April 30, 1861: Henry & Mary Warner to John Warner

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 Annie. Their letters to John, a Presbyterian minister living in Gettysburg, are preserved as part of Marianne Moore’s family papers.

Moore VI-4-17 p1 Henry and Mary Warner to Children 4-30-61

Moore VI-4-17 p2 Henry and Mary Warner to Children 4-30-61


Allegheny City Tuesday April 30th 1861 Back kitchen 4 P.M.

Our Dear Children Your very welcome & interesting letter reached us this morning at 8 oclock Dated 26th inst, we rejoice with you that you are still safe and we hope every day, that now will pass by, will find you more & more secure from the attack of those, from whom, seven years ago, we could not be made believe a blow of that kind would come, however on thinking over these things, we must come to the conclusion, every night, on lying down in our beds, Mrs Craig, Mrs Eyster, You, & ourselves, It is only Our Heavenly Father, “who maketh us to dwell in safety.” We are happy to inform you we are all in excellent health & cheerful, we now feel resigned to leave the issue of this confused & really frightful state of affairs to Him who alone is able to bring order out of confusion, the drum & fife, is at this moment sounding in my ears, and although it would seem that far more men than is needed are already mustered into service, they are recruiting, & drumming up for more, as though men were scarce—The fair ground is covered with tents, the drill is going on there, our own companies, and the companies arriving from the counties around concentrate there, ready to be called out when more troops are demanded, or, on any other occasion, men are busy planting cannon on the surrounding heights &c, &c; captains of Steamboats coming up the river, tell us, the border states—Kentucky, Tennessee &c&, are as rallied for succession as South Carolina, with few exceptions, say two, out of every twenty inhabitants, that, they are treacherously rotten, and not to be depended upon, this is a horrible state of affairs, and plainly going to shew, that, at last, the time has arrived, a justly offended God, will espouse the cause of the down trodden and cruelly treated slave, who has been unjustly robbed and deprived of every right that man has a right to claim from his fellow man—Verily, a righteous God to judge the Earth there is. When we write to Anne our letters are very short, we never send her any of your letters, nor do we allude to the cause of the present bad state of affairs existing around us, for it is not an uncommon affair to open letters now in the Southern States; Henry is in Titusville, Mr. Woodsides told me yesterday he saw Him & Joe on last friday and they were well & in good spirits then—last Sabbath was our communion—Mr Coleman assisted, I am sorry to find fault with a minister in the pulpit but I do think he done the cause, more harm than good—he would sometimes become so excited both in the pulpit and when addressing a table that his declamation was terrific—I think his mind is carried away by the state of affairs existing around, I think the people will try & persuade Mr. Clark not to have him again—the “still small voice of the gospel” is for before such gestures & roaring out—Many a sad heart was there owing to the absence of sons, brothers, husbands, & fathers, going & gone to this unnatural war. Aunt B. & Asy sends their kind remembrance to you—We received a letter from Anne, she says Robert is not willing for her to leave L and that Robert also says, we are in as much, if not more, danger than they are; we do not think Robert is much of a judge these matters—Dr Prestly is very much failed—Dave is able to walk about, but weak—our kindest rememberance to Jennie Your affectionate father & mother

Henry & Mary Warner

P.S. Isabella is with us, House cleaning is still going on, Mrs Boyle paid us a visit yesterday, & says, she wont clean house until this fuss is over, for, it but be, that after all her trouble of cleaning, the rebels might burn it, then he labour would go for nothing, wise woman that


Citation: Henry and Mary Warner, autograph letter signed to John and Jennie Warner. Allegheny City [Pittsburgh], 30 April 1861. Moore VI:04:17

April 27, 1861: John Henry Brown’s Journal

John Henry Brown was a painter of portrait miniatures, living and working in Philadelphia. He had met Lincoln in August of 1860 when he was commissioned to paint Lincoln’s portrait for a supporter, but although Brown liked Lincoln personally, he did not agree with Republican policies.



