The main interest in the Warner papers is likely to be found in one of two sets of documents. The first concerns the Civil War experiences of Michael Warner III. While only a few individual letters are interesting in themselves (most being filled with routine requests for food or other goods), the letters concerning Warner while he was missing in action are, as a group, the highlight. These letters underscore the confusion of battle and the organizational difficulties inherent in any military campaign, and the many conflicting interpretations of the battlefield fate of Warner are an interesting commentary on the Union army's ability to deal with MIAs.
Of secondary interest are a series of 10 letters concerning a dispute over a fence constructed on the Warners' land by Frederick Dawson. The remarkable aspect of these letters is that the argument over the placement of the fence was protracted over 20 years even though both parties agreed the fence was illegally placed. Dawson's underhanded intransigence in the matter, and Warner's increasing level of frustration is almost comical.
Other non-war material includes a few interesting letters written by friends to Michael Warner, Jr., while he was at college (c.1812-1816), family documents, and some photographs of the Warner (?) home in Maryland probably taken during the 1890's.