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Havens Letter: June 20 1863

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: June 20, 1863
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 11
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 11
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: June 20 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: June 20 1863
Havens Letter: June 20 1863

Camp Near Farifax C H. Va
Saturday June 20,/63

Again I seize my
pen to write you a few lines..
We are never idle as a short
sketch of our proceedings since
I last wrote will show.
We were releived from picket
on the Sawyer’s road on Wednes
day afternoon. went into camp and
staid there that night. then moved
our camp a short distance. and
received orders to prepare for a general
muster and inspection at 1 P.M.
Before we were ready for inspec
tion however the order came for
us to go on picket again on
the Chantilly line. Did you
ever do anything that you did’n’t
like to.. Then imagine our “[illegible in original]
Havens Letter: June 20 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: June 20 1863
Havens Letter: June 20 1863

Yesterday afternoon orders were
sent to us to report in camp as soon
as possible. No pickets were sent
to releive us and I think the line
was abandoned.. When we arrived
in camp we found the tents all
torn down and everything ready
for us to move.. and as soon as we
could find our things we “lit out”
and brought up at this place..
Great changes have taken place
about here since we left here a week
ago. Then. scarcely a camp could
be seen. and but few scattering
soldiers were to be seen about the
“Court House” but now on all
sides nearly as far as the eye can
reach and to be seen the white tents
of the infantry belonging to two
or three corps of the “Grand army
of the Potomac” I do not
Know the exact numbers
Havens Letter: June 20 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: June 20 1863
Havens Letter: June 20 1863

of the different corps around this
place. The 6th (Genl. Sedgwicks)
is encamped on the Aldea pike
a mile west of the “Court House”
near the former site of [Serman?]
town.. while others occupy nearly
all of the cleared ground for miles
around us.. Genl Hookers
headquarters are a little distance
to the south of the village.. and
one cant go a rod without stumbling
over the form of some soldier..
All this is new and interesting
to us as it would be to you, for
although we have been in “the
field” some months we have seen
no large army before..
Reaching Genl Stahel’s
Headquarters we found indications
that they were about to be abandoned
and the conviction that our division
was under marching orders
Havens Letter: June 20 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: June 20 1863
Havens Letter: June 20 1863

forced itself upon our minds
and when we reached our camp
we received orders to unsaddle and
feed but to pitch no tents. and antici
pated having to move before morning.
But after working as hard as we
could until midnight and up again
at daylight and keeping duty ‘till noon
we still find ourselves waiting to hear
“boots and saddles.” from the “regimental”
bugle. We have now pitched a few
tents and considering ourselves ready
for any emergency await the “develop
ments.” We may move before night
and may not in a month.. but I can
fancy every ”orderly” from “headquarters”
brings the truly unwelcome order, “prepare
for picket” If a criminal suspecting
every moment to be lapped on the shoulder
by some unwelcome policeman and
politely requested to accompany him
feels worse than we do at the approach
of our Adjutant or an orderly I pity
him from the bottom of my heart..
Where we are expected to go. or what
x
we are e^pected to do when we get
there I dare not conjecture..
Rumors are plenty but
I await the development for
I do not beleive our Col knows
it
any more about ^ than I do
Havens Letter: June 20 1863 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: June 20 1863
Havens Letter: June 20 1863

This much. however. I will say.
We have three days rations in our
haversacks and two more to be taken
by the teams.. our blacksmiths are busy
shoeing all horses that need it. our
revolvers have all been emptied of the
old Loade. thoroughly cleaned and
reloaded. ammunition issues and
our sabres ground.. and if we
move at all we shall very likely
“go out amongst’ens”
The 1st & 2nd brigades are
under marching orders but as to
the 3rd I am not so positive..
(Another orderly has just rid
den up with the order. “Pitch the
tents” “Bully for the Col”)
Night before last we had
a stormy night the first storm
of any note since the fore part
of May. and as luck would
Havens Letter: June 20 1863 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: June 20 1863
Havens Letter: June 20 1863

have it. it came when we were on
picket.. We were releived for the night
between 9 and 10 Oclock and although
it. rained quite hard H. Will and
I. made our bed on the ground
and I knew no more ‘till day
light where I found about two
inches of water in spots on our
rubbers. ‘Tis strange how one
will get accustomed to any thing.
I, who, at home could never bear
to sleep unless in the best of beds
without having the “fidgets” can now
sleep any and everywhere more
soundly. and sweetly than I ever
did in the nicest bed that all the
improvements and appliances
of invention ever constructed.
In none of my former letters
have I spoken of Wm Graham.
and hoping that you would all
like to hear from him I will say
Havens Letter: June 20 1863 , Page: 7

Havens Letter: June 20 1863
Havens Letter: June 20 1863

that he is one of our very best
soldiers.. He is never sick. fat as a
hog. full of fun. and always on hand
whenever anything is to be done. and.
too without grumbling or murmuring..
He has been and still is a corp
oral. but will in a short time be
promoted to Sergeant. and to my
mind. no one has proved himself
more worthy of it.. Although appare
ently spending as much money as
any of his associates he never fails
to send his mother each payday
as large a sum as any one in
the company. He is a boy of whom
any community might be proud.
and if any of us wins the right to
a honorable name in the army
he will be one of the foremost
On Wednesday quite a severe
cavalry fight took place near
Aldie some ten miles south of
Havens Letter: June 20 1863 , Page: 8

Havens Letter: June 20 1863
Havens Letter: June 20 1863

Leesburgh. I have thus far heard
only conflicting reports concerning it
and, too, you will receive the full par
ticulars ere this reaches you..
Firing was heard in that direction
yesterday but nothing has been heard
of the cause.
The weather is still damp
and cool and although we are
troubled by an occasional shower
we all feel better than during
the late hot weather.
Promising that you shall hear
from me again if anything im
portant occurs. and hoping to hear
from you soon, I remain as
ever yours
E R Havens
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