Havens Letter: January 29 1863


Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: January 29, 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 29 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: January 29 1863
Havens Letter: January 29 1863

No 22nd

Lee Barracks Grand Rapids
January 29th, 1863

Brother Nell
Your most welcome letter
of the 25th was received and read with great pleas
ure last evening, and as every moment of
time is precious to the solders I try to
make every moment of use to me. There
fore I take this early moment to answer
your letter.
I am quite well and hope these lines
may find you all well again. Your
speaking of Rettas illness brings to mind
one whom I had nearly forgotten and
hereafter I should like to hear about
her as well as the rest of the family. Tell
her I shall think of her, and hope when
I return to find her a fine, young lady.
The other boys are all well and working
like “Sam Patch”. Not a moment during
the day but what there is plenty of work to
do, and few to do it. More horses are coming
every day, while men desert nearly as fast as
horses increase.

Havens Letter: January 29 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: January 29 1863
Havens Letter: January 29 1863

We have at present about 1075 horses
and about 850 men. This makes it some
easier than it was some time ago. But
yet we have enough and more than enough
to keep us busy all of the time. We do not water
horses but once a day as it is considered too
cold to be necessary. Yesterday morning
the saddles were distributed among the men
and now we sleep on the floor and put
the saddles in our bunks, which are so full
then that no space is left for us.
This morning the Col. ordered all the men
to drill on horseback. But after breakfast he
again ordered a detailed of 14 men two Corps.
and a Segt. for drill preparatory for a funeral
escort as some military celebrity ^ is expected here
soon and they drilled both forenoon and after
noon in the manual of arms peculiar to these
ceremonies. This is quite a good duty as those
men are drilled considerably ahead of the rest of
us. The remainder of the men in our company
drilled in the forenoon mounted, and as so
many men were taken out of our company,
it took nearly all the afternoon to water the
horses. It snowed some during the after
noon but did not amount to much.

Havens Letter: January 29 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: January 29 1863
Havens Letter: January 29 1863

A few men who have lost all respect
for themselves and all others have been to
the city and amused themselves by stealing
insulting the citizens and otherwise causing
complaint to Col. Mann who thereupon issued
orders that no more passes would be given at any
time until further orders. After this was understood
the men put on their sabres, and raised a
terrible row and several broke guard and went
to the city to show Col. Mann that they could
go without passes. The commissioned then
went out on patrol and succeeded in
capturing five or six of them, and put
them in the guard house. This was Sat
urday night. On Monday Afternoon the
Guard house caught fire and in spite
of all efforts burned to the ground
causing a great loss among the “Grey
Backs” which were said to inhabit it.
I do not think it was set on fire by any
of the prisoners, although many
of them have been undergoing a court
martial ever since.
Monday night Capt Walker gave all
of his “non commish” at the officers board
ing house a good Oyster Supper
which was relished by all.
Havens Letter: January 29 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: January 29 1863
Havens Letter: January 29 1863

But it is time for drill
and I must stop writing.
John Alexander starts for
home tomorrow morning. I wish
I could come with him but its
no go. Furloughs are not to be
had for love or money.
Come out one and all as soon
as possible, and stay a month
and learn how we live and work.
Receive my thanks for those
stamps and write again soon
Your Brother in haste
Edwin R Havens

I haven’t written half as much
as I intended to.
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