This letter was written by Pvt. Edgar A. Warner (1841-1863) of the 126th New York Infantry, Company K.
Warner was born in Hopewell, New York, and by occupation was a farmer. He enlisted 31 July 1862, aged twenty-one years, and was in the battles of Harper’s Ferry, Gettysburg, and Auburn Ford before being mortally wounded in the Battle of Bristoe Station on 14 October 1863. Pvt. Warner was taken to 2nd Division Hospital in Alexandria (in a Baptist Church) where he was treated for a gunshot wound to the lungs but he died on 16 October 1863 and was buried initially in Alexandria National Cemetery, Section A, Plot 1014. It seems that his body was later exhumed and probably returned to his home in upstate New York (see comment below).
Edgar was the son of Calvert C. Warner (1821-1897) and Eunice V. Latting (1823-18xx) of Canandaigua, Ontario County, New York. Calvin was a miller by trade. Edgar wrote this letter to his parents as well as his sister, Caroline E. Warner (b. 1845).
Addressed to Mr. Calvert C. Warner, Canandaigua, Ontario County, New York
Union Mills, Virginia
February 1st 1863
Dear Mother & Sister,
I received your kind letter of the 26th and was glad to hear that you were well. I have got over the mumps now and will be able to go on duty tomorrow. They have taken Jeff Moore ¹ to the hospital again. He warent quite well — not so as to be able to do duty. The doctor thought he had better go to the hospital and stay a spell longer.
I don’t think father had ought to lose that waggon and pay the note besides. I should think Saxton ought to be satisfied with that. Father can do as he has a mind to about it.
I have got plenty of good clothes and three pairs of socks. You may send me a pair of boots if you want to. I will want nines, I guess. If you can get ki__ with three soles on if you can get them, and good long legs. Father can tell about what I want by trying them on. Julia said you was all anxious to send a box so I wrote to her and told her to send it along. I am going to send both letters Monday. The mail don’t go out today. You may send me some tobacco chewing and I don’t care what else — whatever you have got to send. I have wrote the directions in Julia’s letter. This is all I can think of this time for my stock of news has all run out.
From your affectionate son & brother, — E. A. Warner to his mother & sister
Jeff says give his best respects to Lydia. Give her mine too. Send the boxes soon as you can get it ready. E. A. Warner
¹ Thomas Jefferson (“Jeff”) Moore enlisted in Company K of the 126th New York on 12 August 1862 at Canandaigua to serve three years. He was taken prisoner on 15 September 1862 and paroled the following day at Harper’s Ferry when the entire garrison surrendered to Stonewall Jackson’s men on their way to Antietam. We learn from this letter that Jeff was seriously ill in early February 1863; he died of “lung inflammation” on 10 April 1863 at the Fairfax Street Hospital — a former hotel called the Mansion House — in Alexandria, Virginia.