Havens Letter: July 2 1865


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

Havens Letter: July 2 1865
Havens Letter: July 2 1865

Bivouac 7th Michigan Cavalry
Near Big Sandy. Nebraska
Sunday. July 2nd 1865

Dear Nell.
It has been a week since I wrote you
from Grasshopper Falls. And as we are jogging along
slowly on our way I concluded to give you a
hurriedly written account of our progress.
Monday we marched to Holton a distance of
20 miles over the prairie as usual. The country
was newer. the farms less improved and farther apart
That night we had a delightful rainstorm. It
came down harder than I ever knew it before.
the lightning flashed sharper. and the thunder
roared louder than I ever knew it before. The water
fell till it struck the ground and then scattered
out to find something. and it was’nt long in finding
where I lay. and it then took the liberty to run
Havens Letter: July 2 1865, Page: 2

Havens Letter: July 2 1865
Havens Letter: July 2 1865

all around, over. through and under my bed and
consequently I arose next morning wet to the bone
and almost inclined to wish “bleeding Kansas” would
‘nt weep so much. Tuesday we marched thirteen miles
to Soldiers Creek. which we had to wait for while it fell
sufficiently for us to cross. Wednesday we marched
to America. on the Vermillion seven miles. That
afternoon we had another slight [illegible in original] fit from the
above mentioned damsel and that night had a
stampede among our horses. Thursday we marched
22 miles to Barnetts mill on the Black Vermillion.
Friday 18 miles to Marysville where we halted.
Went into camp, mustered for pay. Saddled up again
and went on five miles farther. Saturday morn
ing. Got up at 4 Oclock. saddled up and moved off
at 4.30. marched 5 miles to Cottonwood Creek and
halted for breakfast. marched on and struck the
Pony Express Route near the state line and
went into camp having marched about 20 miles
This morning we got up and have marched

Havens Letter: July 2 1865, Page: 3

Havens Letter: July 2 1865
Havens Letter: July 2 1865

very steadily until we reached this place. a stage
station of the Overland Mail Route on Big Sandy
Creek. 24 miles. from Marysville. and 110 from
Fort Kearney Kansas so far as seen is one
vast prarie not flat and low as praries are usually
supposed to be but rolling and in some places quite
hilly very well watered and the land appearing to be
very rich. The prarie grass is luxuriant and the few crops
that we see are splendid. I should think it would
prove an excellent stock growing country. These
wide praries will be the same open plains they now
are. for many years to come and large herds of cattle
sheep and horses can subsist on the natural produce
of the soil without the aid of grain [Stick?] water is
not scarce along the route we have followed. while
good water for household purposes can be found
in great quantity at about 40 to 50 feel depth.
and I should think wells might be dug with but
little labor. The only drawback I see to the country
is the scarcity of timber. We have not seen
Havens Letter: July 2 1865, Page: 4

Havens Letter: July 2 1865
Havens Letter: July 2 1865

as much timber since leaving Fort Leaven
worth as there is in Niles township and where they
get the timber for firewood and building purposes
in this country is more than I can conceive
We crossed the State line this morning near
Rock Creek station and todays march then
has been made in Nebraska. We are on the Overland
Mail or Pony Express Route. and to day have passed
and seen large numbers of those immense trains that
are constantly “crossing the Plains” They consist of
large heavy wagons drawn by six yoke of cattle
each. One driver to each wagon. he armed with
one of those “big whips” Isom used to tell about and
every few moments there is a report like that of
a rifle and some poor ox quivers with pain and
“tends to his knittin” better. We met two stages
today and one passed us. In the one that passed
us I got a squint at a very pretty female face
such things are getting scarce as hen’s teeth out
here. We expect to overtake a train of Mormon
women who are on their way to the “New
Jerusalem” in a few days. We also expect to
lay over and celebrate the “4th” somewhere out
here. I reckon we’ll have a huge time.
Remember me to everybody
in general and our folks in
particular. and write soon to
Your Brother Ed.
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