History of The Warren House

The 1800’s

photo13Built in 1840 by Guy L. Warren, an agent of the Macon & Western Railroad, and one of Jonesboro’s (formerly called Leaksville and Jonesborough) first town commissioners, The Warren House was used as a field hospital and headquarters by the Confederate troops until the 52nd Illinois Infantry took possession of the house on September 2nd, 1864 for the same purpose. Signatures of convalescing Union soldiers still appear on the walls of the downstairs parlor.

The lawn in front of The Warren House was the scene of the historic Battle of Jonesboro which led to the fall of Atlanta and, eventually, the end of the Civil War.

The 1930’s

In 1936, Sheriff Adamson began repairs on the home. When they removed the wallpaper, they discovered the names of Union soldiers, who had occupied the house during the war, scribbled on the walls. the names were by then barely visible, but they included “Robert Sullivan, Artillery,” “James B. Washington, Division 14,” “John B. Wuilell Saler,” “George W. Harding,” and “Thomas, Chief-in-Command, 1st Division.” One name, “Doc B. Thompson,” written in large, bold letters, prompted Mrs. Faye Adamson Secik, who grew up in the house, to seek information about these men from the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C. These young men had no way of knowing, of course, that years after their death their casual bit of graffiti written on a Southern wall in 1864 would arouse the curiosity of one of the descendants of the defenders of Jonesboro.

In 1936, when the writing was discovered on the walls, most of the breastworks built for the battle were still visible north and south of the Warren House. The Adamson children recall that on rainy days they could collect a whole bucket of the minie balls used during the fighting. The breastworks existed until 1940, when they finally were plowed under.

Another recollection from the decade of the thirties involves a “rather quiet woman” named Margaret Mitchell who visited the Warren House several times in 1935 and 1936. They could not know then how famous her novel, Gone with the Wind, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937, was to become. Nor could they know then that the old Warren House, so richly endowed with antebellum and Civil War legend, would contribute in some way to her novel.

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