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Havens Letter: October 2, 1862

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Creator: Edwin Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: October 2, 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: October 2 1862, Page: 1

Havens Letter: October 2 1862
Havens Letter: October 2 1862

No 3rd

Camp Kellogg
Grand Rapids
Oct 2, 1862

Brother Nell,

After using half my
sheet to get the date on I am now
ready to set out. I am well as usual
together with the rest of the boys
and it is our united wish that
this may find you the same.
Your letter was received last night
just after we came from supper, and
I guess it did’nt take me long to read
its contents. I am glad that you
are getting along so well with the
work and were I not engaged in
the service of the country I would
wish to be with you and help you.
Havens Letter: October 2 1862, Page: 2

Havens Letter: October 2 1862
Havens Letter: October 2 1862

How I wish you were here just
a little while to see how we live,
eat, sleep and write. Just imagine
yourself in a field of perhaps 60
acres inclosed on the east and south
sides by a board fence, and on the
other sides only by rows of men sta
tioned about four rods apart each
one having a narrow path of that
length to travel over and keep
everyone back from either side.
There are also sentries stationed
along the fences. In this inclo
sure on the southern side you
would see a row of barracks
yof perhaps something more
than a hundred feet in length
one or two company kitchens
with their long tables, the guard
house, and two ambrotypes
offices. on the west side of
Havens Letter: October 2 1862, Page: 3

Havens Letter: October 2 1862
Havens Letter: October 2 1862

of the parade ground the
quartermaster and com
missary buildings the
Colonel’s and Adjutants tents,
and at the present moment
you would see a hundred and
eight men with the band
on parade, these men are the
sentinels detailed to take the
places of those who have been
on guard since this time yes
terday morning. These men are
divided into three squads or re
al
liefs of 36 men and one corpor
each, with a sergeant and
a commissioned officer as of
ficer of the guard. The sentries
are releived every two hours and
then have two four hours to rest
in before coming on again
so that each man stands
Havens Letter: October 2 1862, Page: 4

Havens Letter: October 2 1862
Havens Letter: October 2 1862

guard 8 hours all of the 24
and then have nothing to do
during the next twenty four
but they are obliged to do police
duty, {that is sweeping up the
camp} on the next day.
After seeing all this you
might cast your eyes toward the
center of the camp where you would
see eight rows of tents some of
them looking like an Indian wig
wam, and others like a small
square house, then back of them
more “Kitchens”. On the north
side you would see another
row of barracks about a hundred
feet in length with men work
ing on more a little to the
west of them.

Havens Letter: October 2 1862, Page: 5

Havens Letter: October 2 1862
Havens Letter: October 2 1862

No 3d

If you felt disposed to do
so you might enter the south
door at the west end of these
barracks, and after looking around
a little if you would walk
to the lower end of the room
and looking directly over your
head you would see Ed seated on
the edge of the upper bunk with
his feet hanging over between
two studs and a little board
fastened between them writing
home.
You would say it was a hard
looking place for a gentleman
and so it may be but I feel
as though I were doing my
duty better than where I was
three weeks ago to day.

Havens Letter: October 2 1862, Page: 6

Havens Letter: October 2 1862
Havens Letter: October 2 1862

Six of us, Newt, Al, Will,
Harve, John Hamilton and I
sleep in a little crib about six
and a half feet by ten, with
plenty of straw and eight good
blankets and quilts for a bed.
It is not quite so soft as
Mothers feather, yet I sleep as
soundly as ever I did at home,
am getting so that I don’t
have the “fidgets” as much as
I used to.
We have 55 men in our com
pany at the present time and
expecting more soon, Henry
Clark and John Shearer have
not arrived yet.
There are not far from
1600 men on the ground,
At dress parade last night
Havens Letter: October 2 1862, Page: 7

Havens Letter: October 2 1862
Havens Letter: October 2 1862

there were probably not
more than 3/5 of them out
yet they made a string
about a quarter of a mile in a
length. It looks pretty nice to
see them all in one line, but
it is not so easy to be one in
the line.
Our Colonel is getting very
strict in his discipline, and
is drawing down the wrath of a
good many on his head.
He will not allow but one man
from each company to visit
the city each day, and he must
have business for the company
It makes some of the town
rowdies and loafers swear some
but it does them no good.
I am out of letter paper and
stamps. But I shall not
Havens Letter: October 2 1862, Page: 8

Havens Letter: October 2 1862
Havens Letter: October 2 1862

grumble yet awhile.
I have been into town
three times since I came here
and feel no disposition to find
fault.
Our Captain says that if we
are not mustered in this
week he will give us furloughs
to go home next week. I do not
know how we will get home for
our funds are rather low. But
if I get a furlough I shall go
home if I walk to Kalamazoo, As
I beleive I can do that in one day
and get home the next.
I have money enough to pay
my fare from there home.
But you neednt look for
us next week.
Havens Letter: October 2 1862, Page: 9

Havens Letter: October 2 1862
Havens Letter: October 2 1862

Nell here is the last bit of
paper I have got and I must
begin to “halt.”
I guess you will think I have
written everything that there
is to write, But I have not told
you anything about the town
and the girls yet.
I shall not say much
about them this time as I
have not spoken to but one since
I left Niles. But there are
some as neat ones here as I ever
saw. [a?] We are allowed to go to
Church on sunday in squads
I did not go last Sunday as
I was on duty all day and
night.
Now Nell tell Mother that
she must not borrow any
trouble about me, for I do not
need anything to make me
Havens Letter: October 2 1862, Page: 10

Havens Letter: October 2 1862
Havens Letter: October 2 1862

any more comfortable
and that I do not think she
can send me anything
I like our captain and think
I shall stay with him as long
as he sticks to the company
Give my compliments to all
the friends and tell them that
I like read and write letters better
than almost any one else, and that
no one ever yet wrote me one
without receiving an answer.
Keep up good courage, stay at
home and see that everything
goes right for ourfolks as far as lies
if your power to make it Pitch in and
make everything as lively as possible
and do not try to miss me too much.
I can not tell how soon to think
this war will close and do not want
a
it to until I have ^ chance to give one
shot and strike one blow to end it.
Please write again soon
Your Brother
Edwin R Havens

[Written in left margin: “Parson Brownlow will speak here next Tuesday and I want to hear him”]
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