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Havens Letter: August 30, 1863

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: August 30, 1863
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 13
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 1, Folder 13
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: August 30 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: August 30 1863
Havens Letter: August 30 1863

Camp of Kilpatrick’s Division
In the woods near Falmouth Va
Sunday August 30th 63
Dear Mother.
Your unlooked for but
truly welcome letter of Aug. 16 came to
hand a week ago. and I have thought
several times of answering ere this but some
thing has occurred to prevent my doing
so until this morning. I wrote Nell about
the time I received yours which I hope
has reached you ere this.. At that
time we were doing picket at and
above Falmouth while our camp was
some two miles this side of there..
We were releived from picket on
Friday and moved back here some
three miles from the camp we then
occupied and a mile and half from
Havens Letter: August 30 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: August 30 1863
Havens Letter: August 30 1863

our camp near Hartwood Church..
We are back away a mile an from
the county road running from Falmouth
to Warrenton Junction and no road
of any consequence runs near us..
There is no news of any consequence
from our own division.. Friday night
about midnight our regiment was called
up and a detail made from each com
pany was sent off with one days rations
for themselves and grain for their horses.
They returned to camp about nine Oclock
last night.. having been on a reconnoisance
to Acquia Creeks but without seeing any
rebels. I did not go as I am still in
arrest. and having recovered my good
health I am getting pretty well rested
Our mail carriers while coming from
Warrenton Junction on Friday were
attacked by guerrillas and three men
wounded, one severely at first reported
Havens Letter: August 30 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: August 30 1863
Havens Letter: August 30 1863

Killed the other two slightly wounded
The mail was captured and so yes
terday we had no mail and ours has
not come yet this morning.. It was at
first reported yesterday that the
expedition which left our camp the
night before had gone in search of the
querrillas who captured our mail..
Small parties of these guerrillas are
prowling around near our camps
picking up stragglers who get too
far from camp. They cannot be
captured because they cannot be found
when we go after them as soon as they
find themselves pursued they scatter
and separate and cannot be found
as the citizens secret them and are
themselves among the guerrillas.. The only
way to successfully exterminate these
parties is to depopulate the country of
citizens.. True we find some excellent
Havens Letter: August 30 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: August 30 1863
Havens Letter: August 30 1863

people among the citizens but they
/are like hensteeth mighty scatter
ing.. Nearly every citizen must have
a safeguard over his property and
some of them are as fierce as tigers if
anyone goes near an apple tree
or potatoe patch.. A few days ago a
Wm Graham and myself were riding
along the road when I saw a peach
tree in the open field some rods
from the road and proposed that
we get some peaches. We rode out
to the tree and found a patch of nice
looking potatoes and thinking a few
would help our dinner a little we
got a sharp stick and pitched into a
couple of hills but could find no pota
toes.. We had scarcely pulled
the first top when we heard an
awful screaming at the house a
short distance off which didn’t scare us
any

Havens Letter: August 30 1863 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: August 30 1863
Havens Letter: August 30 1863

Pretty soon we saw the old
man running towards us followed
by two little boys and his wife. and
carrying in his hand a paper par
cel which was understood to be his
protection papers. and gave up the idea
of having potatoes for dinner.. The man
spoke quite pleasantly at first and
stated that he had papers for protec
tion and hoped we would not molest
his property. We assured him that
we should respect his papers and
his property.. and were mounting
to depart in peace. when the old woman
opened fire from her battery and com
menced calling us black thieves
bestowed
and ^ various other epithets equally
complimentary.. This raised our [illegible in original]
somewhat and we, perhaps not
Havens Letter: August 30 1863 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: August 30 1863
Havens Letter: August 30 1863

very politely requested her to shut
up. as we did not intend to abuse any
one or suffer any abuse from them.
We finally raised quite a breeze
and the old fellow threatened to report
us to the Provost Marshal of the division
while we told him to crack his whip and
go ahead.. We have’nt seen the Provost
Marshal yet.. It is amusing, and
yet it often raises ones sympathies
to see the women cry at the loss of any
little things which may chance to be taken
by our soldiers.. They have had so
much practice in the art that one of
them will cry as hard and as sin
cerely at the loss of an old rooster as
a woman in our state would at the
loss of the dearest friend she ever knew..
Such prayers as they can make to
induce one not take anything are
worthy of the imitation of many clergy men
Havens Letter: August 30 1863 , Page: 7

