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Havens Letter: May 27 1865

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: May 27, 1865
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 8
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 8
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: May 27 1865, Page: 1

Havens Letter: May 27 1865
Havens Letter: May 27 1865


On Board Propellor Andrew Harder
Stuck in the mud Off Fortress Monroe
Hampton Roads. May 27th 1865
Dear Nell.
In my last I stated that ere I wrote
you again we should in all probability be in Washington
or Shenandoah. but “Homme propose et Dieu dispose” is
an old saying and has proven itself new in our case..
On Thursday the detachments of the 3d Division and
one brigade of our division took boats from City Point
and now, I presume are in Washington. Yesterday,
we had been told, we should come, but on turning
out yesterday morning we found that a storm
which has now proven itself more worthy of March
than May. had set in and we hoped we would be
permitted to remain quietly in camp until it was
over. but about noon. right in the midst of one of
the hardest showers we had had all day orders
came to move. and so amidst a shower that
would wet one to the skin in five minutes we bade
farewell to “Camp Remount” and started for the
wharf. where they loaded us on an old propeller
that moves with the tide but not against it. We
run with 4 Lbs of steam. to the inch and make
about one mile in four hours. [as?] the same more
or less. The propeller. Andrew Harder is an
old Hudson. East or North river boat about 150
or 160 feet long. about 35 feet wide and 50 feet
high. double decker and about as fit to attempt
Havens Letter: May 27 1865, Page: 2

Havens Letter: May 27 1865
Havens Letter: May 27 1865

a sea voyage as an old propelar “dug out” would
be. Some forty feet of the stern has been converted into
a set of rooms on the main deck consisting of cook room
and shore rooms. and on the upper deck into a saloon
or cabin ten feet wide with state rooms pantry and
washroom. the rest of it with the exception of
enough for the Engine and boilers is entirely
open and affords shelter about half as good
as one of our “dog tents” But for once I am
so fortunate as to have obtained a “cabin passage”
where when it does’nt rain we are camparatively
comfortable. but when it does it leaks equal to an
old seive.. Well, to commence again with our
journey. We left City Point about 4 Oclock last
yesterday afternoon. and having wind, tide, steam
and the current to assist us we managed to reach
Jamestown at dark last night and anchored ‘till
daylight this morning. and by working steadily
we reached our present “posish” about 11 A.M.
after having run aground once before near Newport
News. They are working now to [illegible in original] us off the
bar, or out of the mud, whichever it may be with
a large tug. and from the feeling of things I should
say we may soon be afloat again. We have about
800 men aboard. The storm is yet raving quite
hard. and I presume we shall remain at anchor
near here until it has passed which will be when
the moon changes. I guess It would be madness
to attempt to cross the Bay today
Havens Letter: May 27 1865, Page: 3

Havens Letter: May 27 1865
Havens Letter: May 27 1865


On Board Steamer Edward Emmett
Fortress Monroe Twilight
May 27th 65

Another stage in the drama is past and
we now find ourselves on board the large and
beautiful steamer Edward Everett and about
a mile from our last anchorage. We found
ourselves obliged to leave the A Harder in order
to lighten her sufficiently to get her out of the mud
and as the tide has gone out and the flow
tide does not come till ten P.M. she will not
get afloat ere that time and I would care if
she never got afloat again but prospects now are
that we shall finish our journey in her either to
Washington. or to “that [home?] whence no traveller
returns” The storm has abated somewhat and
signs indicate that we shall have fair weather.
“sometime” I have already described “Fortress
Monroe” in a letter of last August. and although
we have been on shore (walked about 20 rods on the
wharf) today I can not add anything new con
cerning it. It seems besides the Fortress to be an
extension and beautiful military post. and that
is all. I suppose that Jeff is in prison within the
fort yet. but what good will it does us. It storms so
that we can not see to land from our “anchorage”
and consequently are denied the pleasure of looking
at the fort and speculating in which particular
Havens Letter: May 27 1865, Page: 4

Havens Letter: May 27 1865
Havens Letter: May 27 1865

part of the enclosure he may be confined
May 28th 7½ A.M.
There is now every appearance
that we may soon be “on the briny deep” again
The Harder is afloat and the Everett is now
emptying her share of “Sheridans Roughs” on
board of her again. I am now finishing
my epistle seated on a barrel of vinegar using
my knee and pocket diary for a writing desk
and am waiting to draw rations for our men at
the Post Commissary’s at Fortress Monroe
The storm has passed and this is a beautiful
morning indeed and I predict a pleasant
voyage up the bay today. we shall probably
reach Washington tomorrow night and the com
or
mand at Bladensburg Md. on Tuesday and
Wednesday, and, possibly, in time to accom
pany them to Texas
Hoping this may prove a pleasant
day. to both of us. and with good wishes
for the welfare of all I remain
As Ever Your Brother
Ed

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