Hd Quars Taliaferros Brig
January 8” 1863. Night
My own darling wife
I received your letter my cap & $400 in money by
Capt Rolston to day. Many thanks for all, for I was be-
ginning to think you were forgeting [sic] me, thinking me so far
off it was no use in writing to me at all. I was mighty
glad to hear of Miss Jennies improved health and hope and
believe she will continue to grow fat and hearty, for I con-
sider th her the most healthy of our three children - has
she any teeth yet? I am glad that my letters inter-
est you. I have been fearful that there sameness and en-
tire want of news would make them common to you
but if they make you happy for a whole day then
I am amply repaid for all effort and will try
and give you as many happy days as possible. I am
very sorry to hear of the continued illness of Sister Liz-
zies children. I hope they will both soon be entirely
well, but from your account I am very fearful they
will not recover. I am truly sorry for her & Nate
They indeed have been sorely afflicted.
I have writen [sic] to you about Mr Long. I dont remem-
ber about his affairs and he must wait until I can
see him. I am amused at your idea of geting [sic] your
affairs so much mixed. You & Stephen I am afraid are
bad managers and You must not get things mixed but
keep them all properly sorted out. I dont like the
idea of your having such a tangled web for me to unravel
when I pay you my anticipated visit, for I want it to be
a visit to you and the children and not a trip of labor.
So you must go to work and unmix every thing my darling
and be ready to give me the welcome of a guest, some-
time in February. Now I am talking just like I had a
furlough in my pocket and could leave when I saw proper
when the fact is I this very evening received an order
saying a field officer could not leave his regiment unless
there was at least one field officer present and then only
under extraordinary circumstances. My hope is that in
a short time Maj Stover will return and the extraordinary
circumstances will consist in full 10 inches of mud which
will entirely put an end to fighting for this winter. Yester
day & to day have been real winter days – cold & cloudy.
For your every day dress I dont know what to tell you
to do. All I can say is you have got money & the town
before you – exercise you own judgement [sic] my darling – and
if you cant buy anything then send Billy to Frescatti for
coton [sic] yern [sic] & have a dress manufactured like Lou & Hets.
Dr Campbell returned from Richmond to day & says calico
sells there for $2.25 per yard. So if you can buy at $1.25
in H. Burg you will save a dollar on the yd. Campbell
says everything in Richmond is enormously high. He says I can
by furnishing the buttons for coat get a complete uniform coat
pants & vest for $175, and unless you forbid it I will indulge in
that bit of extravagance before I come to see you – acknowledge
your approval by sending me the buttons on my old coat.
Now dont you think I have been a very proper old man to
write two pages and say nothing about the war or the prospects
of its termination. I am in a better humor with Genl Braggs op
erations than I was when I wrote my last, and really do believe
there is a prospect of Napoleons saying a word to Mr Lincoln on
the subject of stoping [sic] the war. It is not worth while for me to say
why I think so or anything about it. My reasons are so various
that it will take my whole letter to give them. My dear Jennie
I am really very pleasantly situated My intercourse with the
officers under my command & on my staff is just as pleasant
and happy as can. Every dispute or dificulty [sic] which ar-
rises is brought to me for settlement & my opinion is always
satisfactory to them & both parties go away satisfied. Every
man & every officer seems to feel at perfect liberty to come
to me with all complaints & for any information. I am
sometimes smartly bothered, but always take the trouble
to satisfy them & thus I have cultivated the kindest re-
lations and hence so far enjoy a pleasant time, but all
this dont satisfy me. I cant be happy and contented so
long as I am down in Caroline and you & the children
in Rockingham. I want to see you when the days work
is over & tell over all the little incidents of the day
and hear from you all your domestic joys & troubles
I love you all too much to be contented away from
you and I must certainly have a furlough before
another month passes by. Cupid says the witches
were riding me last night. I had the night-mare and
made a curious noise in my sleep. Cupid says he thinks
the house is haunted any how, cause he thinks he
sees things sometimes. I tell him I will thrash him if he dont hush
Friday Night. I recd your letter this evening
mailed on the tuesday [sic]. I am truly sorry for
Nate & Lizzie I was apprehensive from the
one of your last letter that Mary would not
recover and now I suppose there is no chance
for her How is little Naw I was afraid from
what you said that see too was far from being
well or even out of danger. Poor Lizzie she
is so constituted that such afflictions are very sore
to her & she is bears up under them with so much
dificulty [sic] that I fear for her health. I wish I
could see her. I dont like to hear you complaining
so much of your throat – you must take more care
of yourself and try & get well before the you
have to encounter the damp weather of the spring
which is always so hard on your health.
So we are to have new neighbors in the persons of
Dr & Mrs Coffman I suppose as you liked Mrs C so
well at Rawley you will renew the acquaintance
by calling to see her, notwithstanding she married so
contrary to your notions &c I am of the opinion that
she will be a very pleasant neighbor. I expect now
Mr Liggett would be entirely willing to take $60 an acre
for his land as Dr C only paid $70 for the Gambill farm
I wish the war was over I would give $60 in a
second if he would take it, but I cant do it now.
I am glad the hogs are safe where they are done
eating corn. Why darling you are rich now with
all your supply of corn flour & meat & 10 sheep
for winter clothing & summer mutton. Now if the Yankeys
will only let you alone and permit this war to end
this winter how nice for us all to be together in the spring
[letter abruptly ends]
“Hd Quars”, heading – Head Quarters.
“Taliaferros Brigade”, heading – Warren was temporarily in command of the brigade which consisted of the 47th & 48th Alabama Infantry regiments, and the 10th, 23rd, & 37th VA Infantry regiments.
“My own darling wife”, salutation – Warren’s wife Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson Magruder Warren.
“Capt Rolston”, line 2 – James P. Rolston, Captain, Company H, 10th VA Infantry.
“Miss Jennie”, line 5 – Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson, Warren’s ten month old daughter.
“children”, line 7; page 2, line 3 – The three children were seven year old Lizzie, six year old James M., and ten month old Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson.
“Stephen”, line 22 – A slave owned by Warren. This same Stephen is mentioned numerous times in Warren’s earlier letters but never able to be positively identified until now.
“Maj Stover”, page 2, line 12 – Joshua Stover, Major, 10th VA Infantry.
“Billy”, page 2, line 19 – A slave owned by Warren. This same Billy is mentioned numerous times in Warren’s earlier letters but never able to be positively identified until now.
“Frescatti”, page 2, line 19 – Frascati. Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson Magruder Warren’s ancestral home located a few miles north of Gordonsville.
“Dr Campbell”, page 2, line 21, 23 – Joseph L. Campbell, Surgeon, 10th VA Infantry.
“H. Burg”, page 2, line 23 – Harrisonburg, Rockingham County.
“Genl Bragg”, page 3, line 2 – Braxton Bragg, Confederate general, commanded the Army of Tennessee.
“Napoleons”, page 3, line 4 – Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon III of France.
“Jennie”, page 3, line 7 – Warren’s wife Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson Magruder Warren.
“Caroline”, page 3, line 19 – Caroline County, VA.
“Rockingham”, page 3, line 20 – Rockingham County, VA.
“Cupid”, page 3, line 25, 27 – A servant or slave of the Warren or Magruder family.
While this truncated letter bears no signature, it was written by Edward Tiffin Harrison Warren, Colonel, 10th VA Infantry.
[transcript and annotations by John P. Mann IV]