Havens Letter: August 30 1863
Havens Letter: August 30 1863

Speaking of roosters. let me relate one
anecdote concerning one.. One of our boys
a few days ago took a notion to go
foraging on his own [hook?] and
alone. He had got a mile or so from
camp and came to a clearing in which
stood some dilapidated old buildings..
He rode up to the buildings and could
see no signs that any one lived there:
the only living thing he could see on
the place was an old rooster which he
took quite a liking to. So hitching
his horse, he took after it.. after
chasing it till he was almost out
of breath he got the rooster in a
corner and began to think his
efforts were to be crowned with success.
He was just putting his hands on
it, when whack came something
over his neck and shoulders and
he dropped Mr Rooster and looked
Havens Letter: August 30 1863 , Page: 8

Havens Letter: August 30 1863
Havens Letter: August 30 1863

around.. He saw an old woman
standing over him with a hoe in
her hand with which she had
struck him.. Said she. you
nasty. good for nothing sneak
what are you trying to do with
my rooster. Why that is the only
rooster I have got.. He said he
mounted his horse and returned
to camp thinking he had done
and seen enough for one day..
This woman was as good grit
as one our men found while on
the raid a month ago after Moseby..
They went to her corn crib after
her corn which she defended successfully
for sometime with a long pike pole
and not until some of the boys
threw several ears of corn at her
some of which struck her did
she beat a retreat.
Havens Letter: August 30 1863 , Page: 9

Havens Letter: August 30 1863
Havens Letter: August 30 1863

But I am running on
to a great length. Well if you get
tired stop and rest a day or two
before finishing.. If I had news
in plenty to write my letters
would’nt be half so long. but
as it is I rattle away on what
happens to interest me. just as I
would were I talking to you in
our pleasant home. It is Sunday
too and Sunday is a great
day for visiting. I have only a
few words more to say.. One thing
I had forgotten to state while I
was speaking of prowling parties of
rebel guerrillas.. You will perhaps
remember in a letter which I wrote
from “Near Hartwood Church”

Havens Letter: August 30 1863 , Page: 10

Havens Letter: August 30 1863
Havens Letter: August 30 1863

on our first arrival there. that
I stated that our 1st Sergt Holton
started with us but being taken
sick attempted to return to the
Hospital at Warrenton Junction.
and as he did not rejoin us
we supposed he was in the hospital
there until a few days ago. when
“Our Briggs” received a large and
long letter from him written at
Parole camp Annapolis. Md..
We were much surprised but on
reading the letter we found that
instead of returning to Warrenton
Junction he had staid at an infantry
camp that night and feeling pretty
well started on next morning. Taking
a route across the country to
Stafford Court House. He was
leading an extra horse and riding
leisurely along not thinking of danger
Havens Letter: August 30 1863 , Page: 11

Havens Letter: August 30 1863
Havens Letter: August 30 1863

when he heard the order to halt
and on looking up saw a reb ahead
of him a few rods off. He reached
for his revolver when he imme
self
diately found him ^ surrounded
by quite a squad of them.. And sur
rendered.. They crossed the Rappa
hannock with him near one of
our pickets. took him to Richmond
put him at first in the Libby Prison.
shortly afterward to Castle Thunder
and soon paroled him and sent him
to Fortress Monroe from there to
the parole camp at Annapolis where
he found one of our corporals taken
at Gettysburg. He says they used
him well most of the time. but
took 31 dollars in Green Backs
from him.. He said he had a ten
dollar Confederate note which they
told him he might keep if he wished

Havens Letter: August 30 1863 , Page: 12

Havens Letter: August 30 1863
Havens Letter: August 30 1863

But this letter is long
enough for common folks and
I will stop. and wait until
next Sunday or some other
one before I write again..
I hope you will not delay
answering this any longer
than you did before. and
write good long letters. I shall
look for a letter from Nell
in a few days..
Give my compliments
to all our friends and accept
the best wishes of your
Unworthy Son
Edwin R Havens
P.S. I wish if convenient you could
send me a dollars worth of stamps
as I can not get them here and
am compelled to get my letters
franked..
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