The Warrens

  Sophronia’s mother, Mary Vardell Warren, had died of diphtheria in Jonesboro in 1863.  As the Civil War intensified in the south, Sophronia’s father, Guy Lewis Warren, who was living on the edge of Atlanta in Jonesboro, had become increasingly concerned for his children.  In an effort to secure their safety and provide some support to his recently widowed daughter, Sophronia, he put six of his children on a boxcar to Mayesville, South Carolina.  In this way, Rip Raps would become the home to the large family of Warrens.
 Guy Warren felt that if his children were at Rip Raps they would be protected from the Union Army and could assist their sister in managing the plantation.  Sophronia’s father left his position as station agent for the Macon and Western Railroad and Ban King Company which ran tracks through Jonesboro only after the building was burned by Sherman’s army.     One of the children would later write, “Father remained on duty at the depot until the depot and the surroundings were destroyed.”  His oldest son, Lewis E. Warren, a Confederate soldier had been captured and was a prisoner at Elmira, New York. 
·        A very thorough genealogy of the Warren family was collected and published by George Corbett Warren, Jr., in 1986.  Much of this was based on research done by the Rev. Thomas Warren of London and Hallie D. Warren, Sr., of Mayesville in 1961.   They not only traced the Warren lineage back to the Earl of Warren of Normandy, but in this genealogy on page 49, Sophronia Adams Warren’s heritage is traced to that of William Bradford of the Mayflower.  In addition there is a wonderful exchange of letters from Guy Warren to his mother in Connecticut and from his son Lewis Warren during the time he was a prisoner at Elmira.
Sophronia McBride, widow of James McBride, lived with her two children, Maude and Guy, and her brothers and sisters, Harriett, Jimmie, Albert, Alice, Sarah, Louisa and Julia.   Her husband had left a desk stuffed full of Confederate money which proved to be useless.  Most of these Confederate bills were passed down to various grandchildren.  Some were donated to the museum in Sumter.  There was little real money to pay bills, much less to decorate the antebellum home.  Rip Raps stood fairly basic and plain looking on the inside, but massive and compelling on the outside, just as it had been built. 
  Guy Warren had a first cousin, Lewis Warren of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, who was in Sherman’s army at the time that Sherman’s army burned Atlanta.  The Warren family was a classic example where brother fought brother during the war since Guy Lewis’ brothers and sisters were living in Connecticut.  In fact, emotions ran so deeply that after the war some cousins refused to see members of the Guy Warren family when they travelled north to visit.   There is even one reference to imply that the community of Jonesboro  suspected that Guy Warren may have been a Union sympathizer  as evidenced by the fact that he  had family connections in the north and his home was one of the very few not burned to the ground.  There is nothing in research or correspondence by Guy Warren or his family to support this theory.
According to accounts by Harriett Warren, Cousin Lewis Warren visited the house in Jonesboro, but evidently was in the hospital in Marietta at the time Jonesboro was burned.  The Jonesboro home remains standing today and one reference stated that it was saved from destruction by the Masonic sign of distress on the front of the house, even though the Masonic Lodge was destroyed.   Records show that Guy Lewis Warren was one of the founders and highest officers of the Society of Freemasons in their lodge in Jonesboro for fourteen years.   More probably it was saved because of its location on a high elevation with a commanding view of Jonesboro and the fact that it was used as a hospital and headquarters by the 52nd Illinois Regiment on September 2, 1864.    Heavy fighting took place around the house.  Bullets were lodged in walls and remain there until this day.  It has been written that bodies were piled up on top of each other as doctors and medics tried to save lives in the midst of ferocious fighting. Trees were splintered and grass was trampled and pitted with battle debris. 

  Since that time the house has been sold and remodeled several times, but it stands today, still known as “The Warren House,” around which the final desperate two-day battle on August 31st and September 1st, 1864, raged before Atlanta surrendered to Sherman’s army.  

Following the destruction, Guy Warren joined his children at Rip Raps, where he helped his daughter run the plantation and was again elected to the highest office of the Masonic Lodge of Mayesville.  He remained with her until his death on September 2, 1875, after selling his property in Jonesboro, GA., to assist with the taxes at Rips Raps.  Sophronia’s  children, Maude and Guy, were only 15 and 11 years old at this time, and they would continue to work with their mother and her brothers and sisters to maintain the plantation until Guy completed college 10 years later.

                                                       The Warren House
                                                       Jonesboro, Georgia