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Havens Letter: July 28 1863

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: July 28, 1863
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 12
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 12
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: July 28 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: July 28 1863
Havens Letter: July 28 1863

Camp 7th Michigan Cavalry
Near Amissville Va.
July 28th 1863.
Dear Nell.
I believe it has been
three or four days since I wrote you
and nearly twice as long since I
received any word from you.. So having
already written two letters and think
ing that I have “got my hand in”
I will try and bother you a few
moments while you read this..
No matter where I was when I
wrote you last. I a int there now.
We are now farther south and
west / than we have ever yet been..
Amissville is situated some
four miles from the foot of the Blue
Ridge at Thornton’s Gap. twelve
miles from Warrenton and about
the same distance from Culpepper
Havens Letter: July 28 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: July 28 1863
Havens Letter: July 28 1863

Court House.. It is needless to
tell you that we crossed the Rappa
hannock to get here. though if some
one had not told us we should not have
known it.. Where we crossed it were
about as large as the Dowagiac
at Niles. though somewhat deeper..
We moved from Parie to this place
on Friday afternoon just one day
too late to participate in quite a severe
little brush between the rest of our
brigade and a large force of rebel infan
try.. Our men charged upon them
and soon found themselves almost
surrounded and had pretty warm
work to get out again.. They lost 20
men in Killed. and quite a number
wounded and/missing.. The rebs
charged upon two guns of our battery
and came near taking them, but
were prevented from doing so by
the Mich 1st / [illegible in original] which a better
Havens Letter: July 28 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: July 28 1863
Havens Letter: July 28 1863

regt does not existed in the U.S.
army.. We do not hear much news
for sometime past.. The most impor
tant.. is that Morgan wt with his
whole gang has been captured..
“Hurrah for Our Side” whoever did
it.. Also that Jackson Miss. has
been surrendered to Genl. Grant..
(I hope he will “Grant” every
rebel soldier in the southwest a
“leave of absence” forever, and there
come up and “Grant” Lee and his
army a leave forever. and if prisoners
tell the truth the men in Lee’s
army would be as well suited as
we could be. I saw some twenty
prisoners an hour ago. two of whom
were deserters.. Every deserter and
many prisoners say that Lees
army is most decidedly “played
out.” Every one is dissatisfied
and ready to quit..
Havens Letter: July 28 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: July 28 1863
Havens Letter: July 28 1863

Although we have done no hard
marching or fighting. we have seen hard
times since Friday last.. Our rations
gave out on that night and our teams
not coming up we drew no more till
this morning. We went on picket Saturday
night with nothing but berries and
mutton cooked with no salt or pepper.. and
to cap all a soaking thunder shower
e
came up. which despite our poncho^s wet
us nearly to the bone.. We foraged some
on Sunday going some five miles from our
picket lines to [Hanzel?] river where we came
in sight of a rebel picket.. and returned
Yesterday morning we were releived and
again started on a foraging expedition, which
continued nearly all day resulting in the cap
ture of some corn and flour and a few geese
which we charged upon. This was the second
charge I have been in and I must say I
liked it much better than the first one.
I have heard it rumored to day that
our regt would be consolidated with
the 1st which if consolidation must
take place would suit me much better
than any other..
It is not because I do not feel so
great an interest in home as formerly
that my letters are shorter but that I
do not feel so great an interest in what
I see around me. It has lost much of the
interest it used to have. to see new country
and scenes through which we pass..
Allen Park & Wm Graham are both well
and as for myself I am decidedly Ed
again..
Write often and make your letters
as long as possible..
Ever Your Brother
Edwin R. Havens
Havens Letter: July 28 1863 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: July 28 1863
Havens Letter: July 28 1863

Two hours later.

As we have moved our camp
about a mile today it furnishes a
little item of news.. I was detained
at our old camp on duty for some
three or four hours after the remain
der of our regiment had moved and
during that time found time to
write the above lines and on arriv
ing found your letter of the 21st
awaiting me.. and need I say it
was eagerly opened and read.. and
re-read the second and third times..
I tell you Nell. that one does
not fully and truly realize the
comforts of civil life and society
of friends until he is deprived
of them, and then every letter is
seized with the greatest eagerness..
and its contents carefully scanned..
Havens Letter: July 28 1863 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: July 28 1863
Havens Letter: July 28 1863

I have no doubt you felt
a great deal of anxiety until my
letters were received. I have felt
the same when waiting the receipt
of yours. I can not forget Father’s
and Mothers age and failing
health and that a week or a day
may make as great a change in
human life amid the comforts of
a peaceful home as amid the strife
of war.. That the danger is not so
painfully apparent is the only dif
ference.. I am much concerned
about Melinda’s eyes, and sincerely
hope that Dr. Andrews may give
her the help he promises..
Two of our boys were fooling
this morning with sabres when one
of them unfortunately struck the
other one on the ball of the eye with
the edge of his sabre and he is now
suffering great pain..
Havens Letter: July 28 1863 , Page: 7

Havens Letter: July 28 1863
Havens Letter: July 28 1863

By your letter I should
judge that Mr. Jarvis had got his
house in position on the new change
of base spoken of sometime ago
although that fact has never
been reported. and I have much
wondered at it.. How does it
look.. and how do the pigs chickens
and horses agree?
You also mentioned Henry
Clark. It was the first time any of
you have ever mentioned him
What does he do, or are you so
much taken up with the others that
you have no time to speak or think
of several others.. I like to hear of
the welfare of all my friends..
I received a letter from Frank
Snow yesterday.. He was at Mishawaka
Ind. and said he was doing well..
I hope his soldiering tour
will make him more steady
Havens Letter: July 28 1863 , Page: 8

Havens Letter: July 28 1863
Havens Letter: July 28 1863

than he used to be
“Uncle Samuel” has already
replaced my horse with one equally
as good, and now if you replace the
pictures “Ceasur will be himself. will be
him
again” The rebs. keepe prowling around
us in small numbers. picking off a few
who straggle out.. Dan. [illegible in original] and another
boy as big a devil as himself have just come
of
in from out ^ the picket lines where [illegible in original]
infantry rebs fired upon them one ball
[illegible in original] King his companions horse on the [illegible in original] of the
hip. inflicting a glancing wound and then
cutting his revolver belt. Dan is a good sol
dier. fears nothing and has been in a
good many such scrapes in which he has
acquitted himself well. To show you why
these rebs prowl around our campes bush
whacking in this manner I will give a com
mon rumor in our camps. For every pris
oner they get 100 dollars. horse from three to
five hundred. saddle and bridle 75 to 100. pistol
50 to 75 and other arms in proportion.. These
sums are all paid in Confederate Scrips of
course, but here that goes as readily as Green
Backs. and I would as soon have it to spend
/I could get it I would never use a Green
Back. Our boys cut up some great tricks while
carrying out the Confiscation act.. Beers, Dans
companion, stole a mare of an old Secesh who gave
him 65 dollars in C.S… Beers. took the money
and watching his opportunity stole the mare
again and brought her in..
I can not say that I always approve
of the men taking every thing and from
every one. Our orders now are to take every
thing that we want and it is carried
out to the letter.. It will be almost im
possible for you to imagine the desolate
state of the country are now in. The rebs
took all they could and now our men
take what they can get and nothing
but starvation seems to be alread in
store of them. Unless peace soon comes
for Virginia will be a desert.
Write soon Ed.
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