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Havens Letter: April 2 1865

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: April 2, 1865
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 7
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 7
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: April 2 1865, Page: 1

Havens Letter: April 2 1865
Havens Letter: April 2 1865

Dismounted Camp
Near City Point Va
Sunday Eve. April 2nd /65

Dear Nell.
“I owe you one” and
this evening I seat myself to reply
to yours of 14th March. which came
to hand a few days since and
as usual gave me much pleasure
As usual since I arrived here
I have had “any amount” of work
to do. which has kept me busy
from morning till night. with
the exception of today. which being
kept Sunday has been idle..
These are stirring times
in this vicinity and by the
time this reaches you. you will
be receiving exciting news
from before Petersburg and Richmond
Havens Letter: April 2 1865, Page: 2

Havens Letter: April 2 1865
Havens Letter: April 2 1865

As I stated in my last Gen.
Grant has taken up his Hd Quarters
with the army. and I can assure
you there are “loud” times around
Petersburg. On Wednesday morn
ing last Gen. Sheridan left Han-
cock Station with four divisions
of cavalry and moved towards
the left of our lines. At the
same time the 2nd. 5th and 6th
Army Corps “pulled up stakes” and
moved in the same direction.
Sheridan reached Dinwiddie
Court House on the same night
and had some little fighting and
next day they had a very severe
fight. driving the rebels some three
miles at first until they came up
on the breastworks when they
commenced falling back which
drew the rebels from their breast
works. Sheridan kept falling back
till he reached his artillery
Havens Letter: April 2 1865, Page: 3

Havens Letter: April 2 1865
Havens Letter: April 2 1865

which had been posted in an
open field and when the rebels
reached. the plain he opened his artil
lery upon them and mowed them
down by scores.. Sheridan lost
heavily in wounded.. several wounded
have come back from one regiment
and some who had horses shot.
from whom I have learned the particulars
I have given you.. The Sergt of my
company who has charge of the Co.
in my absence was struck in
the shoulder by a ball which did
not pass farther than through his
overcoat. He has been wounded
severely once before and this was
lucky in being no worse.
The latest news we have from
Sheridan that can be relied upon
is that he has succeeded in cutting
the South side R.R. and reached
the Appomattox above Petersburg
thus completely cutting off all com
munications between Richmond and
Havens Letter: April 2 1865, Page: 4

Havens Letter: April 2 1865
Havens Letter: April 2 1865

and the world. Heavy fighting
has been going on around Petersburg
since Thursday night and from an
officer of our regiment who was out
to the 9th Army Corps. in front of Peters
burg. I learn that our forces have
captured two lines of works and
two forts since last night. and
have set fire to the town which has
been burning all day. He says there
is but one hill remaining which
keeps our forces from entering the
town and which will in all probabili
ty be attacked to night. He told me
that he could hear cannonading on
all sides of the town. and in all proba
bility. Petersburg will be ours within
the next 48 hours.. Prisoners are being
taken faster than they can be secured
or rather faster than they can be
transported to this place. Our forces
in front of Petersburg captured one
brigade. and Sheridan is said to have
captured Picketts entire division of infantry
and six batteries of artillery in all 7000 prisoners
Havens Letter: April 2 1865, Page: 5

Havens Letter: April 2 1865
Havens Letter: April 2 1865

Everything that had a musket. carbine
or rifle was sent to the front from this
place this morning. All of the infantry
from City Point. the marines. and gun
boat men. and all of our dismounted men
fully armed were sent to Meade Station
to support the 9th Army Corps. on guard
prisoners this morning and some two
hundred men who were mounted were
also sent to the front.
At the time of the rebels attack
upon Fort Steadman on Thursday
night last we were just getting ready
to “turn in” for a night’s rest and an
hour afterwards we were routed out
by hearing “To arms” at Hd Qrtrs and
falling out dismounted we were
marched some six miles around
down through town over hills through
hollows.. ditches. creeks. rivers etc. to Fort
Porter one of the defences of this place
Havens Letter: April 2 1865, Page: 6

Havens Letter: April 2 1865
Havens Letter: April 2 1865

About the time we left camp a rain
storm commenced which continued all
night making everything very pleasant.
indeed. as the roads soon became very
soft. and the ditches. were soon filled to
a level with the surface of the sounding
surrounding country. and everything was
lovely indeed. We saw no “Johnnies” and
reaching the Fort just at daybreak and
remaining about an hour marched back
to camp by another route which was
not one third as far. I reached camp
with overcoat completely wet through boots
full of water. covered with mud and sleepy.
and just feeling “more than good” you
may bet. This morning I was at first
ordered out but upon after consideration
was excused upon the ground of having
too much else to do here. I am determined
to rejoin the regiment at the earliest
possible moment. I feel guilty in
remaining here while the other boys
are doing their duty at the front
Havens Letter: April 2 1865, Page: 7

Havens Letter: April 2 1865
Havens Letter: April 2 1865

It is but little consolation and
but a poor excuse to say that I am
obeying orders by remaining. for no one
really has any rights to detail me for
any duty beyond the duties of my com
pany and had I known there was
any likelihood of this being a perma
nent detail when I first received it
I should have most emphatically
declined it. By the news tonight I
infer
learn that Sheridan has made a com
plete circuit around Petersburg
and is now waiting for some means
of crossing the Appomattox to this side.
If this be true there will soon be a
detachment sent to the front and
“If I know myself and I think I do”
Ed will go too..
“Old Abe” still sheds the light of
his beaming countenance upon this
knighted spot. although I have not
been fortunate enough as yet to see
him. He has his quarters upon the
Havens Letter: April 2 1865, Page: 8

Havens Letter: April 2 1865
Havens Letter: April 2 1865

steamer “River Queen” but is often
on Shore. A few days ago he visited
with Gens. Grant, Meade, Sherman and
Sheridan at this place.
I received a letter from Aunt Jeannette
a few days ago. Willie has enlisted for
one year. and ere now is with Sherman
or at some of the receiving depots for
recruits in his department. Aunt
said that her health was better than
was usual for her. She seemed to
feel quite well reconciled to Willie’s
enlisting. and although it was done
against her will and without her
knowledge she would not blame
him. I also received a letter from
Cousin Eliza A real lively interesting
one. She complained that none of
you had ever written to let them
know whether Cousin Charles Photo.
had been received or not. I occasionally
receive a letter from my “cousin” and I
tell you Nell “it pays” costs at least
I have ordered some photos of
different characters and if I have good
success Ill compare with you next
fall
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