Havens Letter: July 4 1865


Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: July 4, 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 Seventh Mich Cavalry
On Little Blue. Nebraska
July 4 times 1865

Well Nell.
How is “Fourth of Julia” in Michigan
Having a huge old time I expect. Well, that’s right
and I am glad of it. Think once of your poor unfor
tunate brother away out in here on the plains of Nebras
ka. How did you spell that in the charade at Col.
Stephens’ last winter. (Knee. Brass-Key?)
The Fourth is quite a pleasant day to us. we have
a very pleasant camp ground on the banks of the Little
Blue. a stream nearly or quite as large as the Dowa
giac seven miles from Kioway Station on the Great
Western Route to California ninety miles from Fort
Kearney and 184 miles from Ft Leavenworth. General
Stagg thinking we had marched long enough without
our days rest concluded that we should rest one
day so yesterday morning we left the Big Sandy
and marched to this place a distance of 20 miles and
on arriving here we [wente?] into camp in the latest
and most approved style
Havens Letter: July 2 1865, Page: 2

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

This morning General Peter wishing to do a
“big thing” issued a ration of whiskey (1/2 gill) to each
man to permit them to spend the “Fourth of July”
in a “becoming manner.” As yet I have seen no bad effects
in camp from this “generous conduct” in the general..
Everybody has been quiet as yet. but at a ranch
three fourths of a mile above here I presume they are
having a pretty rough time of it.
The day has been quite a hot one and since
yesterday morning one of those hot south winds so
common to these plains has been blowing quite steadily
making it very uncomfortable marching yesterday..
Although we have had an everabundance of
rain since leaving Ft Leavenworth. it is now very
dry. Yesterday, march where we would, over the praries
or in the road the dust should fly in clouds close
enough to suffocate one. The country through which
we marched yesterday was more level than any we had before
seen. In fact from the Big Sandy to the Little Blue
the country is almost as level as a floor. The soil
is lighter in color. the grass poorer. timber more scarce. and
not a creek or pond in the whole 20 miles.. The Big
Sandy is a very rapid. clear. and shallow stream. the water
of a light. Reddish cast.. the Little Blue is wider. More
Havens Letter: July 2 1865, Page: 3

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

rapid. deeper. and the water of a dark almost. black
color. The waters are very sweet in [both?]. warm. and unpleas
ant. They make very pleasant places for bathing. and
we improve the opportunities that are offered to us.
I do not think this so healthy a country as Va.
to soldier in. The days are warm. nights cool. and
heavy dews. We all feel first rate. and able to work
hard every day. but there is not a man who does
not grow thin and poor in appearance daily.
I know some men. who have always been fleshy
and rugged. who are getting thin enough for
scare crows. I can give no cause for it.
We received a mail today. one that we should
have received at Marysville. but “Nary a letter” for me.
I was provoked. almost angry. Here it is July
and I have not received a letter from you dated
later than May 28th. To all those long letters
I wrote you from City Point to Ft Leavenworth
I have received no answer. How is it? Can it be
possible that you have not written. that you are sick
and unable to write. or am I of no consequence
any longer. If we do not get a mail at Ft. Kearney
and in it some mail for me I shall go back on
all my old friends and they may go to grass
Havens Letter: July 2 1865, Page: 4

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

Unless I get too hard pushed for some
thing to while away a few moments time I
do not think I shall write again before making
Kearney. and if I do not get mail there I’ll
throw away pen. ink and paper to prevent
my ever writing again. for so long as I have them
where I can get my hands on them. I can not
keep from writing
So with hopes of a letter before long
and wishing you and all old friends a
happy “Fourth” and many returns of the same
I will close. Remember me to Father and
Mother and write often.
Your Brother
Edwin R Havens

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