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Havens Letter: August 9 1863

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: August 9, 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 9 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: August 9 1863
Havens Letter: August 9 1863

Camp of Kilpatricks Cavalry
Warrenton Junction
August 9th 1863

Dear Nell
I have been studying this
morning as to the propriety of writing you. a
letter. as it has been so short a time since my
last was written. and have finally come to the
conclusion to write it let it be welcome or
otherwise Yours of August 2nd & 3d came
to hand last night and was very welcome
you
I assure ^ for it had been some ten days
since your latest had been received and
I began to want to hear from home
“right smart” I assure you..
I am pleased to hear such good ac
counts from home and glad to know
that your second trip to Barron Lake
was so successful.. I believe I could
enjoy one such excursion very well
just about now..
Havens Letter: August 9 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: August 9 1863
Havens Letter: August 9 1863

I am doing very well. though
just at present.. What are you doing
this morning?. I can almost see your
every movement.. Every crack and corner
of the “old House at Home” is as familiar
and clear to my eyes at this moment as
though I were with you preparing for some
Sunday excursion.. But what are we
doing? you will ask. I will tell you..
Imagine yourself here.. in a large
wood of oak of all kinds: the ground
rolling presenting knolls of moderate
highths with hollows beetween.. Outside
the woods on the eastern side is a large
clearing. the view of which is obstructed
by a large hill directly in the center
The sky is clear. and the sun bright
and warm. the air still and quiet as
that of a Sabbath at home broken only
by the voices of men which seem un
usually quiet this morning and an
occasionall note from some locust.

Havens Letter: August 9 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: August 9 1863
Havens Letter: August 9 1863

The note’s of birds are scarcely ever heard
by us.. But this is not telling what we
are doing.. As for myself I am writing
and at the same time watching a dish
of dried apples and huckleberries which
I am cooking for dinner.. The rest of those
able for duty are now in line waiting
a grand brigade inspection. but as I am
relieved from all duty for an indefinite
length of time I concluded not to go out..
In this inspection we go out mounted
with all government property in our posses
sion. Blankets nicely rolled and strapped
to the saddles together with overcoats and
everything pertaining to our equipmentss.
This inspection will occupy some three
or four hours time and I pity those
who are forced to sit in their saddles
under this sultry August sun. waiting
all precision and delay that attends
all military movements.. and more
especially Sunday inspections
Havens Letter: August 9 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: August 9 1863
Havens Letter: August 9 1863

I often wish I could be at home
one Sunday to see how civilized
people do spend it.. I have a faint
recollection of a cool bath. clean shirt
and collar and other etceteras that
we usually termed Sunday fixins..
But no such things greet my eye
on this Sunday morning..
On the contrary I now see my
self rigged out in a woolen shirt that
once was white. with apair of woolen
pants. and devoid of Hat and shoes
and try to feel comfortable.. How I
would like to put on a clean, white
cotton shirt and a decent pair of pants
once more.. But then this will only
last three years and by that time
I shall become accustomed to them.
A great many complain of the hard
ships we have to endure, but as I have once
before said a Soldiers life is what we make
it. If one will be cheerful and contented
he can be just as well as though he were
at home.. and I am bound that I will
be so long as I have good health and
mine was never better than it is today
Hope it may remain so three years
Havens Letter: August 9 1863 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: August 9 1863
Havens Letter: August 9 1863

Well inspection is not such an
awful thing after all. Our squadron Cos
A. & B. have just got in my fruit is almost
done and I have only my letter to attend to
I have no news. Col Mann with
the remainder of his “Guerrillas” reached
camp yesterday having scoured the country
quite as thoroughly as so small a force could
but did ‘n’t. catch Moseby.. They boys brought
in 58 head of cattle and a large number
of horses. and fourteen prisoners. Among
them was One capt and one Lieutenant
belonging to Mosebys command.. They
went to Moseby’s Hd Qrts saw his wife
and fed his corn.. The boys all say
they had splendid times living on the
people.. The last four days they were out
they had no government rations.. yet all
come in looking as fat as could be..
They all speak of Col Mann as being
a “bully” Guerrilla officer.
Havens Letter: August 9 1863 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: August 9 1863
Havens Letter: August 9 1863

Tis strange how things will change
When we first left Fairfax last Spring
if a soldier took anything from a citizen
a “breeze” was raised about it but now
when out milk houses and even dwelling
houses have to add their mite to the soldiers
larder and no mention is made of it.
They bring in a good deal of flour
and meal and we live on Hoe cake
and “hard tack” are wasting around us.
Our Commissary Sergt received a few
days ago a large box containing dried
fruit of nearly every variety and many
other nice articles which he is kind
enough to share with three of us and
we think some of living awhile..
I wish you would come over to dinner
to day. Id make your eyes stick out
to see what cooks we all are..
My best wishes to all friends and
tell mother I am waiting anxiously
for that long delayed letter..
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