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Havens Letter: April 30 1863

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: April 30, 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 30 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: April 30 1863
Havens Letter: April 30 1863

Thursday April 30th /63.
Two days later.
Well Nell as I have not dispatched
my letter yet and have a few moments time I will
add an appendix to my already somewhat lengthy note.
The weather is somewhat damp and rainy. really April
like. and it has rained both yesterday and day before
and my jacket and pants have both been wet for
two or three days.
Yesterday morning about 9 Oclock the
cry came “25 volunteers from Co. ‘A’ for a raid..” and
thinking I might as well go as remain in camp. I
saddled up and started.. The 25 men were easily raised
and together with Co.s B. and G.. and with the Lieut
and 6 or 8 men of the Guard of Honor as an advance
guard and an escort for the Col and Lieut Col
we started.. Our route lay westward across the
country to Gainesville on the Manassas Gap railroad.
Here we stopped and fed our horses and took a
few hard tacks ourselves. Here Genl Sigel had his
headquarters while in Virginia a short time last year
From there we continued westwardly to Thorough
fare Gap. in the Blue Ridge Mountains.. We went
some five or six miles southwestwardly nearly to
White Plains.. where I believe some of Genl
Stahels forces are at present encamped.
Havens Letter: April 30 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: April 30 1863
Havens Letter: April 30 1863

The entire distance from camp was a little
more than twenty miles.. The country was generally
very good and beyond the mountain we saw some most
beautiful country. well adapted to grazing and also
I should think would raise good wheat or corn.
After passing Gainesville about 4 miles and
while the Col was about 20 rods ahead and
he saw two horsemen suddenly dash away from
a fine house some distance to the left of the
road.. The advance guard immediately dashed
after them and our company was ordered forward
at a trot. andon arriving where the Col stood
he ordered ten men to follow up and the
reinforce the guard while the rest of the company
was ordered to trot down the road to prevent them
from escaping through the Gap.. We dashed across
the field as fast as our horses could go. and just
as we reached the house met the guard returning
they having given up the chase.. The lady
of the house, a fine intelligent looking woman
came out and protested that the two men were
only citizens and had fled on seeing our column
for fear that we might take their horses..
They gave us permission to enter and search the
house but the Lieut commanding the advance
guard thought their word was sufficient
Their house was occupied by Genl Steiner
as his headquarters last summer..
Havens Letter: April 30 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: April 30 1863
Havens Letter: April 30 1863

and held papers of protection from him..
They invited me to take dinner with them
but thinking my duty required my presence in
another I place I gratefully, and as grate gracefully
as possible declined the invitation, and went on.
At the gap there is a picturesque little village
of ten or a dozen houses. clustered together. one
a fine stone mansions of two stories.. A large four
story stone grist mill. a saw mill. and a fine
Station house, the first I have seen since
leaving Washington composed the principal
buildings. The scenery in passing through
the Gap is good. although the mountains are
not so high as those in Pennsylvania.. The
distance the road takes in passing the gap is
about half a mile.. The day before Moseby
with 300 men sharply followed by some of Stahels
forces passed over the same road that we did
and the road was full of tracks.. If we had
been there at two Oclock the day before we might
have had a little fun.. and the boys would have
enjoyed it finely.. We reached camp about 11 Oclock
last night having made a ride of about[illegible in original]
miles in ten hours.. Today we have mustered
for pay as we have to muster every two months
if we receive no pay in six months.. Yet I
think we shall receive our pay more regularly
hereafter as we shall not be compelled to change pay
masters each brigade having its own
Havens Letter: April 30 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: April 30 1863
Havens Letter: April 30 1863

Most of the boys are in good health.. except
a few cases of diarrhea. but no fevers or more
serious diseases are in the company.. My health
is excellent and I grow fat and hearty every day
and can eat as many hard crackers and as
much salt pork as any one.. or ride as fast and
as far.. If yo You perhaps remember that rideing
horseback always gave me a pain in my left side
especially just after eating.. I have never yet felt
that pain since we commenced riding and as
our company has never gone without me I think
I have ridden as much as any one in the
company. I am surprised at the change
this life has worked in me. and if I meet
with no changes think I shall be a man
at the close of the war.. But I must
close I can scarcely [write?] keep my eyes
open. and must begin to [illegible in original] [stir?] around
and wake up.. Dont forget to send me a
paper awf often. for though they may be old
they contain many new ideas and interesting
items to me.. Although not much favorable to
secret societies and associations. I must say
that I think the Loyal League a good one
so long as it works only for the good of the
whole nation.. and I bid them God Speed in
the good work..
Write soon Ed
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