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Havens Letter: July 30 1865

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: July 30, 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 30 1865, Page: 1

Havens Letter: July 30 1865
Havens Letter: July 30 1865

Virginia Dale C.F.
Sunday July 30th 1865

Dear Nell.
I wrote you from Camp Collins a few days ago
and told you that this was to be my destination. and lo! here
am I. housed at last. after an unceasing toil of 36 days. during
which time we have traversed a portion of the vast praries
of the west. left civilization. home, its comforts. and the society
of congenial companions hundreds of miles behind us. and too
at a time when they seemed dearer than ever. because almost within
our grasp after a chase through perils. dangers and privations
for nearly three years; and today I find myself away here amid
the solitude of the Rocky Mountains. settled down. in a quiet
pleasant little dale surrounded by crags and cliffs which
bound our horizon almost within an arm’s length from
our tent and to which one dropped unwanted into this spot
could see no outlet.. yet congratulating myself that I am
so well “settled” at last. Yes! here we are. “a thousand miles
from home and no mammy” sure enough. Ninety miles
from Denver City. 35 from Camp Collins and 22 from
the base of the Meridian Bow Mountains
Havens Letter: July 30 1865, Page: 2

Havens Letter: July 30 1865
Havens Letter: July 30 1865

I wish I could give you a description of our
home that would enable you to see it as we do. If I was
an artist I would sketch it for you. yet However as I have
sometimes tried my hands at description of places I will “try
South
again.” We approached this dale from the North along the bank
of a small creek on our right a wall of rough jagged rocks
reaching away up. up. ‘till they almost meet the blue sky.. and
where the sun never reaches the earth. then emerging into a
little valley. we are greeted with the sight of an almost circular
field surrounded on all sides by high. rocky. crags. jutting
out in the most graceful irregularity. with deep Canõns
extending away back into them in every directions the bottoms
and sides covered with the short. blue. mountain. bunch grass
the best that grows. with here and there a scraggy pine.
that sometimes grow to a diameter of nearly 3 feet and a
highth of 30 to 40 feet. a nice. little clear mountain brook
the water of which is cold as the winter’s ice and furnishes
us excellent trout. (so people say. I have’n’t seen any yet)
while the hills and canõns are said to furnish plenty
of antelope and blacktailed deer for the adventurous hunter
who does not fear the rascally “red-skins..” On a little
knoll. near the center of this spot stands a log cabin. which
is used as a hotel by Ben. Holliday’s overland Stage com
pany, and where travelers are entertained at the very
Havens Letter: July 30 1865, Page: 3

Havens Letter: July 30 1865
Havens Letter: July 30 1865

moderate expense of seven dollars per day. a little ways
from it stands a barn. a sort of “Morphodyte” building
partly frame partly hewn logs. a blacksmith shop. a corrall
for stock. a log cabin used for quarters by the soldiers
stationed here.. your worthy correspondent’s. and his partner’s
“fly” and a couple of stage coaches.. In the tavern. Hotel
or ranch. are three very beautiful. intelligent appearing females.
(one unmarried) a tame antelope. and a litter of bull-purp’s
There! Can you ask for any better spot in which to pass
a quiet retired life. It is really romantic to dream of.
Nothing to do. but fish, hunt, write. read. sleep and ride..
no care nor responsibility. one of the nicest little ponies in the
western hemisphere to ride. and when I want to go to Camp
Collins and do not wish to ride my pony. I can jump on the
stage and go down [for?] gratis for nothing.. Is’n’t it delight
ful? What are home. friends who have forgotten you. and all the
stiff. precise surroundings of a life among the beings of civil
ized life. when compared with a “lodge in some vast wilder-
ness.” amid Natures own creatures. As I expect to remain
here until next March or April. I have serious thoughts of being
mustered out of the service here. receiving my commutation
for transportation and so forth having in the mean time
ingratiated myself into the affections of the aforesaid
unnamed “femaline” and locate myself in some
Havens Letter: July 30 1865, Page: 4

Havens Letter: July 30 1865
Havens Letter: July 30 1865

mountain [illegible in original]. What: say you? will that do?
I anticipate your answer.
Our trip from Camp Collins was a tedious but
interesting one. occupying a part of Friday afternoon and
until 2 oclock yesterday afternoon. We marched to Park Station
a stage station 13 miles from Collins Friday afternoon.. Three
miles from Collins we passed a little station called La Porte
containing a store blacksmith shop and a few other buildings
Then we left a sergt and 13 men of our Company and the same
number at Park Station. Their duty is to escort the mail coaches
to the next station below. them requiring 4 men each trip. At
Stonewall Station 15 miles this side of Park we left a portion
of Co “M” 1st Mich. and have the remainder with us at this
post among them Oscar Elliott. There is some of the most picturesque
and wildly. magnificant scenery in the vicinity of Stone
wall that I ever saw. No fruitful fancy of an artist can conceive
anything on canvas can equal it. The romantic minds of Cobb
Burnett. Cooper. and other novel writers have failed to describe
anything equalling it. No dreams can give one any idea of it
and my poor mind and pen can not describe it; yet
at some future time when I have revisited it and the coach
is not hurrying me as it now is. I will tell you something
about it. You will perceive that this page of my sheet is
dusty and sprinkled. all owing to a baptism it has received
by one of those delightful, little romantic showers which
no civilized community can get up.
One of our boys has just made us a present
of a nice mess of the trout of these streams for our supper
O! ye poor civilized people. how I pity you that you can
not partake of such luxuries. I shall write when the
“spirit moves.”
Good Bye from
Ed
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