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Havens Letter: June 24 1863

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: June 24, 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 24 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: June 24 1863
Havens Letter: June 24 1863

Bivouac 7th Mich Cav.
Near Fairfax C.H. Va
Wednesday June 24/63
Dear Nell
I wrote you on Satur
day last. I think stating that
we were under marching orders
and liable to move at any
time.. We moved Sunday at
noon. and on starting felt it
very probable that we might see
“fun” before night as some two
hours before heavy cannonading
had commenced to the south of
ly
west of us and still raged quite furious^
At first we thought it in the
direction of Aldie and then after
getting under way the position
Seemed to change as we changed
ours. and after traveling two or
three hours the cannonading
Havens Letter: June 24 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: June 24 1863
Havens Letter: June 24 1863

ceased apparently as far
away as it commenced. while
along our route we could find
no one who Knew where it was..
We have subsequently learned
that it commenced near Aldie
where. Pleasanton and Buford
engaged Stuart and drove
him some twelve miles and
finally ceased after he had
taken a position in Ashby’s
Gap too strong to be driven from
by cavalry. The fight was principal
ly between cavalry and is said
to have been extremely hot..
But I have todays “Chronicle”
which I will try to send you
as it contains an account of it
much more accurate than any
I could write and I will
return to our doings since
Sunday which have been “huge”
Havens Letter: June 24 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: June 24 1863
Havens Letter: June 24 1863

To commence there we have
lived four days on two days
rations and ridden our hor
ses over 175 miles without
a mouthful of grain ‘till
this morning.. We left here
about noon on Sunday and
after passing the Court House
took the Warrenton pike
and passed through Centervillle
and Gainesville making a
march of about 25 miles
and made our camp near a small
village called Buckland..
We were aroused at daylight
next morning and after watering
our horses and getting some “grub”
for ourselves, our regt was sent
in advance of New Baltimore
where we took up a position and
sending our pickets and patrols
in all directions held this
Havens Letter: June 24 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: June 24 1863
Havens Letter: June 24 1863

position during the day while
the remainder of the division
passed by us. I will here state
that the greater part if not all
of Stahel’s division was out con
sisting of 3 brigades of cavalry
and as many batteries of artillery
Among the pieces of the Mich 9th
battery was quite prominent the little
brass [mountain?] howitzer taken
from Moseby near Kettle Run
and now [illegible in original] “Moseby”
While lying at New Baltimore
I was sent with 6 men to the top
of one of the mountains in the Bull
Run chain from which I had
a most beautiful view of the
country around in some directions
to the distance of at least 55 miles.
On this mountain too. could be
seen the old camps of quite a
large force of rebs in times past.
On Sunday quite a little fight
took place near New Baltimore between
a part of the 2nd Pa. Cav and a
brigade of rebs. It is needless to
say that the Pennsylvanians al
though fighting bravely were
worsted and routed
Havens Letter: June 24 1863 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: June 24 1863
Havens Letter: June 24 1863

So far as I could learn
none were Killed or wounded.
Seventeen of the Penn. boys
were captured and now prob
ably occupy apartments in the
Libby Prison in Richmond.
At Sundown we again took
up our lines of march and
brought up in Warrenton just
as the town clock struck at
ten. Here we found the division
and camped near the [illegible in original]
Yesterday morning at sunrise
[were routed out?] again and with
out giving us time to make a cup
of coffee or nibble a hard tack”
Cos A. & E. were sent to Bealeton.
to escort an officer of Genl [illegible in original]
[illegible in original] staff.. Here we found
Genl Copland with parts of the
5th & 6th regts..
Havens Letter: June 24 1863 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: June 24 1863
Havens Letter: June 24 1863

We were allowed to make us a
cup of coffee and eat our cracker
crumbs (for there was‘n’t a whole
one in the company) and after
waiting an hour or two received
permission to take the back track”
until we found some grazing for
our horses. But some way or other
while waiting at a certain point
for the grazing to come along
along came Genl. Copeland with
those men who were at Bealeton
and of course we must follow.
Well. to make a long story short
we kept [illegible in original] until dusk
and brought up “at Gainesville
without having given our horses
anything to eat all day. and
made a march of at least 50 miles.
We camped about nine O’Clock
and after making some coffee
and eating our supper we grazed
Havens Letter: June 24 1863 , Page: 7