At Miss Conover’s picture. Atlee still sick.

The whole country is now in such a fever of excitement, that I find it impossible to keep up with all that is taking place, without page upon page with each day. To do that I have neither time not space. The Newspapers have daily from two to five columns of fresh matter, called the latest news, but which is not to be relied upon. The reports of one day conflict with the reports of the preceding day. Telegraphic communication with the South has been cut off. Passion—not reason now rules the hour. The great purpose of newspapers now, seems to be to still more inflame the public mind.

Gov. Hicks of Maryland, has called an Extra session of the legislature of his state and recommends “Armed neutrality.” Our own Legislature will meet in extra session on Wednesday next.

John Bell of Tennessee, favours the arming of the whole South against Northern invasion.

The military are very active here.


Citation: John Henry Brown (1818-1891), autograph journal/account book. Philadelphia, 1844-1890. AMs 574/14.1

April 26, 1861: Letter from Capt. Shaler to Col. Ellsworth

Col. Elmer Ellsworth was a lawyer and soldier and friend of Abraham Lincoln who would become one of the first casualties of the Civil War. As a colonel of the Chicago National Guard Cadets before the war, Ellsworth introduced French-inspired Zouave uniforms and drills to the unit. He worked in Lincoln’s law office in August 1860 and assisted him during the fall campaign. After Lincoln’s election he helped organize troops, including the 11th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was shot and killed on May 24, 1861 while removing a large Confederate flag from a tavern in Alexandria, Virginia.


AMs 811-2-6 p1 Shaler ALS to Ellsworth

AMs 811-2-6 p2 Shaler ALS to Ellsworth

Washington City Apl 26th 1861

My dear Col.

We are at last in Washington- The daily papers have doubtless posted you in regard to our progress- Our march from Anapolis on the R. Road track was a hard one- We started at 4 to 8 Oclock in the morning (Wednesday) and marched steadily excepting about two hours rest, until daylight Thursday before we reached the junction of the Washington Road- As a matter of course we […] all pretty well used up- The road in twenty places at least […] was rendered impassable by the removal of the Rails and destruction of the bridges- The material in the ranks however enabled us to make the repairs very rapidly. The government met us at the junction with a train and brought us through at once- We are quartered in the Capitol and shall remain here for a few days until our Camp equipage- which was left at Anapolis can be brought through- The sight for our Camp has not so far as I know been yet selected- Our men are in excellent spirits- notwithstanding their disappointment in not meeting the contemptible scoundrels who obliged them to build a rail road anew for the sake of having a clean shirt in Washington-

Not an officer has yet been able to get his baggage through- The government seized two days ago the R. Road to the junction from Washington and are obliged to keep a guard stationed to prevent its destruction- I saw Mr. Nicolay and his assistant and remembered you to him- Whatever you desire me to do for you in that quarter, command and it shall be attended to as far as lays in my power- All Washington was delighted to see us, and we anticipate a pleasant time, especially if Jeff. Davis would only show himself in the neighborhood- I have […] that the Chamber of Commerce are going to equip your Regiment and you will soon be ready to start from the City- Write me the particulars

Yours in haste Shaler


Citation: Capt. Shaler, autograph letter signed to Elmer Ellsworth. Washington, D.C.; 26 April 1861. AMs 811/2.6

April 25, 1861: Hugh Craig to Jennie Craig Warner

Hugh Craig was the older brother of Jennie Craig Warner, who was the grandmother of the poet Marianne Moore> These letters are preserved as part of Marianne Moore’s family papers. Moore VI-4-17 p1 Hugh to sister 4-25-61 Moore VI-4-17 p2 Hugh to sister 4-25-61 Moore VI-4-17 p3 Hugh to sister 4-25-61 Moore VI-4-17 p4 Hugh to sister 4-25-61


Locust Hill, April 25th 1861

Dear Sister:

