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Havens Letter: September 7 1863

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: September 7, 1863
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 14
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 14
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: September 7 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: September 7 1863
Havens Letter: September 7 1863

Camp 7th Michigan Cavalry
Near Berea Church Va
Monday September 7th /63

Dear Nell.
Yours of the 1st
was received by this mornings
mail and having read it I
have concluded to answer it
without delay. having already
got my “hand in” by writing
one before this morning..
I shall not promise a long
nor an interesting letter as the
times like the weather are very
dry.. The expedition last week
in which Kilpatrick destroyed
or seriously disabled the gunboats
Reliance and Satellite is the
last thing of any note that has
occurred within my notice..
Havens Letter: September 7 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: September 7 1863
Havens Letter: September 7 1863

We begin to look for another
soon but may find ourselves dis
appointed.. Contrary to my expecta
tions at the time of my last writing
we still remain here and for
aught we know to the contrary
may make this our winter quarters.
Our tents are now all arranged
on a line. Set up from the ground
either on crotches or poles or rail pens
resembling hog pens at home. our
horses are tied to poles placed on
crotches in a line some 40 feet
from our tents. the ground nicely
swept and every thing in “apple-pie
order” and this morning the
regiment has gone out to drill..
It really seems like old times
only I dont go out on inspec
tion, drill, dress-parade or raids
as I used to do.. But then, on
the other hand. I have every
Havens Letter: September 7 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: September 7 1863
Havens Letter: September 7 1863

thing my own way.. Graham
two other. Sergts and myself have
a “mess” of our own. and I make
it my duty to oversee quite a
large amount of the cooking..
which is about all I do except
ride around and take care
of my horse.. read what few
papers and novels I can get
and answer what letters I receive..
By the way, speaking of paper,
I received two by yesterday morn
ings mail; one a Buchanan
Union which I immediately
read. the other a Chicago Tribune
which I only tore the wrapper
from. without reading a word in.
Graham picked it up carried it
down the lines, when Lt Nichols
borrowed it and that was the last
of it as he read a few words in it
and then threw it aside.
Havens Letter: September 7 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: September 7 1863
Havens Letter: September 7 1863

I hated to lose it, I assure
you. for if there is anything that
looks to me like home it is
a Chicago Tribune..
Yesterday we had an
inspection of arms by Lieut Dutch
man Commanding Co. “A” 7 M.C.
and a Dress Parade in the
afternoon.. neither of which I
considered myself at liberty to
attend even if I had wanted to
which I did’n’t for if there’s any
thing a soldier hates it’s Dress
Parade and Inspection..
It looks good to see the
regt drilling as they are now
drilling by squadrons. that is each
company moves in a line together.
I almost wish I was with
them until they come close to
camp when the dust which
comes flying in clouds through
camp tells me I more comfortable here
Havens Letter: September 7 1863 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: September 7 1863
Havens Letter: September 7 1863

A report was started in
camp this morning that a recruit
ing officer for the regular service
would visit us soon and offer to
all desirous of entering the regular
service. a chance to do so giving them
a furlough of 30 days to visit home
before joining the cv. or regt for
which they enlist.. I believe I
sha’n’t leave the cavalry yet.
I enlisted little less than a year
ago. for “three years” and if I spend
that time in the service I had rather
it should be in the volunteer than
in the regular arm of the service.
When “this cruel war is over” the
volunteers can go home, but the
regulars must stay the whole term
for which they enlisted whether in
war or peace. They usually accept
recruits from volunteer regts. for.

Havens Letter: September 7 1863 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: September 7 1863
Havens Letter: September 7 1863

the unexpired time for which
they at first enlisted.. A month
to visit home and friends is quite
a dazzling bait but I “cant see it”
just yet; I do not think it would
pay me to make myself twice or
thrice the slave I now am. for two
years. for the sake of a visit home (which
I would very much like indeed) when
ing
by refusing it and remain^ Six months
or a year longer and then go home
and stay without molestation..
If I were to leave the cavalry of my
own will I should enter some battery
of flying. or horse. artillery as I think
that much the best arm of the service
not excepting the navy which many
are praising and wishing they had
entered and not come here..
Some who should be posted express
the opinion that there is danger of
trouble with France concerning
Havens Letter: September 7 1863 , Page: 7

Havens Letter: September 7 1863
Havens Letter: September 7 1863

the Mexican affairs and
think it not unlikely that a large
force will be sent to Texas during
the coming six months.. Some if
even profess to think that we may
be sent there. But what if we are
(which I don’t much believe will happen)
“whats the odds when you cant help it..”
I cant say that I would serious
ly object to spending a few months
in Texas or Mexico either. as I don’t
think we would have much fighting
to do. I sometimes think we may
be home by spring. and then
when the talk of “Foreign Intervention”
becomes a little stronger and everyone
thinks and talks of the likelihood
of a war with England or France
I sometimes think that we may
remain in the service the remaining
two years of our term.. But let us
hope not perhaps we shant be disappointed
Havens Letter: September 7 1863 , Page: 8

Havens Letter: September 7 1863
Havens Letter: September 7 1863

I see by the fact of its raining
at Camp meeting that the weather
still keeps up its old tricks and as the
people do the same I presume it would
not take me long to become naturalized
if I should ever be so fortunate to return..
I should very much like to renew
my acquaintance with Mrs. Crandall. to
whom when you visit her please present
my compliments and best wishes..
I am glad to know that you have
heard from John Cowles and that his
wound was no more severe. I think
I shall write to him soon. But if I
should not when you next write. give him
my address and tell him that I will
answer any letter he may write and be
very thankful for the opportunity..
I wrote to Rene a few days. since
directing as usual. and hope to receive
an answer in a few days. I have
not had any letter from him since
April last, and you may believe a letter
from him would be warmly welcomed
I received a letter from Melinda on Satur
day last which I immediately answered..
I shall be very thankful for that
shadow you spoke of. Send it by all means
and believe that I will “Keep Shady” as
any one could wish.
My love to all. Write soon
and oblige your Brother
Edwin R Havens
PS. I hear that Cap Walker has just returned though
I have not see him. He will probably be placed in
arrest as soon as Col. Mann returns for. Disobedience of orders
and contempt of a superior office at Gettysburg which will in all
probability dishonorably dismiss him. from the service..
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