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Havens Letter: April 10 1865

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: April 10, 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 10 1865, Page: 1

Havens Letter: April 10 1865
Havens Letter: April 10 1865

Head Quarters. Dismounted Camp
Near City Point Va
April 10th 1865
Dear Nell.
Although I wrote you
Saturday night despatching the note
this morning and giving you a synop
sis of the rumor of Lee’s surrender.
which has been confirmed today.
You can bet that we are happy
[bet?] heavy and win. I’ll tell
you how the news has been
received and acted upon in
this vicinity. It was received
last evening in a dispatch from
Gen. Grant. stating that R..E..
had surrendered the remains
of his once noble army.
The bugle had sounded “Taps”
last evening and I was just closing
a letter and getting ready to retire
to my luxurious couch and repose
Havens Letter: April 10 1865, Page: 2

Havens Letter: April 10 1865
Havens Letter: April 10 1865

when my ears were saluted with
the sounds of cannons; a moments
listening satisfied me that it was
a salute by the regularity of the
intervals of the reports. and the idea
struck me that we should now
receive the welcome news of Lee’s
surrender. I went to bed and was
lulled to sleep by the music of distant
artillery and the notes made by a
few performers on certain brass
oma instruments. who pumped
out “Star Spangled Banner” “Hail
Columbia” Rally ‘round the Flag boys”
and other equally patriotic pieces. My
dreams were of “Home Sweet Home”
and this morning I jumped half
out of bed at the thought of what
the news was going to be. Well it
rained this morning and foggy
and I did’nt go down town. but we
learned the confirmation of what I
wrote this morning.
Havens Letter: April 10 1865, Page: 3

Havens Letter: April 10 1865
Havens Letter: April 10 1865

About noon I stepped out on
the bank of the river and seeing
a few ducks and feeling “devilish”
concluded to try my skill as a marks
man and at the same time satisfy
a desire I have long felt to fire a
“Seven shooter” so I went to the tent
and procured my piece. took aim
at the Ducks. and fired and
missed of course. well! I pumped
another load into the “machine” and
fired again doing a little better
I tried the third time and finally
succeeded in driving them off when
Bang! Bang! Bang! roared some
thing away up towards. Bermu
da Hundreds and I left the ducks
and my shooting. concluding that
I had stirred up a bigger nest
than I had bargained for. and
wanted to have them stop because
I did’n’t mean any harm in
shooting at the ducks
Havens Letter: April 10 1865, Page: 4

Havens Letter: April 10 1865
Havens Letter: April 10 1865

They never paid any attention
to me. but every boat that could
fire a gun did so. and those
that could opened their whistles.
The engines at the R.R. Depot
followed suit and for half an
hour there was the awfullest shouting
and yelling that I ever heard.
The boys in camp this afternoon
and evening have been celebrating
the affair in their own peculiar
style, much to the annoyance
of our worthy commander Col.
Anderson. A large number of
captured cannon are posted
by the river bank. a short dis
tance above here. and the boys
have found a lot of cartridges
in the timber boxes. and bringing
them to camp empty the powder
into an old canteen. and by
means of a train fire them off making
a report similar to that of artillery
Havens Letter: April 10 1865, Page: 5

Havens Letter: April 10 1865
Havens Letter: April 10 1865

These have been exploding
very frequently in batches of one
to three at a time. Just a little
while ago five or six were explo
ded very rapidly. making a
splendid report.
I am surprised that there
is not more whiskey being
drunk. but as yet I have
not seen a drunken officer
or man in camp. I ate two
dishes of Oysters down town in
honor of the affair. at the
expense of some one else of
course.
The rumor is in circula
tion to night that a Corporal
in the 3d Brig of our division
has captured Jeff Davis near
the North Carolina line and
that Johnston has surrendered
Havens Letter: April 10 1865, Page: 6

Havens Letter: April 10 1865
Havens Letter: April 10 1865

himself and army to Sherman
Cant place much reliance
upon it as yet. must be confirmed
I heard a salute in the direc
tion of Richmond late in the
afternoon
I hear that the terms given
to Lee are. The men to deliver up
their arms and be paroled; the
officers to retain their side arms
and the artillery to be parked on
the field. Muster Rolls of the com
mand to be made out and handed
over to H Q”
No reliable estimate of the
force surrendered by Lee has
been received here. Grant’s
despatch announcing the surren
dered is said to have read thus.
“The war in Virginia is over
Gen. Lee has surrendered with
the remainder of his army.”

Havens Letter: April 10 1865, Page: 7

Havens Letter: April 10 1865
Havens Letter: April 10 1865

This has been a week of
rejoicing and triumph. The
long looked for “end” of “this cruel
war” is now at hand. and
“Peace” is fast hastening to her
abode among us..
I long to be on the front
now. Perhaps you think I would
rather go now than to have gone
a week ago. and so far as concerns
personal safety I had. I expect
that a large detachment of mounted
men will leave here shortly and
I shall strain every nerve to go
with them. The work our
cavalry will now have to do
will be just exciting enough
to please every one.
But ‘tis late and I must
be up early so Good Bye
Yours
Ed.
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