I have a good many letters to write. And a good deal of work to attend between this and the 8th of May. For these reasons I must write you but a short letter. I arrived home yesterday evening. And was right glad to get home, so that I might be free to some extent from the excitement. George was to leave this morning for York. He has accepted the post of Pay-master in Col. Stumbaugh’s Regiment. Mary of course felt sad at George’s departure, but she bore up very well. Mother is a good deal troubled about the War. She says she would like to get away from Mason’s & Dixon’s line as far as she could. She says that she would not like to go either to Chambersburg or Gettysburg. She thinks the only safe place would be in Canada. The Marylanders around us are all Union men so far as I know. The Clearspring people were very much rejoiced that so many troops came to Chambersburg, they feel safer now. They are strong for the Union in Clearspring. Dr. Firey says he will spend all he has to defend the Union. I can’t pay you more than the interest on that note this spring. It might be that after awhile I might pay you some. I paid that note off, that Uncle held against you, and destroyed it. You may bring that note of mine along with you over, or mark the interest on it paid for one year and I will make all right when you come over. The troubles in our country will make quite a change in that contemplated trip in May. We will probably only go to Niagara. Thomas X. Orr is to be grooms-man. Tell Mr. Warner we expect him to officiate on the morning of the 8th of May. I suppose it is hardly necessary that I should write to Mr. W. about it. It was the understanding when Mr. W. was over here that he was to officiate on that occasion if Mr. Dinsmore was not yet ordained. Tell him I am very much engaged, & that I hope he will excuse me for not writing. Jennie I want you to go along with Mr. W. to the wedding. Mr. Orr’s said that you should come there the evening before. The ceremony is to take place at 9 ½ o’clock. Mr. Orr’s say they can entertain six strangers. Watson intends going the evening before. Martha said she would like to know a little before hand how many of my friends would be with them one night. I want you to write to me immediately whether you will go to James Orr’s the evening before. Our plan here is for you to go to the wedding, and then come up with Watson in the cars to Chambersburg & he will bring you the remainder of the road in the buggy. Jennie I would like very much & Mother would too, that you would be here as soon as you can after I leave. If you would come with Watson from the wedding, Mother would only be alone one night. If it is had suited you I would like if you could have been present a few days before I left—but I will not ask you to do this. I expect there will be about thirty five or forty at the wedding.

From your affectionate brother


Citation: Hugh Craig, autograph letter signed to Jennie Craig Warner. Locust Hill, Penn, 25 April 1861. Moore VI:04:17

April 24, 1861: Henry & Mary Warner Letter to John and Jennie Warner

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 Annie. Their letters to John, a Presbyterian minister living in Gettysburg, are preserved as part of Marianne Moore’s family papers.

Moore VI-4-17 p1 Henry and Mary Warner to Children 4-24-61

Moore VI-4-17 p2 Henry and Mary Warner to Children 4-24-61

Moore VI-4-17 p3 Henry and Mary Warner to Children 4-24-61

Allegheny City Wednesday April 24th 1861 Back Parlour 9 A.M.

Our Dear Children, One hour has not elapsed since your welcome letter was put into my hand at the post office, your letter was dated 20th and Post Marked [Home Junct] same date, I only arrived this morning; if you do not receive our letters promptly, it is not our fault, for we answer almost instanter’, on receipt of your letter, especially when you require an immediate answer; concerning Anne we have nothing new. As for any of us going for her, under present circumstances, it would be sheer madness, while on her pact coming here alone, by R.R. of course, she would be perfectly safe the whole distance, you talk about passing through Richmond you might as well pass through the fire, I am in great hopes we will soon see her.

