Havens Letter: September 18 1864


Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: September 18, 1864
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 26
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 26
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: September 18 1864 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: September 18 1864
Havens Letter: September 18 1864

Pleasant Valley Md.
September 18th 1864

Dear Brother,
Yours of Sunday last reached me
yesterday. and not Knowing when I shall have an oppor
tunity of writing you if I let. the present one pass. as
we find everything to do. and I never was busier in my
life than I am at the present time. I forget when
I wrote you last but think it was on Sunday last
since which time I have had no opportunity of writing
any letters although I have some five or six remaining
on hand. There has been no very exciting incidents
during the past week. that have come to my knowledge
There was a slight skirmish the forepart of the week
in which one regiment of our division was engaged
assisting the third division. Gen. Wilson I suppose
did a big thing that day. the 3d New Jersey
cavalry taking an entire North Carolina regiment.
This is a big feather in the caps of the 3d N.J. as
they have heretofore been an object of derision for

Havens Letter: September 18 1864 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: September 18 1864
Havens Letter: September 18 1864

the whole corps.. They were an independent
organization and came out with their uniforms
covered with “[illegible in original] and Carleques” of yellow cord
and lace. looking for all the world like a big wasp
with yellow bands around his body. and some one
gave them the name of Butterflies which sticks to
them yet although they have pulled off their yellow
lace. I went out to the command a few days since
to help to issue clothing to the command which
was then at Summit Point a few miles beyond
and to the right of Charlestown.. I understand
from one of my men who came in from there ^ day
that they are about to move farther to the right
and there may be a slight prospect of our having
to move from here.
The weather continues wet and cold still.
It rains nights and Sundays with an “extra” put in
occasionally during the week.. It is all very pleasant
to sit here at the desk and write while listening to the
gentle patter of the rain on our canvas covering. But I
have a faint recollection of a patter a few evenings
since which was neither gentle nor pleasant. I found
our regiment almost submerged. I asked them if
Havens Letter: September 18 1864 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: September 18 1864
Havens Letter: September 18 1864

“Musk Rats” always chose such places for a home.
(The First Mich used to call us “Manure Musk Rats”)
There is nothing to write about. I dont have
a chance to see anything. besides for a week past
I have not felt able to run around any even if I
had plenty of time to do so. To tell you the honest
truth Nell. I have never felt so totally unfit for
duty since I have been in the service as for the
past ten days. Writing at the desk gave me a
pain in the chest at first which became very sore
until I attempted to cure it by straightening up. and
the riding that I did going to the front and some
little besides helped me very much and I am
now almost entirely free from the pain: but I have
a headache and the Jaundice very bad. I have
not dared to lay down a moment excepting at night
for I beleive that if I had nothing to do I should
be down sick in twenty four hours.. The rest of
the boys were well when I saw them last. Al
Park and John Alexander are with the company
Chet Calvin detailed in Gen. Custers escort and body
guard. Neil is in the hospital somewheres
but I do not know where Wm Graham is at
Havens Letter: September 18 1864 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: September 18 1864
Havens Letter: September 18 1864

Camp Stoneman. Geisbory Point. I had a letter from
Newt Sparks one day last week. He seems to be doing
finely and enjoying himself as he ought to..
I had a letter from Aunt Jeannette and Julia a day
or two ago and also one ^ from Cousins Willie and
Helen.. All were usually well and in good spirits
although Helen was complaining that she was afraid
her husband would surely be drafted this time.
Nell. did Mother go to the “party” at Demotts
and stay all night again? Ask her if she has forgotten
how provoked she was because we would nt help Demott
get that “big elm log out and our rail cut that fell
into his wheat.” out of his wheat two years ago. when
we were so busy. I think it must be a compound
mixture of “Bull and Copperhead.” By the way: Nell
have you seen the last volume of the new Gospel of
Peace “according to the rules of St. Benjamin” It is certainly
the richest thing I have seen of the kind..
I am glad for the credit of the town that she
has so nearly filled her quota. but the men who will
enlist are not really the men who ought to come. Let
the draft take place again and again until some if
not all of the vilest enemies of the government are brought
in. I hate to see the Union men do it all. Let the disun
ionists help too.
But I will close as my light is get
ting pretty low. Why dont Father and Mother write
again. My love to all and write regularly
Edwin R Havens

[Penciled in upside down on bottom of Scan 4-9-18-64]
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