Havens Letter: April 2 1863


Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: April 2, 1863
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 9
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 9
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: April 2 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: April 2 1863
Havens Letter: April 2 1863

Fairfax C.H. Va. April 2, /63

Brother Nell
Your most welcome letter of 25 March
together with five others came to hand yesterday morning
proving the most agreeable “April Fool” I ever
had.. It found me well and hearty in which
condition I still continue.. and I most sincerely hope
these few lines may find you enjoying the greatest of
of God’s blessings. good health..
I wrote you on Sunday last giving you an
account of our removal from Camp Kellogg to this place.
I will now (as I have but little else to write:) give you
an account of what we have been doing since then..
I was relieved from Sergt Major duties at five
Oclock and reported for duty to Capt Walker.. and
settled myself to await what might come..
At 7.30. orders came to pack everything but
tents and be in line as soon as possible.
Then all was bustle, and commotion. But we
we were soon in line. When we had got ready
to move Capt Walker had 20 men and 3 Corporals
detailed and gave them [into?] my command and
ordered me to report with them to Genl. Stahel..

Havens Letter: April 2 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: April 2 1863
Havens Letter: April 2 1863

When I got there I found we were
to be used to guard the Genls Quarters..
Major Genl. Stahel (Stall) is commander
in chief of all the cavalry forces in this department
As his name implies he is: Dutch: clear through
and his staff composed of 2 [illegible in original] and one Major
are Dutch with the exception of the Major..
He is a small, light man, with the [illegible in original] possible
style about him and after seeing him once I could
enter his presence with much more confidence than I
could Col [Manns?].. The rest of the regt sat
in the saddle 3 or 4 hours and went to bed again..
We were relieved from guard about 9 O.clock, Monday
night. got to camp. fed our horses. got our supper and
went to bed.. Just as I had got fairly asleep I heard
a great commotion and waking up found that
orders had just come to pack up, saddle up take
three days rations and move. After we had got into
line we found that we had not got the rations and
couldnt do it. Well, then the next thing was to
send the teams to Fairfax Station. some three
miles after the rations, then they must be
cooked.. Well we were told to go to bed again
leave our horses saddled and blankets packed.
We did so and slept till morning. without any further alarms

Havens Letter: April 2 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: April 2 1863
Havens Letter: April 2 1863

When we got up in the morning we found
about 3 inches of snow. and cold as Greenland.
We unsaddled and settled ourselves down. No more
alarms that day. and that night our slumbers
were not disturbed. Yesterday morning about 9
Oclock we were ordered to prepare for inspection..
Just as we got into line the order was counter
manded and 72 men ordered to go to Fairfax Station
for oats.. They got ready and started and the rest
of us unsaddled and were waiting for dinner. after
which we were to go and clean up a place for our
camp. The cooks had just sung out dinner for
Co. “A” when Major Newcombe came to the capts tent
and ordered him to have his company in line im
mediately without waiting for dinner and go off on
a raid on scout into the country.. Well the next thing
to be done was to be saddle up again. We got a few
hard crackers and a chunk of cold [illegible in original] after
were in line: We with Cos B. C. and E left camp
about half past twelve and took the “pike” due
west about six miles then turned off to the left
about 8 miles near the foot of the mountain
ridge. We took one prisoner, a citizen whom we
caught in the woods and brought him to the
camp with us.. which we reached about midnight.

Havens Letter: April 2 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: April 2 1863
Havens Letter: April 2 1863

Our horses had had nothing to eat
since Wednesd Tuesday night and then only
about 5 pounds of hay musty and smoky but they
stood the [jaunt?] well.. I could not help feeling
sorry for the poor fellow whom we took as he left a
sick wife for whom he had been shooting a quail..
The poor fellow will probably be paroled and sent
home soon: The country through which we passed
has nothing enticing about it to a quiet home loving
man. it is either all oak [illegible in original] or marshes.
In some places the slate stone was sticking above
the Surface and the hill sides were covered with
rocks.. The country had almost entirely escaped the
ravages that accompany a large army. No great
bodies of troops had passed through the portion that
we explored. yet the citizens could not carry on their
farms without danger of being molested. No rebel
troops had been seen in there since last Saturday
and we saw nothing that we wished to attack
excepting one or two flocks of nice fat “mutton”
and I tell you my mouth did water for a good
slice of steak from one of their carcasses. But
our excursion was to take either White Stuart
or Mosely and not inoffensive harmless cattle
and sheep however necessary they might be to
the use of Uncle Sam’s men.. Near the village
of Fairfax C.H. rifle pits have been dug and slight
intrenchments for infantry have been thrown up and
the log huts of the rebel troops still remain in many
places. The picket lines are placed from 4 to [illegible in original]
miles from [illegible in original] the cavalry pickets some two miles
beyond the infantry..
Contact us with Questions or Comments