Harry accidentally saw the news of Davis being shot at his own door in Baltimore in the N.Y. Tribune or we would not have known a word about it, I have been looking for that news in all our Pittsburgh papers but could not see it. As you take the Tribune, we would be glad (these troublous times) to get hold of one occasionally—Henry left for Titusville on Monday via Kittaning, of which I think I informed you in my last, when I sent Anne’s letter. Now Dear John drop us a line as often as you can, and any thing concerning Anne, or any thing else that may transpire that will interest you, you may be sure we will send you word in haste without delay, so great is the excitement here that the community can neither say, or do, any thing only think or talk about the war, all telegraphic news on that subject is almost entirely cut off and the mails are slow and irregular and the people eagerly seek after the arrival of the latest news, indeed last evening I went to the P.O. found nothing there, about 4 oclock, then went over the Hand street bridge to Clendennings store that is on Hand street to see if I could hear any new news, the sound of the drum & fife we are almost sure to hear when ever we open the door and when ever we go. We have an excellent clean atlas of Mitchells that I thought I would look at for the different positions of places around Washington, when sure enough there I saw Gettysburgh only seven miles off the Maryland line, much nearer to the line than Chambursburgh but then Cham is much nearer Harpers Ferry, the scene of John Brown’s labour, well it is not likely they will trouble your place—the Rebels will have enough on their hands, but certainly your folks should have plenty of artillery & Minnie rifles united to a determined spirit to give them a sound drubbing, but wait until negro insurrection takes place. I am glad when I think I am writing to a person in a free state and also to know my letter will not on its journey have to leave the free state of old Penna. We sympathise with Jennie & her sister on the probability of Alex Eyster leaving for the War, we sincerely hope, if he does go, that he may return in safety to the beloved objects that are so near & dear to him, Oh but them rebels and foes of God will meet with a terrible retribution. The day is clearing up after rain, Mother is in right good health, is upstairs now, cleaning house assisted by Isabella, no doubt but her thoughts are lively occupied about her absent ones; So anxious are the people here that they talk of completely Wiping out that portion of Maryland that lies between them and the Capital, Oh! but they would like to walk over Baltimore, there will be some sad tales to tell before the termination of this civil war, we are very much kept in the dark here about what is going on, & it is three days before we got the news of any thing momentous that does occur, even the mails are tardy and irregular. Tomorrow Thursday, will be our day of humiliation, previous to a sacramental Sabbath, when it was first given out, about 4 weeks ago, I think if it was known that we would be in the midst of such troublous times as these, it would have been put off a little longer, for the public mind at present is in a very feverish state; every one agree in the opinion, that, never was such a unity of sentiment so general on any subject, as the feeling in regard to the present war, all parties anxious to see the South severely chastised, while on the contrary the lying emissaries of Satan are busy circulating every where that in the North the people are very much divided on that subject, that General Scott is about to resign for want of support” &c&c&c—His Satanic majesty has always been busy, and still find agents to do his will—it is a true saying, he is the father of lies.

1 P.M. Mother was just telling me at dinner that the last words Henry told her was, that he would soon be back, as he was anxious to know what was going on; on last Saturday evening Aunt Betty visited us & remained until Sabbath eve, Isabella has just been telling us at dinner, that she heard Harry say that he was offered the command of a company if he would go and what stood in his way most was leaving his mother, now he never told us that, but from his conduct, he appeared to be restless & uneasy

I shall now conclude & bid you good bye for a while—kind remembrance to Jennie—Your affectionate father & mother

Henry & Mary Warner

What does Mrs Craig think of all this?

Citation: Henry and Mary Warner, autograph letter signed to John and Jennie Warner. Allegheny City [Pittsburgh], 24 April 1861. Moore VI:04:17

April 22, 1861: The New York Herald


Transcript (excerpt):

The New York Herald, New York, Morning Edition, Monday, April 22, 1861.

Page 1, Upper Half

News From Harper’s Ferry.

Chambersburg, Pa., April 21, 1861.

On the night of the destruction of the buildings at Harper’s Ferry, four men were left on guard and, could not leave without Lieutenant Jones. They were, as supposed, taken prisoners by the Virginians, and held till yesterday afternoon, when two escaped by crossing the bridge, and one by swimming the river and canal.

