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Havens Letter: September 30 1862

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Creator: Edwin Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865, Michigan Cavalry -- 7th
Date: September 30, 1862
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 3
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 3
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: September 30 1862, Page: 1

Havens Letter: September 30 1862
Havens Letter: September 30 1862

No 2nd

Camp Kellogg
Grand Rapids Sept. 30/62’

Dear Father and Mother,

I seat my
self, this morning to pen my first
letter to you. I am well as ever
and enjoying myself and my sur
roundings first rate. We are not
doing much at drilling yet. I have
not drilled over three hours since
I came here. There are, making
a rough guess, about 1500 men
at present here. We have not done
anything but attend as nearly as
possible to the duties of the camp.
We have to be up to roll call at
five o clock, after roll call we go a
quarter of a mile to wash, breakfast
generally between Six and Seven,
then comes the guardmounting
Havens Letter: September 30 1862, Page: 2

Havens Letter: September 30 1862
Havens Letter: September 30 1862

at eight o clock, then comes drill
call, dinner at twelve, drill again
between one and two, Dress parade
half past four, roll call again
at sundown, again at half past eight
and to bed at nine.
Lieut. Col. Gray the command
ant of the camp is trying to bring
the camp to a good degree of discipline.
Some of the men think he is most
too severe. But I have had no occasion
to find fault with him yet.
Our Adjutant and Major I know
nothing about. I have seen them and
that is about all. The Quartermaster
is a real gentleman.
As there were no accommodations
ready for the 7th regt we occupied the
quarters of a company belonging
to the sixth but of which most of
the men were at home on furlough,
But yesterday we removed to quarters
of our own in another part of the
Havens Letter: September 30 1862, Page: 3

Havens Letter: September 30 1862
Havens Letter: September 30 1862

camp, and every one of us is
well pleased with the change.
We have very comfortable barracks.
They are built of good pine lumber and
are about 25 feet wide with a partition in
the center and a row of bunks on each side
four deep, the floor of the bottom one being
about 20 inches from the ground, and
a space of about 3 feet between the bunks
except the upper tier which have room
enough to the roof for me to stand
upright in. Some of our boys helped
to build the barracks and made choice
of an excellent bunk for ourselves,
and so we are very comfortably situated.
We have a first rate Captain and
all of his men like him well. He eats
the same food and sleeps in the same
kind of a bunk as the rest of us,
I think his bunk is not as good
as ours. Both of our Lieutenants
are at home, We are expecting Fitch
back every day.

Havens Letter: September 30 1862, Page: 4

Havens Letter: September 30 1862
Havens Letter: September 30 1862

There is no telling when we shall
be mustered in. Some say this week
others say not until both regi
ments are full. I do not much
beleive it will be under two weeks.
There is considerable grumbling
among the boys, on account of the
fare and also on account of some
reports that have been circulated
A great many threats are being
made of mutiny if things do not
go just to suit them.
As to the fare, I have seen better
but I do not like to find too much
fault. We have been able allowed to
cook our rations by ourselves until
this morning and I think have
fared very well. To be sure our bill of
fare for each meal has not been so
varied as it would have been at a first
class hotel in Chicago. But still we
have had some good meals.
Havens Letter: September 30 1862, Page: 5

Havens Letter: September 30 1862
Havens Letter: September 30 1862

No 2nd

Sunday morning we had
better cooked beefsteak than I ever
ate at Post[s?]. But now we are
obliged to eat rations cooked for five
or six companies at a time. Our break
fast consisted of bread and pork and coffee
Our bread is real bakery bread and
better than nine tenths of the men ever
ate at home. Salt pork, as you
well know is not a favorite dish
of mine, but still I eat a pretty
good slice every meal, which together
with good bread and coffee makes a fare
which I am not afraid of starving on.
Our rations are Potatoes, pork, beef, bread, salt,
sugar, rice coffee, beans and vinegar.
As to the other reports and the threats
which they call out I do not beleive half
of them, nor make any threats but shall
wait untill the time comes and then
do as I think best.
Havens Letter: September 30 1862, Page: 6

Havens Letter: September 30 1862
Havens Letter: September 30 1862

I have been down town two or
three times and have seen some of its
beauties. There are some of the hand
somest buildings here that I ever saw
The town displays evidence of consid
erable wealth in its public and private
dwell buildings. Some of them are
of plaster stone fronts, and some
of the most beautiful ones of brick
As to the size of the twon and
the number of inhabitants I dare
not give a guess. It is an incorporated
city and is considerable larger than
Niles. If it were not so hard a
journey I should ask Father to come
and see us. It is 48 miles from Kala
mazoo here and is easily made in
one day. After the first six miles
roadside taverns are plenty, and on
the last 20 miles almost every
other house is a tavern.
Havens Letter: September 30 1862, Page: 7

Havens Letter: September 30 1862
Havens Letter: September 30 1862

It is said that we shall
get our uniforms in a day or
two. They will be the same as
other cavalry with the exception
of the brass epaulets.
We shall all get furloughs
as soon as mustered in, but there
is no telling how soon that will
be. There is every prospect of our
having to stay here for two or three
months.
Now dont borrow any trouble
about me, for until I write anything
else you may know that I am
well. I feel well satisfied with
the way things are going at present
I wrote to Nell soon after we got here
an
and have looked for ^ answer for the
last two or three days.
Please write again soon
and direct as I told Nell
Your Affectionate Son
Edwin R Havens
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