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Liberty Warner Papers: Transcripts - MS 624
Camp Van Buren [Murfreesboro]
March 29, 1862
Dear friends at home,
I received your two very acceptable letters within 3 or 4 days of one another. They found us all well and in a pleasant camp 30 miles from Nashville and near a little town called Murfreesborough. We are at work on some of the burnt bridges destroyed by the Texas Rangers. These bring up the rear of the rebbel army. They burn or otherwise destroy everything that could be of any possible use to us. They lurk continually about the country, thieving about and watching the chance to slip in to our camp and spye. They picked into a Reg. of Dutch who ware out on picket about 6 weeks ago, but they left a pile dead men behind them. After they got enough, they came back under a flag of truce and had the satisfaction of packing a couple of wagon loads of dead Rangers, their Col. with the rest. Their brave Col. came to his death in the following manner. He spied on a lone Dutchman coming in & thinking him an easy booty started after him on the gallop. On coming up with him he struck & hit not the Dutchman but his gun, his sabre breaking in the performance. Bayonet spoke up then, & the Col. quit this country for a warmer.
I passed the ground, it was strewed with dead horses. Their present Col. is as brave as a lion. He managed to get a pass from Gen. Mitchell and has been in every Reg. in the division, but he cannot come it again.
Our cavelry bring prisoners every day or two.
And I, while I am away down here in Tinisee, I often think of my friends and home and rejoice to think of the time when I shall once more be a citizen and know that peace reigns & I believe that time fast approaching. Victory crowns our battles.
Liberty P. Warner
Son & Brother
Direct your letters anywhere, I will get them.
March 29, 1862
I received your very acceptable letter a few days ago. It found me enjoying very excellent health. The weather is getting quite warm and spring has fully set in. The trees are beginning to put forth their leaves and blossoms. The grass is sprung up high to allow the cattle and horses considerable feed. A good many of our horses are very thin, so the little grass comes very acceptable to them. We have light bread now, so we have a grand time as well as the horses.
Camp Van Buren, Murfreesboro
April 3, 1862
We are all well and have just completed the bridges here and expect to move 25 miles down the R Road tomorrow. Today we got paid of again.
And I send Pa $25, H. Warner.
$25.00 Liberty Warner
I wrote you a letter containing all the news 6 days or mor ago.
Hot as harvest.
[Camp Taylor, Huntsville]
Apr. 19, 1862
It is with pleasure that I peruse this nice big letter, so lately from home, dated April 14. It finds us all well. George is at Murfreesborough, Tenn., but is not sick or dead. When we started from town, the Capt. told all that could not stand the force marches we ware about to make to report to the surgeon and stay behind. So you see, we are all alive yet. You must never be alarmed because you do not hear from us often. Half of our letters never go through. I have written 2-3 letters to 1 that I have received.
After leaveing Murfreesborough, Tenn. we marched from thence to Shelbyville & laid up there 3 days. Orders then were given to march 28 miles to a little village & in that village that night I stood guard.[illegible - tape damage] immediatly for and arrived at Huntsville, Alabamma the 2nd day. We stoped the sesesh migration verry quick. We captured 17 locomotives, 40 carrs (this being a central point accounts for the number of locomotives), and 200 sesesh soldiers. Col. Norton has been proclaimed provose martial of Huntsville, & the 21st Reg. as guard of the same. Gen. Mitchell has gone on and had a fight with the rebbels, beating them (the rebbels) badly. The 21st will niether see Corinth nor battle without we are attacted.
Our boys are fighting at Corinth like bulldogs. The slaughter is great on both sides. The news of victory sounds beautiful on the ear of a soldier. It makes him think of a good time comeing. Alabamma is a beautiful country. The forests are all clothed in green & a beautiful summer is already broke upon us. We pick greens and get onions, so we have a change of diet. I caught about 100 fish out of a little run close by our [illegible - tape damage] with fish and the land with niggers. Every planter owns from 5 to 6 to 100, the plantations contane from 200 to 9 or 10 hundred & some of them thousands of acres, the houses are splendid, but far apart. The people are all putting in corn instead of cotton, or rather, they have put it in.
I sent home $25 dollars Liut Curry. I suppose you are very scarce of money in that part of the world. There is some Confederate trash here, but it's poor stuff, poor paper, mere daub of a tipe. Some of it has the bust motif of Jeff Davis, our first president.
This sheet is one that I picked up, but I have no other just now. The paper is poor, the writing is worse, and my thoughts I string out on the paper as they come to hand.
Brother Elliott, your letters always come like friends in time of need. I am always very anxious to see the letter backed with your familliar handwriting. When that comes I drop everything and perus its most welcome contents. Since I left you I have seen great many sights, some of the pleaseing and some of the other class. The army is a very exciteing place at first, but after as many hardships as we have seen, nothing can excite much, without it be a letter from home. I had rather see one of cows than Gen. Mitchell or Buell. The Gens. I could only see, but if anyway close [illegible - tape damage] I would play a milking game, I try it on sesesh cows sometime. It is extremely dangerous for a 21ster to go in to a crocery, the stuff laying around naturally sticks to their fingers and the grocer wakes up to find things stept out, no one knows where, it haveing gone down read lane if eatable. You must soon and let me know all about things on the farm, as I think more of things connected there than anyplace else.
