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Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: August 23, 1864
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 25
Language: English
Rights Management: Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by Michigan State University and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.
Contributing Institution: Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections
Relation: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 25
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2), Page: 1

Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)

Harpers Ferry Va.
Tuesday August 23d /64

Dear Nell:
Yours of the 13th came
to hand on Saturday last and was
read with interest and sorrow: I was
extremely pained to learn of Fathers
illness and can not feel entirely
easy yet fearing that the disease may
change for the worse. but I trust that
he is much better now..
I wrote Father on Friday last
from Charlestown. as we stopped
there over night. We returned
here the next day and have
remained here ever since and
until this morning have been
in expectation of a move at any
moment. It seems that on Sunday
morning the rebels advanced upon
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2), Page: 2

Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)

Harpers Ferry Va.
Tuesday August 23d /64

Dear Nell:
Yours of the 13th came
to hand on Saturday last and was
read with interest and sorrow: I was
extremely pained to learn of Fathers
illness and can not feel entirely
easy yet fearing that the disease may
change for the worse. but I trust that
he is much better now..
I wrote Father on Friday last
from Charlestown. as we stopped
there over night. We returned
here the next day and have
remained here ever since and
until this morning have been
in expectation of a move at any
moment. It seems that on Sunday
morning the rebels advanced upon
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2), Page: 3

Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)

Sunday afternoon the trains
belonging to the different corps..
came in here and parked on the
highths just out of town. and until
dark last night remained harnessed
and ready to move at a moments
notice. We had a smart little
shower yesterday afternoon. which
lasted about an hour.. This was
just for a change. we dont have them
only twice a day and all night. yet
between showers the sun is hot enough
to bake bread. at any rate it dries
up the mud as fast as the rain
makes any. This is the queerest
country I was ever in. for a mount
ainous one. On coming here I expected
to find water in plenty and that
which was good but I find myself
mistaken. We can not get water in
going less than half a mile and then
it is very poor.. something that seems
very strange to me.
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2), Page: 4

Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)

The guerrillas are still as
active and bold as ever. and
woe to the unlucky “Yanks” that
fall into their hands. and especially
a foraging party. It is certain death
for one to surrender to them. and
many men of our brigade have met
their deaths at their hands during
the past two weeks; some by hang
ing others having their throats cut..
On Friday morning last. Harvey
Reynolds and a comrade left camp
and went to a house near by to get
some bread baked. since which
time none of the company or regi
mint have seen them. It is reported
that some men of the 8th Mich found
them hanging in the woods. dead. and
buried them. but I can learn nothing
positive about this. nor have yet found
the men who buried them or who
have seen these men. although I
have inquired of every one I thought
likely to know.
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2), Page: 5

Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)

one
I wish to find some ^ who knows
as much of the circumstances as
I can and get as near the truth
as possible and write to his friends
He had several debts owing to him
and some that he owed and some
one should be chosen to settle these
if possible. We all mourn the sad
fate of both but that of Harvey the
most. as he was not much in the
habit of making such expeditions
and above all things despised the
visiting of the citizens houses for
plunder. while Henderson was one
who delighted in such acts. and
when caught in all probability had
the fruits of some of his plundering
excursions with him which would
condemn him to the guerrillas and
Harvey suffered like poor [Tray?] for
being found in bad company..
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2), Page: 6

Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)

In a fight at Snicker’s Pass on
Friday the 12th in which one regt
was engaged the Adjt of our regt
was killed. which was a sad loss
to the regt He was a young officer.
of excellent character. brave and
efficient and was promoted to
the position from a Sergt in the
ranks. He was a brother in law
of Col Litchfield and was respected
by all.. Capt. [Sprool’s?] of Co M” was
wounded in the right arm while
carrying the regimental colors..
This Capt was wounded on the
13th of September last year in the
action at Culpepper. by a piece
of shell in the right arm. near the
spot where he was struck this time.
[&?] passed through here on his way
to Michigan on leave of absence
on Sunday afternoon.
It is pretty generally under
stood now that Gen. Custer will
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2), Page: 7

Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)

soon take command of a division
which is about to be formed of two
brigades. He will take our brigade
and that now commanded by
Gen. Duffy and thus form a division..
Who will command our brigade
is not certainly known. but all
expect it will be the ranking officer
of the brigade. which is Col Alger
of the [8th?].. Some think there is
a probability of our going into
Maryland before long. and we very
likely shall if the rebels go there in
any force. I almost dread to
go through that country again
should they make another invasion
for they will in all probability
burn all the towns they may
visit. in retaliation for our opera
tions up the valley. Last week our
men burned all the buildings
destroyed all the crops and drove
off or killed all the stock in the
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2), Page: 8

Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)
Havens Letter: August 23 1864 (2)

vicinity of Berryville. This had
to be done to prevent. the guerrillas
using them for hiding places..
Large numbers of citizens have been
arrested and brought in here and
such as will not take the oath
sent to a place of safe Keeping.
It seems from your letter that
Mr. Jarvis is “just going in on his
muscle.” but then its all right
I suppose. he has to furnish the
money and I think it about
time he began to put on a little
“syle” I’d like to attend camp
Meeting and fair with you but
cant do it this fall. and wont prom
ise to. next. but after that perhaps
I can go. I’ll ask “Uncle Sam”
and see what he thinks about it..
I shall look for another letter
from you in a few days You can
certainly write one every Sunday
As Ever Your Brother
Edwin R Havens
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