The other remains at the Ferry. The three arrived here this morning. They report that the destruction of the buildings and arms was complete. Six or seven thousand Virginians were there, and five thousand more were expected last night from Richmond under Colonel Lee.

They design invading Maryland, and making Mason and Dixon’s line the line of warfare.

Citation: New York Herald. 22 April 1861. Gift of Susan and Steven Raab. AN .N56792

April 21, 1861: John Henry Brown’s Journal

John Henry Brown was a painter of portrait miniatures, living and working in Philadelphia. He had met Lincoln in August of 1860 when he was commissioned to paint Lincoln’s portrait for a supporter, but although Brown liked Lincoln personally, he did not agree with Republican policies.



Sunday. At Church.

The bridges between this city & Baltimore  & Harrisburg & the latter place have been burned down. Maryland refuses to have troops pass over her territory. Hundreds of Baltimoreans favourable to the Union, have left their homes

Citation: John Henry Brown (1818-1891), autograph journal/account book. Philadelphia, 1844-1890. AMs 574/14.1

April 20, 1861: Letter from Robert E. Lee to Winfield Scott

A West Point graduate who had served for nearly 32 years, Col. Robert E. Lee felt strong ties to the United States and to the U. S. Army. But when Virginia voted for secession, his choice was clear, if not easy. Lee wrote the letter shown here to his mentor, Gen. Winfield Scott, explaining his decision to resign his commission.

AMs 359-23 p1 Robert E Lee to Winfield Scott

AMs 359-23 p2 Robert E Lee to Winfield Scott


Arlington, Washington City P. O.

20 April 1861

Lt. Genl. Winfield Scott

Commd the Army


Since my interview with you on the 18 Inst: I have felt that I ought not longer to retain my Commission in the Army. I therefore tender my resignation, which I request you will recommend for acceptance.

It would have been presented at once, but for the struggle it has cost me to separate myself from a Service to which I have devoted all the best years of my life [and] all the ability I possessed.

During the whole of that time, more than 30 years, I have experienced nothing but kindness from my Superiors [and] the most Cordial friendships from my Companions. To no one Genl have I been as much indebted as to yourself for uniform kindness [and] Consideration, [and] it has always been my ardent desire to merit your approbation.

I shall carry with me to the grave the most grateful recollections of your kind Consideration [and] your name [and] fame will always be dear to me. Save in the defense of my native State, I never desire again to draw my Sword.

Be pleased to accept my most earnest wishes for the Continuance of your happiness [and] prosperity [and] believe me most truly yours

R E Lee

Citation: Robert E. Lee, autograph letter signed to Winfield Scott. Arlington, Va., 20 April 1861. AMs 359/23

April 19, 1861: New Orleans Daily Crescent

New Orleans Daily Gazette

Transcript (excerpt):

New Orleans Daily Crescent, New Orleans, Friday Morning, April 19, 1861.

Page 1, Upper Half

Notwithstanding that the secession of Virginia had for some days been looked upon as a fixed fact, the final announcement of that fact, by telegraph, yesterday afternoon, threw the community into a state of the most noisy and jubilant excitement.

Before the news had appeared in the after-editions of the evening papers, it spread electrically about the streets, and for the time caused a very general suspension of business.

Some gentlemen connected with the cotton houses on Carondelet and Common streets, speedily brought out a small cannon, or swivel, and, at the intersection of the streets named, fired a salute of eight guns – seven for the Confederate States and one more for Virginia. In a moment all cottondom was out on the street, and the excitement and rejoicings were all-pervading and intense. We saw dignified and grave-mannered gentlemen, who had probably seldom or never shouted before, whirling their hats over their heads, and vieing with the lustiest in their loud huzzahs for the glorious Old Dominion.

Citation: New Orleans Daily Crescent. New Orleans, 19 April 1861. Gift of Steven and Susan Raab. AN .N557