Havens Letter: June 24 1863
Havens Letter: June 24 1863

our horses an hour. and managed
to get asleep about midnight.
At half past one we heard through
the mazes of sleep and our dreams
the sound of revellie from our
bugle and soon after heard the
order “turn out” and be ready to
move in half an hour.” Well we
ed
“piled out” saddled up and [illegible in original]
on our packs when we got a sack
of grain (2 ½ bushels) for about 50
horses which made about three pounds
of oats to each horse half a rations
in 72 hours. At daylight we again
moved off and arrived here at 10
Oclock. But there’s no peace
or rest for the wicked and we are
now under marching orders to
leave as soon as our [teams?]
return from Fairfax Station when
they have gone after forage which
will be about tomorrow morning
Havens Letter: June 24 1863 , Page: 8

Havens Letter: June 24 1863
Havens Letter: June 24 1863

We have had a small ration
for our horses since we came in..
I suppose you would like
to Know what this has amounted
to. I will tell you. In the first place
it has proved that our northern farmers
make their horses [cost?] them a great
deal more than is necessary. A horse
does not need anything to eat more
than twice a week. Also that no man
needs more than half as much to eat as
he generally eats no sleep whatever and all
necessary to promote health and activity is to
Keep moving. It has satisfied me that
no rebs are between the Rappahannock
and Centerville as it had been reported
only a day or two before we started that
Lee was near Centerville. But I am
now satisfied that his main force is
in the Shenandoah Valley.
It may be possible that we
shall be sent into Maryland now
and I don’t know that I shall be
sorry.. I have seen some of the
[illegible in original] who fought at Chancellors
ville and Fredericksburgh and talked
with them. They all say that Hooker
is the General after all and do
not consider that he was defeated
at either place.
Havens Letter: June 24 1863 , Page: 9

Havens Letter: June 24 1863
Havens Letter: June 24 1863

Of course I have seen no papers
during my absence and the inter
vening time is a blank to me. and
the paper which I shall send you
says nothing about Vicksburg.
The weather has been cool. and
the recent rains had put such
a damper upon the dust that it
was quite comfortable marching..
I received a letter this mor
ning at Gainesville from Newton
Stephens dated the 17th.. He said
that he had so far recovered
that he should join his regt
in a day or two. But as his
father has [illegible in original] this [illegible in original]
home he will tell [illegible in original]
about him than I can.
After reaching here I received
three letters one from cousin
Eliza. one from cousin Helen and
one with a ball ticket enclosed
Havens Letter: June 24 1863 , Page: 10

Havens Letter: June 24 1863
Havens Letter: June 24 1863

bearing on its inside page the name
of Nelson Havens Esq and the letter
saying that the writer would accompany
the gent of that name to said party.
Good joke on the party and better
on Nell but dont break a buggy pole.
Cousin Eliza writes that her people
were all well and quite prosperous. I
wish you could read her letters.
Cousin Helen writes in a lively interes
ting style and I dearly love to read them.
She is as sociable and familiar as
though we had always been play mates.
and it is hard to think that we were
always strangers..
The boys have all come in
right side up and though weary
are in good spirits.. I believe
that if we could only get into
a place that afforded us any fun
and where it seemed that our
labor was assisting our cause
n
any that but few would be fou^d
ready to g rumble.. Newt and our
other cripples are at the conva
lescent camp near Genl Stahels
headquarters . I saw him as we
came in but had no chance
to speak with him..
Al and Will are both well
and saucy as dogs..
Havens Letter: June 24 1863 , Page: 11

Havens Letter: June 24 1863
Havens Letter: June 24 1863

But I must cease my everlasting
gabble. I wish you a “stuffed com
fortable sort of a time” (as Briggs says)
on the “Fourth” and think that
I could enjoy it quite well if I
were at home. But as it is or
will be then. I may have the
honor to celebrate that day in a
more patriotic and acceptable
manner to all patriotic citizens
Havens Letter: June 24 1863 , Page: 12

Havens Letter: June 24 1863
Havens Letter: June 24 1863

than if I were at home.
Tomorrow is your birthday and
I wish I could send you some
appropriate and substantial present
but as it is please accept the
heartfelt wishes for your future
welfare and happiness of your
affectionate brother
Edwin R Havens
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