Your brother, L.P. Warner
Your kind letter came with the rest, Sunday 19. I am sitting in my tent this morning, thinking myself luckey in being off duty as it is raining a steady stream this morning. The rain don't hurt me any, only it is a little unpleasant to soak and no dry clothes to put on. We have a verry pretty camp here and a prospect of staying on it here sometime. We have possession of a central point [illegible - tape damage] that goes through to Nashville be great importance to ourselves & enemies. Our reg. has been chosen as an especial guard to keep things right in town, also to guard our prisoners. The rebbels are passing through this town in squads, having deserted the rebbels at Corinth and are on their way home. They say it is the turing point in the war, the place they expect to make a terrible struggle.
Cousin John sends his respects to you all.
Liberty P. Warner to friends at home.
Athens, Al., May 30, 1862
After waiting a long time in vain for an answer to my last letter, I have concluded that it did not go through or yours was somehow miscarried on the long route in comeing through to me.
We are, however, all enjoying good health. We expect our boys that were taken prisoner will be with us in a few days. They are in Nashville at present.
May the 26th we left Huntsville and for the first time since we came from Covington to Nicholasville got a carr ride of 30 miles or thereabouts down to Athens, All. We found the town and the country about it in a sad plight. 2 of our Dutch regiments picked into the stores and plundered them of every thing they wanted and finished up by smashing up the rest.
Parts of the Divition skirmish now and then withe enemy, but nothing of any consequence has transpired yet. And what is more, I do not know that there is any chance for it, although we would jump at the chance of getting a hack at them. The sesech cavelry keeps fooling around. They will get in a bumblebee's nest yet some of these days. Our boys would have no mercy on them at all in any case they should get them in their powers.
We are beginning to get tired of this thing. It has hung on until we are now in fighting order and now we want to fight. We feel as if we had hung around the table some time and now we want to eat. If there is any fighting, we are ready. We have loaded our guns to long and we want to kill the wreches that gorrillo about through the country and make such enormous costs by keeping up the rebellion. There is talk of taking some men out of the Regiment and mounting them on horses to persue those cowardly thieves.
The people are getting rather scarce of grub in these parts. Corn doger made up with water is the staple. Some of the rich has cows that supply them with milk, also plenty of meat. We visit the larders and milk the cows at times. (We are on picket and the boys are chaseing the cows around for milk now). We draged a small porker in out of the dew this afternoon by way of passtime & eattime together. We was a pig when we got him, but we skinned him and changed his name to possom.
When we are hungry, if we cannot get rations, we eter speak for a turkey or some other baste. At times we go visiting to some rich nigger grocer and present our case. They sometimes object, but the sight of our shineing beyonets argue the case. In fact, a bold face and a revolver at the side always wins the grub. After finishing our meal, a cool "muched obliged" takes the conceit out of them. After their feeling for the holfs (?), if everything goes on right, I think these sett of black 21ers will see Ohio before long.
My love to all. Write soon. Write Nashville or any other place. I suppose I have grown a good & since I left home. 140 is my weight at present. It was for a time 150.
Liberty P. Warner, Athens, All.
Elk River, Tenn.
[Early July, 1862]
Dear Parents, Brother & Sisters,
I have for the last two months enjoyed good health and easy times in our pleasant little fort on the banks of the Elk River. There is two companys of us here and no camp guard is placed around us to keep us from walking out as far as the pickets. If wish to go farther, we can get a pass from Liut Curry and go anywhere with impunity as the sesesh are pretty well fritened out of heart. Some have come to the conclution that we are no worse than their own men, as the latter burnt their cotton, whereas if they swear allegiance to us we protect them and their property.
Our Co. was to work at the tunnel 2 or 3 days clearing up the R Road track in order to allow our provition train a passage through without going over the bluff. The tunnel is cut through sollid rock a distance 30 rods or more & runs under a high bluff.
While we were at work here I captured a sesesh shotgun. It is a fine English twist and was carried by the Scott cavelry and has been hard used. The barrels are about 2 feet long and it had in ether barrel 25 buckshot. These are the most formidable wepon when used at a short distance I know of. They will kill and mame a nomber at one shot. I have packed the gun in Currys box and I expect you will see it for long.
Genl. Michell was here a few days ago and spoke to us a few minutes. The old fellow praises us a good deal for good conduct. He has gone to Washington. I think likely we shall go east befor long if Richmond is not taken before long. We are the boys for them. If we had been at Corinth when our old starry at the head of the whole, the rebbels would never got out of it without a fight. The mechanics who planted the siege guns at Corinth are working on a bridge at this place. They say we had a 1000 canon pointed at the town.
Liberty P. Warner
July 14, 1862
Dear friends at home,
Today is the sabbath. We have left our pleasant little fort on the banks of Elk River and we are now with our Reg. once more at Athens and as there is no services of any kind in camp we are lounging about in our tent, drowning of the heat and being no ways sorry we are not on duty today.
The excitement and anxiety to hear the news from Richmond is very great. As soon as the newsboy shows himself on the platform of the car he is immediately besieged by soldiers & citizens, half crazy to hear the results of battle. Even Sambo will inquire "what ye aw guine to do".
In this country big black stinking Sambo grows in all his glory. It is here this beloved, industrious, troden down in the dust humanity toils all day long (that is if he has a driver behind him) and gets nothing but pork bread and whatever he raises in his little garden and hen coop (without he can steal from some other nigger or his master).
When we were at work in the tunnel, we pressed in about 40 niggers and we could accomplish but little with them. You have to keep on the lookout as they will mosey off into some shady place and lay down. Nigger heaven is a place where they can dance and lay in the shade all day.
Liberty P. Warner.
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