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Havens Letter: May 25 1863

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: May 25, 1863
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 10
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 10
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: May 25 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: May 25 1863
Havens Letter: May 25 1863

Camp of 7th Mich Cavalry
Near Kettle Run Va
May 25th /63
Brother Nell
Having nothing
to do to occupy myself for a
few moments: and my usual
releif being pen. ink and paper
I have sought them.. They are as
available and certain as “Baxter &
Saint’s Rest.” was to the old English
woman in “Maggie Mullen” and
are as frequently sought.. I have
not missed a day for more than
a week without writing at least
one letter. and you may well
beleive that my stock of ideas.
is well nigh exhausted and
news there is none in this section.
We get papers each day bringing
cheering news of the doings of
Grant in the southwest and
Havens Letter: May 25 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: May 25 1863
Havens Letter: May 25 1863

it serves to stir up and Keep our
feelings alive. which our quiet mo
notonous routine of camp duties
would other wise tend to deaden
and become dormant.. We get papers
one day after date but then we are
always one day after the fair..
Yesterdays “Chronicle” contains
news which seems to indicate
that Vicksburg is, or soon will
be ours.. “Bully for Grant.” Jacks
son or “any other man” and a
tiger for them all.. We hear
nothing of much importance from
Hooker. yet the “Anaconda” slowly
but surely tightens its mighty
folds around Richmond..
and if we may beleive (and I
see no reason why we should n t)
the tone of the southern papers
the Confederate rebel leaders
and supporters begin to tremble
Havens Letter: May 25 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: May 25 1863
Havens Letter: May 25 1863

in their shoes. I have seen
several extracts from the Richmond
Enquirer lately and that paper seems
to realize the fact that the North
is in earnest.. and perfectly able to
carry it on for “twenty years or forty
and all this time submit to such
defeats as Hookers army has just
sustained and at the sometimes
represents it as a retreat for strate
getic reasons.” It wails and laments
over the destruction of property occa
sioned by such raids as Stonemans
and Griersons and complains
that while their women and chil
dren are being hunted and driven
from their homes like wild
[bucks?] ours are living in peace.
clothed better than ever before
and in the spoils of their homes
and says that it ti is their people
are
not ours that is suffering..
Havens Letter: May 25 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: May 25 1863
Havens Letter: May 25 1863

It also says.. “If we can
sustain this war for the next
half century & it is certain
that they can and wish us joy
of our successes and victories..”
I think that is quite sensible
for a rebel author.. He in con
clusion says.. “We hint nothing.
suggest nothing. only state the
facts in the case as they are.
such is his aim. such his inten
tion.” Will the Richmond
Enquirer be allowed to continue
its publication in a rebel domin
ion and put forth such sentiments
as these.. If they should be sown
broad cast over the “Southern Con
federacy” it may sow the seed of
a revolution within a revolution
and cause the rotten structure
to shake to its foundation..
Hope it may..
Havens Letter: May 25 1863 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: May 25 1863
Havens Letter: May 25 1863

As for ourselves we are
doing nothing but growing lazy
as pigs. Apart of the brigade went
out on a raid yesterday. I did
not learn the cause course they
took. but they brought in two
or three “rebs” with as many
horses.. We, that is our regiment
were sent on picket yesterday. and
were releived at 2 O.clock today
I was unfortunate enough. not
to have charge of a releif or stand on
post.. but was put on patrol..
and this morning at 4 Oclock.
I was sent in command of sixteen
men to Warrenton Junction..
On. Saturday morning the patrol
from the 1st Vt. cav was captured
by about 15 men of the Black
Horse Cavalry.. who seemed
quite well pleased with their exploit
Havens Letter: May 25 1863 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: May 25 1863
Havens Letter: May 25 1863

But “There’s many a slip
‘twixt cup and lip.” and so it
proved in this case.. Our Guard
of Honor. had gone out the night
before on foot to try their hands
at bushwhacking had lost
their way and were compelled
to remain out all night.
So while a part of the “rebs”
were chasing three of the Vt horses
who had lost their riders and
one with a rider they ran
against the “Guard” who fired upon
them when the “bout faced and
started on the back track” right
smart.. The Guard then took after
them on foot and after running
about half a mile came upon those
holding the prisoners and fired
upon them causing them to “git”.
rightsmart. They rescued the
prisoners but did not ascertain

Havens Letter: May 25 1863 , Page: 7

Havens Letter: May 25 1863
Havens Letter: May 25 1863

positively whether they did the
rebs any damage. but beleived that
they wounded three of them..
It was not our luck to meet
them this morning though I was
satisfied that had we been at a
certain point along the road an
hour before daylight we should
had
have ^ some fun.. I beleive I should
have enjoyed it as today I am
twenty one and would willingly
have done something to distinguish
myself on attaining my majority..
How differently has this “birthday”
been passed from the 20 that
have preceded it. They were
spent in civil life among se
curity, peace and happiness.
this amid the preparations for
bloody strife and with the con
sciousness ever present that
any moment might see the
Havens Letter: May 25 1863 , Page: 8

Havens Letter: May 25 1863
Havens Letter: May 25 1863

enemy approaching us..
But I hope to spend my
next one at home among
friends. and feel almost certain
that I shall spend many
happy days. perhaps weeks and
months among them ere that
day comes. We have had very
warm weather until last night
when it took a severe cold. and
tried to rain some (always does
when I’m out Sunday nights)
and to day an overcoat has not
been uncomfortable.. I received
two Chicago papers from you
last week and the “Union”
from O.D. Carlisle. Many thanks
Do so more.. The boys are all
alive and Kicking.. Newt will
probably be sent to the invalid
corps. My love to all. and
write soon E R Havens

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