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Havens Letter: June 10 1865

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: June 10, 1865
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 9
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 9
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: June 10 1865, Page: 1

Havens Letter: June 10 1865
Havens Letter: June 10 1865

On Board Steamer David Tatum
Missouri River
June 10th 1865

Dear Nell.
I want something to do
besides novels. cards. etc. to occupy my
mind and time and have taken
refuge behind the table armed with
pen and paper and will now continue
to chronicle as faithfully as possible
events as they occur. for on arriving at
Leavenworth I surmise that but little
time will be granted me to write
long answers to all the letters that should
be there for me.
I wrote a short note at St.
Louis last night and mailed it
telling you that I had been at
work hard all the time I was
there.
Havens Letter: June 10 1865, Page: 2

Havens Letter: June 10 1865
Havens Letter: June 10 1865

2
This prevented me from seeing
as much of the city as I would have
been glad to do, with the exception
of perhaps two square miles of the
town I saw nothing except at a dis
tance.. From the Lever I managed
to get back five streets. to Fourth St
which I judged to be the aristocratic
business part of the city. On it I noticed
large retail houses of all kinds while on
Second and Third streets were large
wholesale houses.. Among the public
buildings I saw were the court house.
the City Hall and the Post Office
besides several large hotels.. The
Court House is of huge dimensions.
with a dome said to excel in highth
the great one at Chicago the post office
and City Hall are of [ample?] dimen
sions. proportional and with the
extent and wealth of so great a city
as St Louis. for great it certainly
is.
Havens Letter: June 10 1865, Page: 3

Havens Letter: June 10 1865
Havens Letter: June 10 1865

3
I was not prepared to find so large
a city (the effect I suppose of Virginias
education as it certainly is The Lever
for miles is constantly crowded with
steamers. discharging and receiving
cargoes, arriving from and departing
for all the principal cities on the
Upper and Lower Mississippi and the
Ohio rivers and some of the points on
the Missouri. but I imagine that
the Missouri is fast losing its impor
tance as a commercial route since
almost everything can be transpor
ted across the state west and north
west.. with much greater despatch
by rail.. consequently the number of
the steamers plying its waters are
much fewer than they were before
the “Iron Horse found his gait” over
the soil of Mo.
We were very sorry to be obliged to
leave the Iron City and say “good
bye” to is crew. but it was decided by
Havens Letter: June 10 1865, Page: 4

Havens Letter: June 10 1865
Havens Letter: June 10 1865

4


the “powers that be” at St Louis that
she could never stem the current of
the Missouri and we were compelled
to submit. Before leaving St Louis
the officers with us presented the
Capt of the Iron City with a vote
of thanks for the manner in which
they had treated us. We miss our little
girls, too, no songs now. The David Tatum
is a very large n breezy. old side wheel
steamer, which in its young days may
have been considered a very nice thing.
She has accommodations in state
rooms. for nearly two hundred passen
gers. and room below for any amount
of freight.. and our men reduced in
numbers by leaving a hundred men
at St Louis to come on in a few
days with horses. now find ample
room and are thankful therefor
Havens Letter: June 10 1865, Page: 5

Havens Letter: June 10 1865
Havens Letter: June 10 1865

5


We are jogging along at the rate
of about six miles an hour or less
making any amount of noise. the
old boat trembling in every joint.
We started from St Louis about
midnight. ran up to the mouth of
the Missouri 125 miles and then
lay over until daylight it is the
practice not to run at all by night
on this river and so we shall be
nearly as long in making the trip
from St Louis as we were in mak
ing that place. Soon after leaving St
Louis I sought my state room and
prepared to sleep. But sleep was out
of the questions. No sooner had I touched
the mattress than I was assailed by
the whole combined force of the
aboriginal inhabitants. who were
determined to dispute the possession
with me
Havens Letter: June 10 1865, Page: 6

Havens Letter: June 10 1865
Havens Letter: June 10 1865

6
But they got hold of tough
customer and I regained mastry
of the position although the little
devils never gave up the control
the whole night through. I think
that now I have had my [illegible in original]
with all the tormentors of our
sleepy. if not sleeping hours.
Musquitoes. Fleas. Grey Backs. and
lastly. but not leastly Bed Bugs..
No not leastly. for by all that is
glorious or detestable they beat every
thing that I ever [illegible in original] wish. I can
not now ever think that those who
have related their experience with
bed bugs can be [illegible in original] or “stretching”
the story.
This morning about 9 o’clock
we passed St Charles. quite a town
where the Northern Mo.R. R crosses
the river.. This was the first place
I have ever seen where the rail road
crosses the river by ferry boats
Havens Letter: June 10 1865, Page: 7

Havens Letter: June 10 1865
Havens Letter: June 10 1865

I cant say much about the
country along here for I have
scarcely been on deck all day.
It certainly is not beautiful. but
may be fertile.
South Point Mo
June 14th 1865

We made sixty mile yesterday
and put up at this little out of the
way town at sundown. have been
here ever since and expect to remain
nearly all day. as we are waiting
for 250 horses that are now on their
way by the Pacific R.R. from St Louis
to this place. It is not much of a
town. contains two little country stores
a tavern or hotel. a [illegible in original] house or
two. a school and meeting house
combined. and a dozen or more
dwelling houses. The stores and
school house and a few dwelling
houses are of wood, the tavern and
Havens Letter: June 10 1865, Page: 8

Havens Letter: June 10 1865
Havens Letter: June 10 1865

8
remainder of the houses are of
brick. Two miles above on this side
is the town of Washington. two miles
below on the other side is Augusta.
The people are nearly all Germans.
and are huge on grapes. The river
bank is lined on either side with
fine yards. and I imagine that “theres
wine and cider in the cellar” of nearly
every one of these old farm houses.
I took a stroll around the town
last evening and surrounded it
this morning. The soil is certainly
very good and the crops are looking
well. I came very near wishing
I was a farmer again. I have’n’t
seen any strawberries and cream up
here yet. but imagine there must be
some hereabouts. We informed the
hands of the boat on those rascally
Bed Bugs yesterday. and they were
immediately condemned to death
So I rested easier last night
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