Title

Havens Letter: February 15 1865

Back

Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: February 15, 1865
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 5
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 5
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: February 15 1865, Page: 1

Havens Letter: February 15 1865
Havens Letter: February 15 1865

Camp 7th Mich Cavalry
Camp Russell Va.
February 15th 1865
Dear Nell.
I have for several days been
a debtor to you for a letter; at least I
suppose I shall have to call it such.
although Ican scarcely consider it
such. being only three little, miserably
short pages of such a sheet as this.
It really seems to me that you ought
to be ashamed to send such a letter as
that I’ve already sent you three letters
since my return to camp and have
received two such as I have spoken of
from you. I did think I would’n’t
write you another word until I had
received another letter from you. but
today I have more time than usual
it being too stormy to allow of drill and
I concluded to sit down and have a chat

Havens Letter: February 15 1865, Page: 2

Havens Letter: February 15 1865
Havens Letter: February 15 1865

Camp 7th Mich Cavalry
Camp Russell Va.
February 15th 1865
Dear Nell.
I have for several days been
a debtor to you for a letter; at least I
suppose I shall have to call it such.
although Ican scarcely consider it
such. being only three little, miserably
short pages of such a sheet as this.
It really seems to me that you ought
to be ashamed to send such a letter as
that I’ve already sent you three letters
since my return to camp and have
received two such as I have spoken of
from you. I did think I would’n’t
write you another word until I had
received another letter from you. but
today I have more time than usual
it being too stormy to allow of drill and
I concluded to sit down and have a chat

Havens Letter: February 15 1865, Page: 3

Havens Letter: February 15 1865
Havens Letter: February 15 1865

I’ll get up and beat two young
Lieuts who are now engaged at playing
euchre who know as much about the
game as a yearling pig..
Well how does the [illegible in original] get
along. I hope you’ll continue to like
the institution and in due time become
an honored member of the institution.
Oc. Elliott came over to visit me
yesterday and told me that he received
a letter from his sister. (lets see. she
is V.W.2. is’n’t she) who said that
she had the pleasure of taking you
through a course of Sprouts on the
occasion referred to in your first
letter after I left there and also
expressed the determination of serving
Oc. and myself in the same way
next winter.. The old saw says that
“when a woman will she will” but
there are exceptions to all rules. and
I think them necessary to prove the rules

Havens Letter: February 15 1865, Page: 4

Havens Letter: February 15 1865
Havens Letter: February 15 1865

Dont think that I’m inclined to make
fun of you for joining for I’m not.
If I were at home. “gay and festive” like
you I might feel inclined to “go in”
too. but now I’m getting old and con
firmed in my ways and should
not become a very “honorable” member
“Its hard to learn an old dog new tricks”
you know.
Well whats the gossip around home.
Anybody married or like to be. How does
Newt Stephens and his “Doxy Ann” get
along. Is “Every thing lovely?” and “does
the goose hang high”.. I’m slightly
interested there. Has Carrie got over the
sulks yet? Is any one [illegible in original] How
does the “goose”hang over to town?
Where’s my pictures? What the Devil
is going on any way? I’m considerably
worked up to know all about things
in general. If you cant write
all about the folks around there get
some one else to. And so you actually
took the “school marm” home did
you? I think I saw her while I was
home. and if I did I’m. inclined to
think Nell got “took in” Do you see
anything of my Miss Miller. Golly
dont I wish I’d got a chance to split
that kindling wood and help to build that fire

Havens Letter: February 15 1865, Page: 5

Havens Letter: February 15 1865
Havens Letter: February 15 1865

Is Jim Lee around there
yet or has he gone back to the
army.. I beleive he promised to
write to me but I have’n’t got any
letters from a living soul besides
yourself.
How many times Valentines did you
get yesterday? Darned of a one did I
get or see.. I wrote to my Wisconsin
Girl last night. Dont know whether I’ll
get an answer or not. and dont much
care. I’ll only be out a dime by the
operation which will be cheap enough
for a Valentine. Miss Nellie J. of San
dusky has thus far failed to connect
Perhaps She was a different critter
from what I thought. She may be
that virtuous -------- that Newt wrote
about. Poor thing. how she must
suffer if such is the case..
Havens Letter: February 15 1865, Page: 6

Havens Letter: February 15 1865
Havens Letter: February 15 1865

Do you even see or hear anything from
“someone” I’d like to hear how they
get along.. Tis two years today since
I last saw them. Two years. what
changes since then. Sometimes when
I think over the past two or three years
it does not seem that it has been
so long since I was a civilian. and
I can not realize that my short
visits home were so far apart. I often
wish that the next eight months were
past and I could be placed at home.
again and find everything there as
it was when I arrived there a month
ago. I think I could commence
life in real earnest and make some
thing yet.. But what’s the use of
..murmuring or becoming impatient
Everything will be all right next
November. and “Richard will be him
self once more” Each day is bringing
the thing more closely to a point

Havens Letter: February 15 1865, Page: 7

Havens Letter: February 15 1865
Havens Letter: February 15 1865

and we may possibly be at home
before the time of the expiration of the
our term of service.
I had a letter the other night from
Cousin Helen. She wrote that her brother
Willie was determined to enlist and
I presume he has done so ere this.
One little fellow who stopped at the
same house in Cleveland that I did
wanted to enlist and come with me.
but I could’nt bring him. so I did my
best to [illegible in original] him off the notion. It seems
strange to me that any one should so
want to enlist now. It seems as though
four years of war ought to have given
everybody a thorough knoweldge of a soldiers
life. at least. of what is required. but
I found folks at home just as ignorant
now as they were when I enlisted.
The “Big Fools” I wonder if they
ever. will learn anything.. I’ll bet
you could’nt induce a Virginian to enlist
Havens Letter: February 15 1865, Page: 8

Havens Letter: February 15 1865
Havens Letter: February 15 1865

But yet there is something rather nice
about soldiering after all. I just wish
I could be a regular officer in the cavalry
service in times of peace. If anyone wanted
an easy life and yet just enough excitement
to make time endurable I think that would
be as desirable a situation as one would
want. last fall. while General Custer was
only a Lieut in the regular cavalry (he is a
Major now) he and his staff were making
their plans for life after this war was over.
Custer was going to make take command
of an outpost on our frontiers and his staff
were to take positions as non-commish” in the
company. I think I’ll go in as “high private
in the rear rank.” Those who came off
picket this morning report that the 23d
Army Corps. from Gen Thomas’ army came
through our lines from Annapolis last
night. This will make our army quite
strong again which has been much
weaker than many have supposed
it to be for a long time.
You can do as you think best with
this letter make it private or not
but in either case. I want a good
long reply to it immediately.
My Love to all
Yours Affectionately.
E.R. Havens
Contact us with Questions or Comments