darling. I recon you will think I have no-
thing to do but write letters to you. it looks so indeed, but I
dont hapen [sic] to be very well this morning and am up by six o-
clock and rather than go to bed again will take up the time in
adding length to my letter to you. And this time in morning
seems to me to be so appropriate to write to you who are also very
probably up nursing Lizzie or one of the others, and now I can
just consider myself as talking to you and telling what a very
dear good wife you are, how deeply & fondly I love you & how pretty
I think you are. How good you have been in overlooking all my faults
and bearing with all my follies. How patient you have been in sub-
miting [sic] to the misfortunes incident to this war. My own darling you
tell me you know I would come home if I was only persuaded how
much I was needed there, dont my dearest deceive yourself. I
do know how very important it is for me to be with you, if for
nothing else to cheer you up, but I cant come now. If things at
home were ten times worse than they are it would be the
same thing. I cant leave now, neither of my three ranking officers
would grant it. But I dont think the present state of things
can last very long. The Yankeys must go into winter quarters
and cant any more stand campaigning now than we can, it
is raining again this morning, thus making the prospect
for further operations still worse. I feel certain of having an
opportunity to go home in February and possibly I may
go to stay. For if Genl Taliaferro resigns I am going
direct to Genl Jackson and say to him, I am sir the ranking
colonel in my brigade and have commanded it to the perfect
satisfaction of those under me as well as those above me
for the past three months and in proof of it the brigade
is in a better condition to day than it has ever been
and now it is without a Brigadier and I must now be
made a Brig Genl or I will be nothing, no man from
any other brigade can supersede me, I must have the
rank I am entitled to or I quit. I am not going to be
ambitious. I am satisfied to remain a coln if I can do
so without being supe disgraced by having another man
placed over me. This will be my course, unless you write
to me saying I must not do it. I shall be sorry if
Taliaferro resigns, because I dont want to be bothered
about promotions I dont want to be placed in a situation
which compells [sic] me to look up. I have an ambition of
a different sort, one more congenial to my tastes
and habits and that is to make my family happy
& contented, to keep youth in the heart of my darling
wife, to raise my children to be good useful & happy
this is my ambition one that will make me happy. one
that will be appreciated at home and make those so
dear to me, love me more & more as they live and
grow older. God in his great mercy bless you all
and take care of you & make you cheerful & happy in
the trials & dificulties [sic] now surrounding. Give my
love to Mother Ellie & Grandma & Sister Lizzie, kiss each
each of the children and believe me as ever
Your most affectionate husband
P.S We have had no snow here, all rain.
“Hd Qurs”, heading – Head Quarters.
“Taliaferros Brig.”, heading –
“this brigade”, line 22 –
“my brigade”, page 3, line 27; page 5, line 27 –
“the brigade”, page 6, line 2 – In all cases, Warren referred to the 3rd (Tailaferro’s) Brigade (which he temporarily commanded), 1st (Jackson’s) Division, Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. Prior to the date of the letter, the brigade consisted of the 47th & 48th Alabama Infantry regiments and the 10th, 23rd, & 37th VA Infantry regiments. The 47th and 48th Alabama Infantry regiments, as seen from the contents of the letter, were transferred out of the brigade. The 1st and 3rd North Carolina State Troops (infantry regiments) were transferred into the brigade replacing the Alabamans.
“My own darling”, salutation –
“Jennie”, page 3, line 18 – In both cases, Warren referred to his wife Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson Magruder Warren.
“Lizzie”, line 4; page 5, line 7 – Warren’s seven year old daughter.
“Jimmy”, line 8 – Warren’s six year old son James M.
“Dr Campbell”, lines 8 & 9 – Joseph L. Campbell, Surgeon, 10th VA Infantry.
“N.C regiments”, line 17 –
“N.Cs”, line 20; page 4, line 5 –
“N.C regts”, page 4, line 25 – In all cases, Warren referred to the 1st and 3rd North Carolina State Troops (infantry regiments).
“Ala friends”, line 19 – 47th and 48th Alabama Infantry regiments.
“48””, page 2, line 1 – 48th Alabama Infantry Regiment.
“Col Jackson of the 47””, page 2, line 1 –
“Col Jackson”, page 2, line 2; page 3, line 6 –
“Jackson”, page 3, line 11 – In all cases, Warren referred to James W. Jackson, Colonel, 47th Alabama Infantry Regiment.
“Capt Campbell of the 47””, page 2, lines 4 & 5 –
“Capt Campbell”, page 2, line 27 – In both cases, Warren referred to James M. Campbell, Captain, Company E, 47th Alabama Infantry Regiment.
“the regiment”, page 2, line 23 – 47th Alabama Infantry Regiment.
“48th”, page 2, line 23 – 48th Alabama Infantry Regiment.
“47””, page 2, line 24; page 3, line 16 – 47th Alabama Infantry Regiment.
“LtCol”, page 2, line 26; page 3, line 4 – In both cases, Warren referred to Michael J. Bulger, Lieutenant-Colonel, 47th Alabama Infantry Regiment.
“Genl Taliaferro”, page 3, lines 1 & 2, 13, 15 ½; page 4, lines 29 & 30; page 5, line 25 –
“Taliaferro”, page 6, line 12 – In all cases, Warren referred to William B. Taliaferro, Confederate general, commander 1st (Jackson’s) Division, Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
“Maj Pendleton”, page 3, line 5 –
“M P”, page 3, line 8 – In both cases, Warren referred to Joseph H. Pendleton, Major, Quartermaster, 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
Further research has led to the ability to identify this individual. Annotations concerning “Pendleton” in Warren’s letters of 18 November 1862 and 14 January 1863 should be changed to reflect Joseph H. and his military information.
“Col McDowel”, page 3, line 5 – John A. McDowell, Colonel, 1st North Carolina State Troops (infantry regiment).
“the regiments”, page 3, line 15 – 47th and 48th Alabama Infantry regiments.
“Alas”, page 3, line 29 – 47th Alabama Infantry Regiment.
“Alas”, page 4, line 28 – While Warren may have referred to both the Alabama infantry regiments, it is almost certain, based on the content of the letter, he referred only to the 47th Alabama Infantry Regiment.
“Genl Jackson”, page 5, line 26 – Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, Confederate general, commanded Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
“coln”, page 6, line 8 – Colonel.
“children”, page 6, line 18, 26 – Warren had three at the time – seven year old Lizzie, six year old James M., and eleven month old Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson.
“ETHW”, page 6, signature – Edward Tiffin Harrison Warren, Colonel, 10th VA Infantry.
[transcript by John P. Mann, IV]