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Havens Letter: April 4 1865

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: April 4, 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 4 1865, Page: 1

Havens Letter: April 4 1865
Havens Letter: April 4 1865

Camp of Dismounted Cavalry
Near City Point Va.
April 4th 1865
Dear Nell..
Yours of March 23d was
received and read this morning and
although but two days since I wrote
you I can not avoid writing you
again. Everything has changed so
since I wrote last that it does not
seem like the same place or same
people. Petersburg and Richmond
both. taken. and now in our possession
and Lee reported to have surrendered
this morning is too good to be kept.
I told you Sunday that every
thing had gone to the front. from
here. The fighting was severe until
near the middle of the afternoon.
when all at once everything grew
quiet and scarcely a gun was
Havens Letter: April 4 1865, Page: 2

Havens Letter: April 4 1865
Havens Letter: April 4 1865

heard during the rest of the day..
At three A M. yesterday all
was ready and our forces left their
breastworks to charge those of the
enemy on reaching which they found
them empty and soon entered the
city of Petersburg. The Michigan
troops of the 9th Army Corps. were
in the advance and the 1st Sharp
shooters were the first in the
city and the first to raise their
flag on the Custom House. The 2nd
Mich Infantry closely followed the 1st
S.S. and were the first to pass raise
their flag over the courthouse, But
few straggling rebs were found in
Petersburg. Richmond was surrendered
at 8.O’clock yesterday morning to
Gen Whiting. 8000 prisoners are said
to have been taken with the city.
Gen Grant’s official dispatch to
this effect was received about noon
yesterday. Several officers from
Havens Letter: April 4 1865, Page: 3

Havens Letter: April 4 1865
Havens Letter: April 4 1865

City Point went to Petersburg
Richmond yesterday returning
this morning. One of them brought
several cards and other articles
from Jeff Davis’ house. Heavy
explosions were heard during Sunday
nights. which are beleived to have been
the blowing up of the rebel rams at
Richmond.. Everything was evacuated
in apparently a great hurry. it is
said Camp equippage in great
quantities was left. tents. and many
other articles are being brought back
here John Alexander and a com
rade brought a splendid. large
and comfortable tent. and we are
now resting under the canvas
but which which but a few days
ago sheltered some miserable
“Johnny.” It has several bullet
holes through it thus showing
that it has done service in the
great struggle.
Havens Letter: April 4 1865, Page: 4

Havens Letter: April 4 1865
Havens Letter: April 4 1865

As concerns Gen Lee’s surrender
I can not speak so positively.
Everybody has heard it and I have
seen some today who say they know
it to be so through official infor
mation from Gen Grant. He is
said to have surrendered 20,000
men to Gen. Sheridan. before day
light this morning. He is said to
have sent Jeff Davis a dispatch
on Sunday to this effect “Grant has
whipped me. I have taken up a line
on a new base but do not think
I shall be able to hold it You have
three hours to leave Richmond in”
The prisoners and citizens of
Petersburg say that the success
of this movement is the effect
of Gen Sheridan’s late movements
and prisoners are said to have
given three hearty cheers for him
at Petersburg. The citizens of Peters
burg are said to be in great glee
at having our soldiers among them
They say they can now go to sleep
at night and sleep in peace.
Havens Letter: April 4 1865, Page: 5

Havens Letter: April 4 1865
Havens Letter: April 4 1865

Where can Lee go to if he does
not surrender?.. Where will the next
Capital of the Southern Confederacy
be situated? Where is Jeff Davis
now. and his cabinet? These
are questions I would thank some
one to answer to my satisfaction
Can it be possible that this war is
coming to a close? A year ago had
the events of the last two days occurred
we should have thought this was
near its close. but now after so
long a time. I hardly know. what to
think. We have become so accustomed
to war and have scarcely dared
for a year past. to think of anything
but war for the next year, that to find
ourselves without a job would be
more than we could bear. I dare
not think of hoping to see home
for the next six months.
Havens Letter: April 4 1865, Page: 6

Havens Letter: April 4 1865
Havens Letter: April 4 1865

I can not say where our cavalry
is. They were ten miles beyond
Petersburg day before yesterday
since which I time I have heard
nothing from them..
Employees of the government
are busy building the railroad
into Petersburg which place they
expected to reach tonight. Mrs
Gen. Grant. and Mrs. Gen. Rawlins
start for Richmond tomorrow
morning where U.S. expects
to meet them on Friday morning.
“Old Abe” was here yesterday,
but I surmise, will soon visit
Richmond and then return
to Washington.. I would like to
see him. and hear a “Joke
fresh from Abraham’s bosom”
before he leaves us but may
be disappointed. Shant wonder
at it any if I am. twould
be just my luck
Havens Letter: April 4 1865, Page: 7

Havens Letter: April 4 1865
Havens Letter: April 4 1865

“Johnnys” are coming in
and being sent to the north
as fast as possible. 17000 were
said to be waiting for transpor
tation at City Point yesterday.
Boat after boat. loaded to their
fullest capacity has passed down
their river past our camp
during the past three days..
Captured artillery in large
quantities is also coming in
very rapidly. while every body
here has more work to do than
they can attend to.
What is John Snyder going
to. do.. Is he coming into the
army or will he buy a “sub.”
Well I am not going to
write any longer letters than
you are willing to pay for
and will quit for the present
Write one sheet full if possible
when you reply and oblige
Ed
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