Havens Letter: December 21 1862


Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: December 21, 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 21 1862 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: December 21 1862
Havens Letter: December 21 1862

No 15th

Lee Barracks
Sunday Eve
December 21, 1862

My Dear Mother
I received your most
truly welcome epistle last night and being
in hopes to receive another soon. I seize
the present opportunity to answer.
I am well and hearty, and heartily
hope this may find you and Father enjoy
ing good health. I am sorry to hear
that Uncle and Aunt have gone home.
How much I should have enjoyed a visit
with them. When Newton Sparks told
me they were there, I felt my first touch
of homesickness. But that lasted but a
short time. Although I often thought
of home and them, I enjoyed the scenes
and amusements, duties and privileges of
too much
the camp ^ to be really homesick.
I often think of home, very often.
While busy at my duties and my time is
occupied with them, home and friends
may be forgotten, and I try to do my
Havens Letter: December 21 1862 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: December 21 1862
Havens Letter: December 21 1862

duty in a manner that will gain
me the good will and approbation of my
superiors, and the friendship of my com
rades, and I think I can say without boast
ing, that I am successful.
The other boys from there are equally
successful, and all occupy as good places as
could be given them. They are all well with
the exception of Newton, who has a hard cold
but which does not prevent him from perfor
ming his duty as chief bugler for the regi
ment, which post he now temporarily occupies.
There are some hopes of his gaining this
position if Capt Walker will let him go out
of the company. The pay is about twenty
dollars a month.
We are getting along finely at present
Our barracks are much more comfortable than
we at first thought them. A floor has
been laid in them which keeps our feet
out of the mud. We have plenty of straw
for our beds and plenty of blankets for our
in our
covering. We have had four ^ bunks until
yesterday when we drew A one apiece for
our horses which we now use for our bed,
then too, my bunkmate has an India rubber
blanket, and when I think it necessary I
Havens Letter: December 21 1862 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: December 21 1862
Havens Letter: December 21 1862

shall draw one too, so that with over
coats there need be no danger of our suf
fering with cold. Our fare is very good
and as it is cooked over a stove is somewhat
better prepared than it was before. It does
not consist of all the good things which that
I should get were I at home and “Mother”
was cooking for me, O no! far from it
We have had potatoes but once in four or
five weeks, no butter until last night
for a longer time, pies, cakes, and such
fixins, we see, but not on our table.
Pies may be bought at the sutlers for
12 and 15 cents apiece, cookies for a cent
apiece, very good ones too, but they dont take
taste like “Mothers” and then we’ve no money.
I had bread and butter for supper, togeth
with a glass of cold water, pretty tough to
be up all night on, but I feel as well as
though I had eaten a supper. If I were at
home and fared no better than I do now
I should grumble, but some way or other
I can not find the face to complain here.
When I enlisted I had made up my
mind to bear a great deal and I never
yet have found more than I could bear
and I never felt better and stronger
than I now do.
Havens Letter: December 21 1862 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: December 21 1862
Havens Letter: December 21 1862

Perhaps I ought not to write all this
But I feel that you will feel better to know
the truth than you would if you thought
that I pictured the thing as better than
it is. I received a letter from Nell last
evening containing five dollars, for which
I am most truly thankful. But I fear
that I can not at present use it for the pur
pose for which it was sent me. I have sifted
the thing pretty thoroughly and have come
to the conclusion that as things are at pres
ent the chances for Sergts getting furloughs
are poor at the present time. However as I al
ways like to look on the bright side of every thing
I beleive I shall leave get home again before leaving
the state, and perhaps soon.
I am sorry Father had nothing to write
but hope he may find something soon.
I will take the will for the deed, for I can
never think I am forgotten by him or you.
But Mother do not write so gloomy a letter
again. Cheer up, I can not think the time is
far distant when we shall all meet again
around the fireside of home to be separated no more
by the cruel fate of war. I know you feel anxious
for my welfare as I am for yours and I know
there is nothing you would not do for me were
it in your power. But do not borrow trouble
for me. I shall ever be ready to tell you my
condition and never try to deceive you in
any manner. I shall try to perform my duty
in such a manner that my superiors and
mates shall approve of it and my parents
and friends be proud of.
May the Ruler of all preserve and bless
you all is the prayer of your Affectionate Son
Edwin R Havens
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