Havens Letter: January 21 1863


Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: January 21, 1863
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 6
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 6
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: January 21 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: January 21 1863
Havens Letter: January 21 1863

No 20th

Lee Barracks, Grand Rapids
January 21, 1863

Brother Nell
Your welcome and
most anxiously looked for a letter was received
last night and I seize a few leisure moments
this morning to answer it. No news to write,
the same old story, as usual, and I do not
think there will be anything new until we
leave here. When we first came here and every
thing was new to us I could find something to
write about, but now everything has got steadily
running and there is scarcely a jar in the machi
nery worth noticing. Not that everything goes
smoothly, and no one grumbles. Far from it, there
is not a day but there is grumbling enough done
were it of any effect to sink the whole state of
Michigan to the lowest depths of perditions.
A great share of it is useless and worse than
useless because entirely uncalled for while a
great share of it is quite pardonable and
sensible. The whole sum and substance of
it is that Col. Mann is “playing out” at as rapid
a rate as ever Col. Quinn did.
Havens Letter: January 21 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: January 21 1863
Havens Letter: January 21 1863

Col. Mann is a very strict discipline
arian and all style very egotistical and of
a quick, impetuous temper. He demands a
great deal of respect from inferiors, no matter if
they be officers or privates, and gets it “over
the left. He demands a salute from every
one who meets him and never returns one,
and for myself, I have just about quit
saluting him. I have had occasion to ad
dress him at his quarters and also when
on guard duty several times. At first I feared
him and dared not enter his presence
except I was as humble as a lamb. But
now I care no more for him than I
would for the meanest scoundrel I
every met and respect him about as
much. Lieut Col. Litchfield is altogether
a different sort of man and I respect
him highly as I also do both Majors
Newcombe and Houston and our Adjutant
Lieut Doty.
Perhaps it would be as
well if I had not said quite so much about
Col. Mann. But what bred in the bone must
come out in the flesh. He has not yet got
his commission as a Col. and unless he fills
his regiment up to the minimum number

Havens Letter: January 21 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: January 21 1863
Havens Letter: January 21 1863

of nine hundred and forty-eight men
within a short time he will not get it
either. He went to Detroit on Saturday
last and is expected to bring a mustering
officer with him and have the remaining
companies mustered in. It is also hoped but
scarcely expected that the pay master may
come with him, and pay us what is due us
being to our company four months pay due
to nearly every man. The delay in paying us
is a fruitful source of complaint among the
men. It seems rather hard that we should
fulfill our share of the contract between our
selves and the Government and have them
neglect to fulfil their share of the same. It
seems unjust and in civil life we could
not be held in this camp five minutes
but I suppose we are in for three years
or during the war. You will think I am
homesick and wish I was out of this.
But you are sadly mistaken. I do not
want to leave company or service. All
I would ask is that I could be put some
where where I could do what I enlisted
to do, namely help to get the country
out of this fuss. but which I never
will do as long as Col. Mann commands the 7th
Havens Letter: January 21 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: January 21 1863
Havens Letter: January 21 1863

Now a few words concerning our regiment
and its future prospects. The regiment to
day consists of between eight and nine hundred
men in camp and between nine and ten
hundred horses. The horses are divided
among the companies but not assigned
individually to the men. Our company
has dark bays, and have got a good lot
of horses. It is expected that we will go to
Washington and be joined with the sixth
in a brigade under command of Genl. Cope
land formerly Col of the [5?] Cavalry.
As for my not coming home I
must repeat it furloughs are played out.
I think that at present I stand as
poor a chance as anyone in the company.
I am acting Commissary Sergt. and
also performing duty as a duty Sergt.
How long I shall hold the post of
Commissary is not known. I shall
not however be acting Com long, as I will
either have the post given me permanently
or give it up entirely. It is no promotion
The only advantage being that it will give
me a slight business education that will
be of service should I ever enter civil life
Havens Letter: January 21 1863 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: January 21 1863
Havens Letter: January 21 1863

I am glad to hear that
Jim Lee has got home again
and hope he may be well enough
to come out and see us. I can not
say how long we shall remain
here. I hope not long however.
I wish you could come out and
see us if you can. I shall not
give up trying to come home
yet awhile but must say that
I think the case hopless
or almost so Tell Mother
that I thank her for her kind
ness, but that there is nothing
that she could send me that
I need. All citizens clothing
is ordered to be packed up and
sent away from camp.
I am lucky in this respect as
I have none here. We have all
the clothing that we need here
or could use.
Havens Letter: January 21 1863 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: January 21 1863
Havens Letter: January 21 1863

There are about three inches
of snow and Newt has just
asked me to take a sleighride
this evening and I dont know
but I shall accept the invita
tion. I wish that some of the
folks from the bend could
be here to go with us.
But the company has
gone to dinner and I must
go too.
Give my best respects to
all of the friends at home
and tell them all to write
to me. I had the misfortune
to lose a few of those stamps
and taking advantage of your
kindness ask for a few more.
My love to Father and Mother
and tell them I wish they
would write
Your Brother
Edwin R. Havens

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