Havens Letter: March 13 1863


Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: March 13, 1863
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 8
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 8
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: March 13 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: March 13 1863
Havens Letter: March 13 1863

Washington. Camp Kellogg
March 13th 1863

Dear Brother Nell
Your most welcome letter was

received and eagerly read some three hours ago and as
I want to hear from home as often as possible I seat
myself this evening to answer it.. I am glad to
know that you are all in good health and am
happy to say that I have enjoyed the best of health
since leaving Grand Rapids.. Tonight I feel as
though I had taken a severe cold but think
it will not amount to anything yet I shall
not neglect it.. A great many of our men are in
the hospital most of their diseases having been
brought on by neglecting to notice a severe cold..
Some of them were fortunate enough to get
into a General Hospital before our regiment
one was established and they fare first rate. They
have good quarters and every care and attention
is bestowed upon them that they could
receive at home.. I should not dread to go
into such a hospital of I were sick..
Our first Serg’t has been sick for sometime
and I have been acting in his place. and as
the regiment has been reorganized during
Havens Letter: March 13 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: March 13 1863
Havens Letter: March 13 1863

the past week I have had hardly a minute
to spare.. One night the Col.. kept us in meeting
until 12 Oclock and we got about 3 hours
to sleep. We received orders the fore part of the
week to hold ourselves in readiness on two hours
notice and immediately Col.. Mann gave orders
to issue everything that would fit us for active
service on short notice.. We now are supplied with
saddles, curb and watering bridles, Sabres and revolvers
our rifles or at least our Enfields will not be issued
again.. We shall either get Spencers Repeaters
or the Burnside Breechloading Rifles.. These are
the only rifles that are fit for cavalry and we shall
get one of these or use only our Sabres and revolvers.
The reason of our receiving marching orders
is that General Stuart has been raising fun
over in Virginia near Fairfax Court House and orders
for the Michigan boys to follow him were im
mediately sent in from Headquarters.. The
6th regiment left in full force day before yesterday
at sunrise. It was rumored for a time and
pretty thoroughly understood and believed that four
companies of our regiment would go too.. The
[illegible in original] Pennsylvania Cavalry left here yesterday
morning.. We commenced drilling yesterday
on horseback and have drilled both fore
noon and afternoon yesterday and today
Havens Letter: March 13 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: March 13 1863
Havens Letter: March 13 1863

We have a company drill in the forenoon
and commissioned officers and [illegible in original] drill
in the forenoon afternoon.. After we were dis
missed from drill yesterday afternoon, Billy
O’Brien and I started on our horse for the stables
some 20 rods distant and feeling somewhat sport
ive we let our horses “git” some 15 rods.. The Col or rather
Lt Col saw us and as it was contary to “Hoyle” he
sent Major Newcombe to arrest us. He did this in
a real gentlemanly manner expressing his regrets that
it was his duty. and requested us to report to the Lt Col
were ly
as soon as we reached camp.. We did so, and ^ immediate^
released with a fine compliment on our former good
duty and telling us to be more car^ful in future..
And I guess we will.. I received a letter frome
Rene a few days ago in which he said that he had
received word of his fathers severe illness. but had
not heard of his death..
We have a very pleasant encampment
and enjoy ourselves much better than in Grand
Rapids.. Although we do not fare so well as we
did there. There is much less complaining among
them.. They feel as though it could not so
well be avoided here and that it must be sub
mitted to, and they endeavor to do it willlingly
The weather here is very inclement, and has
much effect upon the health of the men..
Havens Letter: March 13 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: March 13 1863
Havens Letter: March 13 1863

We have seen as much winter weather
since we came here as we saw in Grand
Rapids.. It snows or rains nearly every
night .. and the days are very stormy. It is
now ^ as cold as the coldest day in Michigan
during the winter.. the ground is frozen hard
and our camp ground is dry as summertime..
They say that this has been a very sever in
this vicinity.. Several men and horses are said
to have frozen to death during the winter..
I have often wanted to see Washington
but can hardly realize that I can see it
every day. It seems as though I could go
home in a short time if I had the opportu
nity.. Although there is not one hour in
the day in which I do not think of home
I do not feel the desire to go home that I
did at Lee Barracks. I can not but think
that I shall soon be home to say..
Write again soon. and perhaps next time
I can tell you something about “Dixie” and
the “Butternuts” at least I hope so. I will write
to Mother tomorrow night if I have time.
Give my compliments to all the friends.
Newt and [Coop?] Brickell are raising perfect
Nick and making the old tent fairly roar with their noise..
Your Brother
Edwin R Holmes
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