Havens Letter: November 6 1864


Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: November 6, 1864
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 2
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 2, Folder 2
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: November 6 1864 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: November 6 1864
Havens Letter: November 6 1864

Camp 7th Mich Cavalry
New Buck’s Ford Va.
Sunday November 6th 1864

Dear Nell.
I have just received and read yours
of October 30th and having nothing very urgent to do
at present, I have concluded to answer it immediately
although I have already written you three or four
letters since coming here. and this is the first time
I have had a letter from you since I left Winchester
more than two weeks ago. I would get mad and
quit writing if I could revenge myself on any one
by so doing. But it would be a greater punish
ment to me to be deprived of the powers of blowing
off some of my surplus gass by writing than it would
be to my friends. and so as long as the government
furnishes me material and time for my letters and
pays me for using both. and I can make you
pay postage both ways I think I will Keep
on writing. whether I get any answers or not
You shant forget me by any neglect of mine

Havens Letter: November 6 1864 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: November 6 1864
Havens Letter: November 6 1864

I don’t Know but your excuse for neglecting
to write for so long a time was a valid one and
as all turned out well I wont say anything.
My late letters which have, no doubt reached
you ere this time have told you that I was already
aware of Harvey Reynolds’ good fortune in escap
ing from a prison life so soon. but I was sur
prised to hear that he had got home.. I was
also well pleased to learn of it and wish that many
and [illegible in original]
more of our poor fellows who are “staying” ^ in the
could meet with the same good fortune
loathsome prison camps of the South..^ We have lost
three members from our company from the effects of
exposure and starvation in the prisons around Rich
mond excepting poor Billy Obrien..
Nothing of importance has occurred here since my
last was written. The company has. once been on
picket for two days from which I was excused by
my usual camp duties. When we lie in camp
any length of time 1st Sergts are always excused
from such duty. and as the talk now is that we
will go into winter quarters as soon as possible
I presume I shall see no more of picket duty till
spring comes again. We shall make our winter
quarters somewhere in this vicinity and the prevail
Havens Letter: November 6 1864 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: November 6 1864
Havens Letter: November 6 1864

ing opinion now is that our present camp
will be the spot.. The ground is now very
well laid off and in very good condition in
case the winter should set in early and be
very severe. It is quite cold. and we have had
a few days of very disagreeable weather. Yesterday
we had a slight snow squall. but today has been
fair although cool.. We have had the usual. Sunday
duties to perform. today. morning inspection and even
ing parade. We had divine service at Brig. Hd Qrtrs
last Sunday but none today. I then listened to a
sermon from our Chaplain. for the first time. although
he has been with the regiment a year.. He is a
Universalist and occasionally writes for the New Coven
ant which he occasionally distributes among the
A few days since the 1st Michigan made a
reconnaisance up the valley as far as Edenburg but
found only a small force of rebels used as pickets.
and after capturing a few head of fine cattle
returned to camp. Yesterday. the Fifth went out
“somewhere.” and discovered a small picket force.
On returning they were followed in by a small
Havens Letter: November 6 1864 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: November 6 1864
Havens Letter: November 6 1864

We understand that the commissioners appointed
to take our votes on Tuesday next have arrived and
of course we are not disposed to grumble at it. We feel
as much interest in the coming election and beleive that
our work on that day will bear as strongly upon the result
and speedy termination of the war as would a repetition
of the glorious victories of the 19th days of September and
October. We have in our company in camp twelve voters. and
of this number but one vote will be cast for McClellans
That is John Alexander’s This is I beleive a fair standard of
the force of the regiment. which numbers. nearly or quite
two hundred men and about 150 voters. so that you can judge
whether the Seventh is all right or not. The heaviest McClellan
vote polled in the brigade will be I think among the
1st Mich. which will be accounted for from the fact that
so many of them are just from the House of Correction. This
is a pretty severe reflection perhaps to cast upon a regiment
so noted for its valor as the “noble old 1st.” but in a new battalion
of four companies raised last fall and winter one entire
company was taken from the House of Correction
I notice a new stand of colors at Brig. Hd Qrtrs today. the
first I have seen of them. They consist of a flag some three
feet in width and three and a half in length. made of red
and blue silk.. the middle of it is of red silk the two edges
of dark blue. On the red are the cross sabres in white.
I have not been close enough to know whether the names
of the battles fought by our brigade are upon it or not.
but such is the usual custom and. I presume it is so in
this case. Today the 25th N Y. cavalry which was dismounted
some month since and sent to the rear returned here today and
report says more than a thousand strong.. This will make
our brigade quite strong again. and when we get into
winter quarters and our “Bummers” get into from dismoun
ted camps and Hospitals we shall present quite a good
appearance on the reviews and inspections of next winter.
We do not think we are done fighting for this fall. but
that we will not attempt an advance from our present position
everyone beleives.. The government has abandoned the idea of rebuilding
the Manassas Gap R.R. and making Front Royal our depot for
supplies and is now repairing the branch road from Harper’s Ferry
to Winchester and will make the latter place our base of supplies
and we hope within a month to better quartered. better clothed
and better fed than we now are.
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