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Havens Letter: August 18 1863

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: August 13, 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 18 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: August 18 1863
Havens Letter: August 18 1863

Camp of Cavalry Outposts
Falmouth Road Va.
August 18th 1863.

Dear Father and Mother..
Your long
letter
looked for ^ reached me this morning
and feeling unusually well just now
I will attempt to answer it.
almost
I have been ^ sick for several days
with tooth ache. cold and a slight fever
a part of the time.. as I am not compelled
to do anything I have lain quiet and
hope I shall come out all right.
The weather which has been until
a few days ago dry and very hot still
remains dry but somewhat cooler and
the nights whi are almost cold enough
for frost. What I call first rate ague
weather.. There is considerable sick
ness among us at present. mostly
Havens Letter: August 18 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: August 18 1863
Havens Letter: August 18 1863

fevers and diarrhea.. the latter
the most prevalent. Fortunately
I am not afflicted with that..
There is no news of importance
to write here. Our cavalry is doing
picket duty and arresting every citizen
n
fou^d here. They have the redress of
taking the oath of allegiance and such
as do so are permitted to return to
their homes and their property then
receives protection. while those who ought
do not are sent to Washington and
kept in “durance vile” until they
take the oath or are tried by a court
for that purpose in that case they suf
fer the decree of the court..
One of these citizens who had taken
the oath. asked one of our boys. what
the government did with those sent
to Washington. His answer was.
“They are put to grubbing pines on a
hill a little way from Washington”
:Golly.” said he “aint I glad I took
Havens Letter: August 18 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: August 18 1863
Havens Letter: August 18 1863

the oath. such work would be
mighty tough these hot days.”
We received a rumor this
morning that North Carolinia had
sent delegates to Washington to treat
for peace on any terms. I can hardly
credit this report. It seems too flatter
ing. although it has long been known
that North Carolinia has shown a
to
great desire to return ^ her allegiance..
Her soldiers that we have taken
prisoners were glad to get out of the
any
Confederate army on every terms.
and many declared they would take the
oath of allegiance before they would be
exchanged. A rumor also reached
us yesterday that Wagner and Sumpter
had been reduced. I can not credit
this yet: it is premature I think
yet they must eventually fall but
the siege is to be quite a long one..
Charleston will fall. there is no
doubt of it. and I believe Richmond
Havens Letter: August 18 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: August 18 1863
Havens Letter: August 18 1863

will follow. Until all sea
ports and other important places
are in government possesion. Rich
mond is of no value to us. or at least
it is not worth the pains of taking
too
it.. and ^ when these other places are
taking the work of taking Richmond
will be much less..
be
But there must ^ more hard
fighting done on Virginia soil be
fore this war will end. The failure
of Meade to capture Lee in Mary
land will prolong the war some
d
what. but Grant’s an^ Bank’s victories
in the west will take away a part
of the delay.. But I do not think
Meade altogether for Lees escape. There
was a possibility of capturing him.
while he also had a possibility to escape
He was a head of Meade and got across
n
first. There too the influences of his gover^ment
and advisors was to hurry rather than to
retard his movements while Meades was
directly the contrary..
Havens Letter: August 18 1863 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: August 18 1863
Havens Letter: August 18 1863

Wednesday Aug 19th
I have taken my pen again
this morning to finish my letter which
I was too unwell to finish then. I feel
somewhat better again this morning
and I feel that I am getting better
every day.
“Everything is quiet all along
the lines” as the saying is.. Nothing
is being done by either side. Picket firing
at Falmouth and Fredericksburg. was
practiced for several days induced brought
on by a part of the 5th Mich trying the
range of their Spencers for which the
rebs retaliated and kept it up until
yesterday Our men had ceased firing
two or three days before and yesterday
the rebels sent over a flag of truce saying
they would also cease. I have some
notion of going out to the company
tomorrow.. They tell me that ripe
Havens Letter: August 18 1863 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: August 18 1863
Havens Letter: August 18 1863

peaches are quite plenty and I wanted
to get some..
I was much surprised to hear that
Father was so smart this summer and
hope he may continue so a long time
I received Aunt Mary’s letter in
Maryland and answered it a month ago
but have received no answer. I also
wrote Aunt Jeannette about the same
time but have received no answer..
The first man we lost in the
Maryland campaign joined us this
morning. He was taken prisoner at
Hanover Pa. taken by the “Johnny’s”
to Dover. where they paroled him.
He went to Philadelphia to a
parole camp where he obtained a
leave of absence for seven days and
went to Detroit where he got a furloug
until July 29th.. We were all glad
to see him as he was one of our best
men.. We received official notice
of the death of one of our best boys
Havens Letter: August 18 1863 , Page: 7

Havens Letter: August 18 1863
Havens Letter: August 18 1863

on the tenth, of wounds received
at Gettysburg.. His name was Brick
ell. Our other sick and wounded
I hear nothing from.. Newt Sparks
I believe is in a convalescent camp
somewhere between Washington and
Alexandria.. I have not heard a
word from him since the 24th of
June..
I received a letter from Nell
last week Friday which I have neg
lected answering. as I mailed
one for him the same morning.
I received one the same day from
[Isom?] and Melinda which I answered
in full.
It seems strange that boys
will act as George, Jim and Nell
have done this summer. But they
say there are two ways to cure boys
of such things.. One is to break
their legs. the other to get the calico
he runs with to do the housework..
Havens Letter: August 18 1863 , Page: 8

Havens Letter: August 18 1863
Havens Letter: August 18 1863

But as I have used up two
sheets of paper without interest
ing any one I will close.
With prayers for your
health and long life and hopin
to hear from you soon again
I remain your affectionate son
Edwin R Havens
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