Havens Letter: December 18 1862


Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: December 18, 1862
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 5
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 5
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: December 18 1862 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: December 18 1862
Havens Letter: December 18 1862

No 14th

Camp Kellogg
December 18th 1862

Dear Brother Nell,
I received your most truly
welcome letter last evening and not being
very busy I sat myself to answer it.
You have probably received an answer
to one I received from you on Saturday
last in which I scolded you quite severely
for not writing a longer one. Although you
did better on Sunday I can not think
but you might wrong write longer ones.
A letter from home is one of the most
necessary things in a soldiers rations.
It gives us something on which to exercise
our mental faculties in writing an answer,
and is a certain antidote against ennui
and homesickness.
After dinner, Just as I had finished
writing the above I heard the Orderly calling
“Noncommissioned officers fall out for drill” and
so I had to go. Our drill was in the manual
of arms for the rifle and it is something quite
interesting, to me and as it is never long enough
to tire me. I never hang back.
Havens Letter: December 18 1862 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: December 18 1862
Havens Letter: December 18 1862

I am well as usual my tooth is
grumbling some today. But it does not
both me much. I am much more
free from colds than is usual for one
at this time of year. The other boys are
all well. There is but little need of any
one being sick here if they live up to
the regulations and requirements of camp.
We are required to be up at six in
the morning, and lights out at nine in
the evening. Our meals are at regular
hours and consist of healthy, wholesome
articles and we are not required to expose
ourselves unnecessarily.
Our quarters are warm, most too
much so for our health, and comfort,
and I undress the same as though I
were at home, and sleep quite warmly
under much less clothing than I used
to at home. Though required to blow
out the lights at nine it is generally
noisy nearly all night. We eat so much
Bull Beef that it makes every one bellow
and I dont know but the horns will
begin to start on some of us soon.
Our pork is so fat that I can not eat
it. They raise, or kill some awful
fat hogs around here
Havens Letter: December 18 1862 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: December 18 1862
Havens Letter: December 18 1862

Our horses beginr to come in
now. Thirty four were accepted yesterday
afternoon, and as many more this fore
noon. The most of them are very good
ones, averaging much better than those
furnished to the sixth. But our next
lot may be very different ones. This will
require more men to take care of them and
consequently prevent many from going
home during the holidays who would other
wise have gone. Whether it will interfere
with my calculations or not remains to be
seen. I hope, and beleive not. Many rumors
are afloat concerning furloughs and nearly
every one appends Col. Mann’s authority and
sanction. But I have Capt Walkers promise
of a furlough and I know that if it is set
down as possible I will get one if I can
get the means to go home with.
Col Mann says he is determined
to get us away from here during the month
of January, and I think he will at least I
hope so. The Sergeants in each company
have been furnished with a sabre and
belt and I now have a good rifle and
sword, and am anxious to know how
to use them.
Havens Letter: December 18 1862 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: December 18 1862
Havens Letter: December 18 1862

The reason we were furnished with
our Sabres was because commissioned
officers are so scarce that instead of having
a captain for Officer of the Day, and a
Lieutenant for Officer of the Guard as is
usual in all camps, we now have a Lieutenant
for Officer of the Day and a duty Sergeant
for Officer of the Guard. We are also required
to have t^o other Sergts. as Sergts of the Guard
besides three corporals, so that there are
nearly as many officers as privates on
guard duty each day, and we find enough
to do to satisfy most of us. I have been on as
both Sergt. and Officer of the guard during
the week past. Nearly every many of our comp
any is either on Guard or detailed as carpenters
This morning Col. Mann ordered the compa
nies out on drill, and on calling out Co. “A”
we found one Lieut. four Sergts. and four
privates who were not on guard or other detail
Lieut Briggs ordered us to fall in right dress
right face break rank, and so we were excused
from drill. There are at present but two
captains on the ground the others being away.
Capt. Walker has been sick for some time past
and is not well enough for duty yet. He went
to Detroit yesterday morning and may possibly
go to Niles before returning to camp.
Tell our folks I would very much like to
get a letter from them. My love to them and
tell them there is nothing I need except a pair
of gloves which I hope to obtain if I come home next week.
Till then Good bye
Edwin R Havens
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