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Havens Letter: April 18 1863

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: April 18, 1863
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 9
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 9
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: April 18 1863, Page: 1

Havens Letter: April 18 1863
Havens Letter: April 18 1863

Selickmans Ford Va
April 18th 1863

Dear Nell
Your most welcome
missive of April 9th & 10th came to hand
last evening and was eagerly read. you
may beleive for it was the first line I had
received from home for nearly two weeks.
I am glad to know that you are
all well and as for myself I am grow
ing fat every day. Some of the boys have
tried their best to scare me for a week
or two past, telling me that I was growing
poor every day. They came near succeeding
as my chances to look in a mirror
were very few.. But yesterday afternoon I
chanced to wander into the commissary &
tent and spying a pair of scales I stepped
upon them and found that I weighed 145.
some six pounds heavier than when
I was last weighed and being in my shirt
sleeves I thought I must be growing poor
very fast. So much for living on “Hard
Tack and as the boys say Sow Belly.”
Havens Letter: April 18 1863, Page: 2

Havens Letter: April 18 1863
Havens Letter: April 18 1863

I wrote you last Sunday from
Wolf Run Shoals, but as it would be
very unmilitary especially for cavalry to
remain in one place 10 days at a time
we removed from there on Friday morning
to this place when we found the remainder
of our regiment which came here on Tuesday
last from Fairfax C.H. which, however,
is still the headquarters of our brigade..
We are at present about 8 miles from
Wolf Run Shoals and about 13 from F..x C.H.
and about 3 or 4 miles from the Potomac
still on the Occoquan creek about two miles
from its junction with the Occoquan bay..
About two miles from here is the village
of Occoquan Mills or City as it is variously
known. which is said by those who have
seen it to be a very pretty place and formerly
to have been quite a business village.. Steam
tugs and small crafts can come to it and
it thus offers quite good facilities for getting
forage and provisions to the army near here.
It is however little used as a forage or provision
depot. those supplies being mostly sent via
the Orange and Alexandria R.R. to Fairfax
station and from there hauled in wagons
to the regiments..
Havens Letter: April 18 1863, Page: 3

Havens Letter: April 18 1863
Havens Letter: April 18 1863

On Wednesday last our Lieut Col
with about 150 men crossed the creek
at Occuquan Village and while scouring
the country beyond some citizens cut the
ferry boat by which they crossed and as it rained
nearly all day and night the creek and [runs?]
raised so as to make the fords impassable.
They occupied the village which was is
deserted by its f original inhabitants and quar
tering their horses in the collars and themselves
in their houses they remained until Friday
ed
morning where the ferry boats having been recover^
and repaired they recrossed to this side..
While at Wolf Run Shoals we had very
warm pleasant weather excepting Wednesday.
and I enjoyed myself finely.. I accompanied
Capt Walker along the picket lines Monday.
coming down to Selickmans Ford a mile
and a quarter from here in the forenoon and
at night going with him to Union Mills..
Coming back from there we lost our
road and wandered through the woods
and fields until about midnight..
Tuesday I attempted to guide Major
Foote of the 6th Mich Cav. along the lines
but lost my way and wandered about 15
miles to get 9 and then “played out”
Havens Letter: April 18 1863, Page: 4

Havens Letter: April 18 1863
Havens Letter: April 18 1863

Thursday I got a pass and in
company with one of our boys from Niles
city I went to Union Mills and back.
Union Mills is at the crossing of the Orange
and Alexandria R.R. over Bull Run creek
and about 5 miles from the battlefield of
August /62 and 6 from that of July 21/61.
Near there is a fort built by the rebels defend
ing the county road running to Alexandria
on this side of the [run?]. and rifle pits
and breastworks for infantry in in every
direction. In sight and across the run are
large numbers of rebel barracks which they
occupied a year ago. Away to the southwest
is seen Bull run Mountain and Thoroughfare
gap can be seen quite plainly. Between
Union Mills and this mountain the country
is covered with rebel camping grounds..
and the battle grounds also lie near its
foot A part of the Vt brigade is encamped
at Union Mills and the 1st Mich Cavalry
was encamped there nearly all winter..
Coming back from there we stopped at an
old secesh farmers house and got a dinner of
bacon, beans, parsnips cabbage and apples. with
choc cakes. for bread. no coffee tea or even a cup of
water to drink. He wanted 50 cts for our dinners
but we hadn’t any “Green Backs” and as he
didnt like the looks of an “Erie and Kalamazoo
Railroad bank of Adrian we came off without
paying anything.. The country is scarcely worth
the ink it would take to notice it [illegible in original]
here..
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