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Havens Letter: August 6 1863

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: August 6, 1863
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 13
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 13
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: August 6 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: August 6 1863
Havens Letter: August 6 1863

Camp Near Warrenton Junction
August 6th 1863.

Dear Nell
When I finished my
letter of Aug 1st “Boots & Saddles”
were sounding briskly and within
an hour we were off “after Moseby”
I followed the command, or
one division of it to Salem. thence
to White Plains. from there to
Dover and Aldie where we arrived
Monday night.. I left there Tuesday
night with a detachment of some
forty men under charge of a
Lieutenant and arrived at camp
yesterday A.M.
Perhaps you would like
to know why I came back to
camp while others went on still
farther and as I do not consider
it any disgrace I will tell you
Havens Letter: August 6 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: August 6 1863
Havens Letter: August 6 1863

I am under arrest and was
sent back minus my arms..
Our Dutchman got into a quar
rel with a little boy a citizen, waiter
for an officer and ordered me to arrest
him, but knowing that he had
no right to order me to do so I
refused and am perfectly willing to
abide the consequences.. An arrest
in civil life is degrading to a person
and until I had seen a few military
arrests I thought it an awful thing..
But an arrest is literally a “rest”
I am now releived from all duty
and can not be placed upon duty
even by “roundhead” himself unless
released by order of the Col.. I have full
freedom to roam through camp lie
in my tent.. as I see fit.. I have
nothing that I am compelled to do
but drink my coffee and eat
my hard tack.
Havens Letter: August 6 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: August 6 1863
Havens Letter: August 6 1863

But I suppose you would
like to know what we did while
after Moseby.. On Sunday we cap
tured a contraband drove two rebs
out of Salem and marched 30
miles through the hottest of
suns without anything to eat or
feeding our horses. Monday we were
up and off at daylight and off
“after White and Moseby” who were
going to attack us Sunday night but
didnt.. When we had marched
a few miles a small party that
had been scouting came in and
reported several horses up the
mountains a little ways and Cos
A, G, D & L. were sent after them.
While out I learned from a citizen
that White had gone up the moun
tains with 2 or 300 men Sunday
night and that another party of
about 140 men. not certain as to whether
Havens Letter: August 6 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: August 6 1863
Havens Letter: August 6 1863

they were Moseby’s or Thayer’s
men had gone in the same direction
Monday morning. I “reported” to “Dutchy”
and he “[bungled?]” to the Col. who started
off in that direction But after mar
ching an hour or two He became satis
fied that White was too far ahead
having gone around between White
Plains and Thoroughfare Gap with
a view to cut us off from there.
But we didn’t want to go there at
all. so turned back and went a few
miles farther down the mountains
near a mill on Goose Creek where
we halted. “drew” some feed for our horses
and flour and meal for ourselves
and we made a dinner on hoe cakes
while our horses ate green corn rye
[illegible in original] and almost everything..
We moved on about 5 P.M
striking the Alexandria and Aldie
Pike a short distance from the
small town of Dover.
Havens Letter: August 6 1863 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: August 6 1863
Havens Letter: August 6 1863

At Dover we passed through
the mountains which here are
simply “[Hevy?] Rocks..” Aldie is the
place where the great cavalry fight
of June 21st commenced between
Pleasanton and Stuart.. It had been
quite a pretty little village but has
been no place of business.. It contains
a large stone grist mill. and an old
English Baronial Estate the only really
noticeable features though some of the dwel
lings were very good. The English
property is now deserted and owned by
a man in New York City..
A mile and one half from Aldie
towards Fairfax C.H. is the plantation
of “Yankee Davis” a scout in the
Union service.. His family live there
with no protection but his solemn
oath given to the “rebs” that if they
burn or otherwise destroy a foot
Havens Letter: August 6 1863 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: August 6 1863
Havens Letter: August 6 1863

of his property he will revenge him
self by burning the property of every
secessionist around him.. This may
seem more poetical than true, but
I have it from an officer who has been
in the service since the commence
ment of the war, and the buildings
and fences in good preservation attest
that his property has been respected..
Near there is a small brick church
called Mount Zion. in the yard of
which are many soldiers graves. and
among them the grave of Buckingham
the reporter of the New. York Herald who
was Killed during the battle of June 21st
I do not know which way the remain
der of the command has gone.
Col. Mann has a roving com
mission for seven days. He is in chief
command and is his own cheif judge
of where he shall go. He takes all
horses and beef cattle that he can get
Havens Letter: August 6 1863 , Page: 7

Havens Letter: August 6 1863
Havens Letter: August 6 1863

We brought in some 20 horses
and 25 head of cattle.. and two prisoners
but saw no one to shoot at..
We could find some who saw
Moseby only a few hours ahead of us
and others who. as we could learn from
others lived in his very haunts but who
living
“never saw ^ Indeed they never did”
We camped at Greenwich Tuesday
night where one regiment (107th Ohio)
of the 11th Corps was doing picket duty.
One of their men was shot by sentence
of a court martial for desertion on Satur
day last.. He deserted to the rebels and
was taken prisoner during some battle
tried and shot..
Monday another detachment of our
brigade made a scout to a Falmouth
and Stafford C.H. getting into camp
soon after I did yesterday.
We are encamped among a good
deal of infantry and have plenty of
Havens Letter: August 6 1863 , Page: 8

Havens Letter: August 6 1863
Havens Letter: August 6 1863

company.. The cars run day and night
from Alexandria to Warrenton and it
sounds like home to hear their whistle..
I received a letter from F.M. Fulton
yesterday saying that he had been very
sick during the summer. I had not heard
from him for a long time and did not know
the reason.. The weather is very warm
and reminds me much of the heat of
August 7th two years ago.. The Pic. Nic
Down in Lake.. Wouldn’t I like to have
that same crowd together again and en
joy myself as well as I did that day..
It has been nearly a week since
I received your last letter and begin to
feel somewhat anxious to hear from you.
Write soon and all that you
can think of.
Ever Yours
Edwin R. Havens
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