Henry and Mary Warner lived in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, now part of Pittsburgh. They are the great-grandparents of poet Marianne Moore. By the 1860s they had three surviving children: John, Henry, and Anne. Their letters to John, a Presbyterian minister living in Gettysburg, are preserved as part of Marianne Moore’s family papers.
Allegheny City, Wednesday, November 19th 1862. 1 P.M.
Our Dear Children—When it is teeming rain, we suppose it is dark every where, but in our Allegheny, at this time, as it is raining hard & constant we think it is a few shades darker in this latitude here than any other around the globe. Mother is sitting beside me sewing black, in our comfortable back kitchen, the black cat before the stove on the carpet, every thing around looking comfortable, & surely if peace & plenty will make home comfortable, we enjoy it here; We are happy to inform you we are in excellent health all of us, we received a letter from Henry on last Saturday evening, it was but a few lines, informing us of his safe arrival at Fort D. in the letter he stated that he would write to you we suppose you have received one from him before this time; Now we would like to know if Jennie has got home and how she is, if she has weaned the child from the breast yet, if that pain still continues in her back, tell us particularly how she is, as we feel much concerned about her, also let us know how our dear little Mary is progressing—In your last letter you stated that you would like to be near us, so that Mary could come in & out to us, we say so too, we wish she was. We would like to know if Jennies brother had to go with the drafted men, or did he get a substitute; Do you think you can spend a few days with us this winter: Will McMillen dropped in last Monday—day before yesterday, says he would like very much to have a letter from you, he looks very well, but Mother thinks his deafness is increasing; There is one circumstance, we forgot to inform you of, the very next morning after Henry came to us on his visit, while we were at worship, a rap came to the front door, Mother attended, & who should it be but Mr. Zug, he wanted to know if Henry was at home, said yes, but for two or three days; that he had joined the army, had been away, and was to leave again immediately; Mr. Zug said he was sorry, that he had a good situation for him, and that he thought he would suit it very well. Mother says now, how happy she would feel if he was in a situation like that, coming in and out every day, like many a young fellow here, and not be in the army—as we have had no draft in this country—Allegheny having given over her quota for this war: Mother says Will McMillen insisted very much on her, not to forget giving his love to you. I wonder if we forgot to tell you Richard Bard was married, he has been married about two months, to a widow lady whose name was Clarke from New Castle; Jonnie goes to school regularly every day, gets a No. 1 report every week, for which his grandmother gives him one cent according to a promise she made him when he commenced going to school; Sis is a fine little girl, she went to school with Jonnie until a few days ago; now the weather has changed to winter, Anne will keep her at home we think, for two or three months until the severity of winter is over. Robert is still doing very well. All communication has been cut off, between Archy and us for the last two months; We hope our countrywoman Mary has got over the fright the rebels gave her—remember us to her—we would like very much to chat with Mrs Coburn about the rebel times you have had out there—there are several more as well as Mrs Coburn would like to chat with—Miss Rebecca Campbell &c &c &c
Your affectionate father & mother
Henry & Mary Warner
Citation: Henry and Mary Warner, autograph letter signed to John Riddle Warner. Allegheny City [Pittsburgh], 19 November 1862. Moore VI:05:12