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Havens Letter: October 22 1864

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: October 22, 1864
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: Havens Letter: October 22 1864
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: Havens Letter: October 22 1864
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: October 22 1864 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: October 22 1864
Havens Letter: October 22 1864

Camp 7th Mich Cavalry
October 22nd 1864

Dear Nell
I’m at last back where
I have often wished myself during
the last thirteen months. viz; the com
pany. I reported to Lieut Loomis
yesterday morning. thus just escaping
the late hard battles. I had started
to join the company the morning of
the 19th and had proceeded some
three miles when we met the tide
of wagons ambulances. wounded and
stragglers returning so we returned
too. There was considerable excite
ment about Winchester and every
thing was in readiness for a skedaddle
towards the Potomac. But at
length the tide was turned and the
sun which rose upon such a sad dis
Havens Letter: October 22 1864 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: October 22 1864
Havens Letter: October 22 1864

aster to our arms set upon a
brilliant victory. It seems that
the attack was a complete surprise
to our forces. The enemy captured the
pickets of the 8th A.Co. and were in
their camps before the men were
up and many men were shot in
their beds.. Of course the corps ran
like cowards and demoralized the
19th corps. leaving only the 6th corps and
Cavalry to stem the tide. Gen Sheridan
was [illegible in original] Winchester that morning
and arrived at the front soon after
the enemy were checked. and his presence
soon restored confidence and organiza
tion to the broken ranks of the army
and soon he took the offensive and
by a vigorous assault drove the enemy
in confusion from the ground they
had won in the morning. In the
first assault the enemy captured
some 20 pieces of artillery and
Havens Letter: October 22 1864 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: October 22 1864
Havens Letter: October 22 1864

an immense number of prisoners
the artillery was all recaptured
and some 50 pieces additional taken
from Early’s forces. I saw forty seven
pieces in front of Gen Sheridan’s Hd Qrtrs
yesterday morning. all rebel pieces.
They also lost two miles of ambulances
and wagons mostly ordnance wagons
and filled with all sorts of baggage.
The next day the cavalry pursued
them as far as Woodstock. returning
yesterday morning.
Our loss is not very heavy. I
have not heard of but two men Killed
in our regt.. In the company two
men are missing both beleived to be
prisoners. Allen Park is one of them
The last I can learn of him he
was unhurt and it is thought
he was not hit. I do not feel as
though he were either Killed or woun
ded. and I have great faith in
my feelings
Havens Letter: October 22 1864 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: October 22 1864
Havens Letter: October 22 1864

for I have lately had a third con
firmation of my feelings on this same
subject. Harvey Reynolds is all
right and at the Parole camp at
Annapolis Md.. My Lieut received
a letter from him only a few
days ago written from that place.
He and his comrade were taken
prisoners with him two hundred yards
of their camp by Capt Chapman
of Moseby’s Batt and two privates
taken to Belle Isle. and in due
course of time Harvey was paroled
but says nothing of the dispostion
they made of Henderson.
I could never fully feel convinced
that they were murdered but always
felt that I should meet Harvey
again although I could offere no
evidence to the opposition of the idea
that they were murdered
Havens Letter: October 22 1864 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: October 22 1864
Havens Letter: October 22 1864

The weather is quite cold
and I find my hand grows pretty
numb while writing here in my
little shelter tent without fire.
I find the company numbering
sixteen men for duty although
three are dismounted. John Alexander
is not very well although he still
Keeps on his feet.. He is now the
only one from our way in the
company Chester Calvin is at
brigade Hd Qrtrs on duty he came
to the company a few moments
this morning.
I received your letters and
the money and stamps Wednes
day evening last. but have had
no opportunity of answering
before now. We are in such an
unsettled state that I do not think
it worth my time to ask any other
Havens Letter: October 22 1864 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: October 22 1864
Havens Letter: October 22 1864

favors. even were there anything
that I wanted. Do not fear that
I shall be at all backward about
asking for anything that I
may fancy I want.
Together with your letters
came one from Aunt Jeannette
and Cousin Julia which besides
the usual interest it contained
was an ambrotype of Cousin
Julia. and I can tell you she
is “peachey” without any dis
[illegible in original]. Aunt said she wished
Mother would write again.
A great many think there will
be but little more fighting in the
valley this fall. Early (or is Long
street in command. I confess I am
not positive which) is resolved to
have told his soldiers while preparing
to make the last assault that
if successful he would take
Havens Letter: October 22 1864 , Page: 7

Havens Letter: October 22 1864
Havens Letter: October 22 1864

them through the gaps of
the Blue Ridge and by that route
back to Richmond, but if unsuccess
ful he should retreat up the valley
and not attempt another fight
in the valley. If this report
be true and he is good as his
word fighting here is over
the other day while coming out
from Winchester a comrade and
I stopped at a house simply to
see the folks. and finding them
at supper sat down and took
supper too, with a fine woman
and two young ladies. After supper
we found they had two wounded
soldiers there one Union and one
“Grey Back” both severely wounded
in the heads We visited them
washed their wounds and being
in hurry I fell into conversation
with the Johnny whom I

Havens Letter: October 22 1864 , Page: 8

Havens Letter: October 22 1864
Havens Letter: October 22 1864

found to be a young West Virginian
Naturally the subject was the present
war. and I found him almost a
a good Unionist. He freely confessed
that their chances for gaining their Indepen
dence and they might not gain their
rights He had enlisted at the first
commencement of the war. was wounded
and taken prisoner at Fort Donelson and
when recovered he went home sicke of the
war and wanting to stay at home. but our
army finding him and learning that
he was a soldier took him prisoner and sent
him to Camp Chase. and when exchanged
sent him back by way of Vicksburg
He said he beleived he was doing right
when he enlisted but since he had thought
he was mistaken but still thinking
they might gain their rights he had
made up his mind to wait until
after our election when if McClellan
was defeated he would give up
and not fight any longer. He said
that if McC--- were elected and offered the
south such terms as they hoped he
would they would come back
at least the army would. He looked
somewhat crest fallen when I told
him MC stood no chance whatever.
and said there last hopes failed
with his defeat.
I don’t know when I shall have
a chance to send this out and may
find something new to write before
I mail it now. I will close now and
write Mother soon
Ever Yours Edwin R Havens
Havens Letter: October 22 1864 , Page: 9

Havens Letter: October 22 1864
Havens Letter: October 22 1864


Oct 25th 1864
Well Nell.
I have’nt mailed your
letter yet and so I’ve picked up this
scrap to scratch off a few lines more.
We came in off picket yesterday after
noon and are now fixing up camp
as though we might stay here for a
long time but may move before night as
Havens Letter: October 22 1864 , Page: 10

Havens Letter: October 22 1864
Havens Letter: October 22 1864

we heard several reports of artillery
this morning. Now I’ll tell you what
I want. I want you should send me some
shirts if you can get some good ones
and two pairs of stockings. good serviceable
woolen ones if they can be had. I don’t want
Mother to attempt to make either of these
and if you cant get them without too much
trouble don’t try. I can wear the ones Uncle
Sam furnishes but not with much comfort
and can get shirts of the sutlers but hate to
patronize the scoundrels to any great extent
Keep strict account of all I call on you
for and take your pay from what I send
home. Write soon
Yours E R H
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