Hd Qurs Taliaferros Brig:
January 31st 1863.
My dear wife
Mr Effinger has not yet returned and I was in conse-
quence without a letter from you on yesterday, but I con-
fidently expect one by mail this evening. I hope
you will hereafter send all your letters by mail
I am always disappointed when you send me
letters by any one. We are all in the best possi-
ble spirits about the war. Every paper brings us
a stronger confirmation of our hope for an early
cessation of hostilities. The Yankey account of
their recent effort to cross the River is amusing
to us and at the same time is an assurance
that they will not renew the attempt very soon.
The Yankey minister at the Queens Court admits
that if Yankey successes do not change the con-
dition of things before February it will be im-
possible to prevent our recognition, and lo! the
1st of February is here and nothing is done or can
by them be done to effect that change. Under
these circumstances I think it is possible we may
have another fight on this line in the spring, but
I dont think it very probable. I am in the finest
sort of spirits My hope for peace is so vivid that
it overcomes the feeling of anxiety and impotence
which formerly had so disasterous effect on my
spirits. Only one thing anoys [sic] me & that is your
condition at home I cant help feeling uneasy
about you all the time and am determined
to go home. Genl Trimble our new Maj Genl is
now in camp, but I understand is on crutches
I dont know whether he will report for duty or
not, if he does I will I think get leave to go home
3 Oclock. Genl Trimble has assumed command of his
Division, and I suppose Genl Taliaferro will take command
of his brigade either this evening or tomorrow. And I have
a furlough already prepared to send up in the morning
I have made out a very pretty case and am very hopeful
that I will get it, but you must not be too confident of
it, but nor look for me before you receive another letter from
me. If it so hapens [sic] that Taliaferro does not report resume
command I will apply any how, but will not have the
same chances for success. We have no news in camp, the
day is rather colder than yesterday & the snow is not disappear-
ing so rapidly, but it melts slowly, the roads are in a terably [sic]
bad condition and daily growing worse. So that Yankey ingi-
nuity & perseverance is perfectly defied and they as well as we
must keep in close quarters for the present. I have not the slightest con-
Just here I was interrupted before dinner and now dont know
what I intended to say. But I can tell you what I intend to
say now. I intend to start my application with a special
messenger in the morning and will hear from it by night.
So you see I am in ernest [sic] about trying to get home to see
you all I will be able to anounce [sic] my arriva coming in
advance of my arrival as I intend to visit Richmond before
I go home which will not detain me on the road as I would
have to remain at Gordonsville. George will go on home
& have Lou at the depot as I pass, all this provided Genl
Lee concludes to let me go home. I have seen to days
papers, nothing of special interest except the change in
Yankey commanders. I want in Richmond to get some
little things necessary for you all at home & also get
my uniform which I hope will be ready for me
As this will not go off until tomorrow at one oclock I
may have something more to say.
[letter abruptly ends]
“Hd Qurs”, heading – Head Quarters.
“Taliaferros Brig:”, heading – Warren temporarily commanded the 3rd (Taliaferro’s) Brigade, 1st (Jackson’s) Division, Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. The brigade consisted of the 1st & 3rd North Carolina State Troops (infantry regiments) and the 10th, 23rd, & 37th VA Infantry regiments.
“My dear wife”, salutation – Warren’s wife Virginia ‘Jennie’ Watson Magruder Warren.
“Mr Effinger”, line 1 – Gerald M. Effinger, Quartermaster-Sergeant, 10th VA Infantry.
“the River”, line 10 – Rappahannock River.
“Genl Trimble”, line 28; page 2, line 1 – Isaac R. Trimble, Confederate general, assumed command of the 1st (Jackson’s) Division, Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
“Genl Taliaferro”, page 2, line 2, 8 – William B. Taliaferro. Upon his being relieved of duty Taliaferro was sent south to command Confederate forces, at various times, in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. He never again served with the Army of Northern Virginia.
“George”, page 2, line 24 – Jennie’s brother George S. Magruder, Private, Company C, 13th VA Infantry. At the time of the letter George was temporarily assigned to the 10th VA Infantry as Warren’s orderly.
“change in Yankey commanders”, page 2, lines 27-28 – Warren referred to the replacement of Ambrose E. Burnside by Joseph Hooker as commander of the Army of the Potomac.
Though unsigned, the letter was written by Edward Tiffin Harrison Warren, Colonel, 10th VA Infantry.
[transcript and annotations by John P. Mann, IV]