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Havens Letter: August 13 1865

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: August 13, 1865
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 11
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 11
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: August 13 1865 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: August 13 1865
Havens Letter: August 13 1865

Virginia Dale Col. Territory
Sunday August 13th/65

Dear Nell.
Another week has passed over us with
changes of various kinds except one. I have the same
old complaint to make. “No letters from home” and I often
wonder why it is so. I do not wholly despair of ever
receiving one for I intend to keep dunning until I
get some payment. I received a letter this morning
from one of my few remaining friends which has given
me some hopes that others may find their way “in the
n
course of human events” to this benighted and Godforsake^
place.. The past week has been spent much like
the preceding one. in hunting. fishing reading. writing
and a slight sprinkling of work. We have been busy
a part of the time in building ourselves a shanty
which although not yet completed. will afford us
a shelter and defence if it ever becomes necessary
to use it as such. No trouble from Indians occur
red during the week. above us. Capt Wilson of the
Colorado Cavalry with his company started
Havens Letter: August 13 1865 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: August 13 1865
Havens Letter: August 13 1865

from Big Laramie
on Sunday or Monday ^ in pursuit of the Indians
who had ben committing depredations in that vicinity
Sometime during the week. (We received the report on
Thursday) he overtook them and just at dusk
had a small fight with them.. meeting with no
casualties among his men or horses. and it is
not posi positively known that he inflicted any
injury upon them. yet it was thought they killed
and wounded four or five. Both parties retreated and
during the night the Indians departed for “parts
unknown” From the report of a Sergt of the company
I am inclined to find fault with the course pur
sued by Capt. Wilson. a course which if followed
by an officer in the “Army of the Potomac” would
have brought upon him disgrace and dishonorable
dismissal from the service. Yesterday we heard
that Indians had been seen in the vicinity of
Parke Station between here and Fort Collins, doing
no damage however. We have always felt secure in
our present position and flattered ourselves that no
Indians would visit us. yet not relaxing in the
least our discipline and vigilance. A coach came
night
down from Big Laramie last ^ reaching here about
2 oclock this morning. and continued on toward
Havens Letter: August 13 1865 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: August 13 1865
Havens Letter: August 13 1865

Fort Collins this morning. Major Warner came
down with the coach. and issued some new
orders. before proceeding farther on his journay
down. Everything was quiet as usual. Our horses
sent out to graze with a guard and two or three
men had gone out hunting. I had been lying
lazily in my tent reading my letters . smoking.
etc. and had just become deeply interested in a
game of “Solitary” at cards when one of the boys
came running up inquiring if we had any ammu
nition as some Indians had just been seen
near by. One or two immediately started to procure
the aforesaid “medicine” which we warrant
to “kill or cure” if taken “according to directions”
while I giving “solitary” the “[gaby?]” grasped
my revolver and some ammunition and sallied
forth. On coming out of the tent I saw every man
with his carbine, revolver or rifle out and “going
for them” like a hen after a hot potatoe.. and
just then ten or twelve of the scoundrels. appeared
in sight near a point of rock at the mouth of
a canõn about 30 rods distant.. Some of the
boys were in shooting distance and immediately
sent them “our compliments” in the form of a
Havens Letter: August 13 1865 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: August 13 1865
Havens Letter: August 13 1865

nice little “card” manufactured by “Spencer..” They,
cowardly scamps did not heed our reception
in fact did not seem to like it very much and
hurrying their horses around the point set off up
the canõn at a good sound pace. Our herd at this
time was out of sight and we were somewhat
inclined to believe they would remain so for
some time as we know that was what the red
imps were after. not a horse could be scared up
with the exception of the hunters who had just returned
having captured an Indian pony that had been
abandoned or left out by them as a decoy. One or two
of these immediately mounted and started out and
several others started on foot. some to search for
the herd. others to watch the movements of the
Indians. Some jokes were cracked at the expense
of those whose horses were gone. and I had made
my mind that my pony which I had saved
for my children to ride. was gone, had deserted
and I was left to ride afoot. but in the course
of 15 or 20 minutes we were most pleasantly and
agreeably surprised to see the herd all safe and
sound approaching from a direction from which
we were not looking for them. The herders had seen
the Indians before we had and being already
cut off from the route by which they usually
returned to camp started them in another
and longer direction and arrived safe. Seven
or eight of the men then mounted and started in
pursuit and overtook the Indians and skirmished
with, or rather fired at, them.. The Indians showed
no disposition to “get out of the wilderness” as soon
as possible.. They did not return a single shot. and
it is a question with us whether they had any fire
arms. at all.
Havens Letter: August 13 1865 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: August 13 1865
Havens Letter: August 13 1865

They seemed to have bows and arrows and some car
ried spears. or lances. and all were splendidly mounted
They were dressed in blankets and skins. after
pursuing them some three miles or more our boys
returned. since which time none have been
seen. The ladies here. fearing the Indians might
come down in more force. and taking the cue from
a little girl among the emigrants attached near
Little Laramie. who escaped capture. although thrice
wounded. by being dressed in a suit of boy’s
clothes. donned the “breaches” I thought it a very
sensible idea. and thinking thinking it an ex
cellent opportunity to make the acquaintance of the
unmarried one to whom I had never before spoken
I waded in. and enjoyed a few moments very
splendid conversaton with her..
We are watching for news from Gen Connor.
at Fort Laramie and are becoming a little
anxious to receive news that he has started
against them..
The health of all is good here. If you see
Mrs Merrill. you may tell here that Elliott
is well. and has a letter all ready to mail
as soon as he receives one from home
Havens Letter: August 13 1865 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: August 13 1865
Havens Letter: August 13 1865


I have nothing farther to write so will
subscribe myself
Fraternally Yours
Ed

Tuesday Eve Aug 15th
I still obtain my hair and a part of my wits
notwithstanding the big scare of Sunday. Our visitors have given
us a wide berth since then. at least have not been seen in the
vicinity. Nothing has been heard from above and some
fears are entertained that all is not right there. No
coach has gone up the road since then and I do not
know when one will be sent. One came up today from
Fort Collins and will return tomorrow. No difficulty
has occurred down the road. I shall go down to
Collins tomorrow on the coach. on business. A party
of ten I think composed wholly or chiefly of citizens
went out from LaPorte a few days ago in pursuit
of a party of Indians. found them and captured
eleven ponies with no loss on their side We received
a few carbines today of the Joslyn pattern. a single
shooting breech loading piece using the metallic
cartridge which will assist us somewhat. although
one Spencer is worth at least five of them..
No mail as usual today. I would scold. swear
if I knew how and thought it would do any good
but I flatter myself that my letters reach you and
are answered and that the fault is not yours. so I
live in hopes that they will come “in the length of
time” Remember me to all as always
E A
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