Title

Havens Letter: September 28 1863

Back

Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: September 28, 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 28 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: September 28 1863
Havens Letter: September 28 1863

Near Culpepper C.H. Va
Sunday September 28th /63

Dear Brother Nell
I received your
letter of Sunday last. last evening
and opened it with my usual feelings
of delight and pleasure. But pardon
me when I say that I was much
pained when I read the news which
it contained.. I am very sorry
that you have left home. left under
the circumstances which it seems you
have. sorry that you should have any
cause to take the step you have now
taken. and sincerely hope that ere
long I shall have the pleasure of
Knowing that you are again at home.
have
at that home where we ^ spent so many
happy days and years together and
where I hope we shall spend many
Havens Letter: September 28 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: September 28 1863
Havens Letter: September 28 1863

more in time to come: You have
refarne refrained from giving me the
reasons for Your leaving home. allow
me to wait until I have heard those
reasons. before expressing my opinion as
to the wisdom of the course you have taken..
I wish you the best of succes in your
new occupation. and let me advise you to
remain in one place as long as you
can and make it profitable to your
self. Dont be roaming and trying
new places and speculations.. The wages
you are now getting are enough. if
properly used to furnish you with every
necessary and leave you a nice little
sum to lay away for a “rainy day.”
I have often heard you wish you
were a soldier. Let me beg of you to
stifle that wish and never enlist
no matter how a large a bounty
or how glowing inducements may
be offered.. I have often told you
that I enjoyed myself as a soldier
Havens Letter: September 28 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: September 28 1863
Havens Letter: September 28 1863

and so I do. but I hope that
you will never try the experiment..
I never want you to be a soldier.
It might suit you, but I feel
certain it would not.. There is no
place however pleasant or lucrative
it may be, like home. let that home
be surrounded by whatever influences
it may. Let it be high or low it is
the place of all others to which the
heart first turns; But when a home
is surrounded by every thing necessary
the greatest
to ones comfort, if not ^ happiness as
ours was. how much oftener does the
heart long for its posession again..
When I left home on the last
of June one year ago. I never expected
to again enjoy myself as I had done
under its protecting roof. with the
kindest of mothers care a solicitude
for my every want but I was happy
in beleiving that you would remain
there and partake of my share of the
Havens Letter: September 28 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: September 28 1863
Havens Letter: September 28 1863

and so I do. but I hope that
you will never try the experiment..
I never want you to be a soldier.
It might suit you, but I feel
certain it would not.. There is no
place however pleasant or lucrative
it may be, like home. let that home
be surrounded by whatever influences
it may. Let it be high or low it is
the place of all others to which the
heart first turns; But when a home
is surrounded by every thing necessary
the greatest
to ones comfort, if not ^ happiness as
ours was. how much oftener does the
heart long for its posession again..
When I left home on the last
of June one year ago. I never expected
to again enjoy myself as I had done
under its protecting roof. with the
kindest of mothers care a solicitude
for my every want but I was happy
in beleiving that you would remain
there and partake of my share of the
Havens Letter: September 28 1863 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: September 28 1863
Havens Letter: September 28 1863

I know from the Kind
nature of your heart that when you
reflect on all these things. on the failing
health. of our dear parents. on the certain
ty that that they. or one of them may
at any time be taken away from us.never
home
more to welcome us ^ from after an absence
of even a few days. when you have
experienced the cold carelesness of stran
in
gers, who feel an interest ^ you and
your welfare only so long as you can
be of benefit to them in securing
wealth to them. that you will never
stray so far from home but that you
can fly to their assistance when that
assistance is needed. and thus prove
to them that you are not devoid of all
filial gratitude for their many years
of watchful care and kindness during
our years of infancey and helplessness
No matter how tyrannical Father
Havens Letter: September 28 1863 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: September 28 1863
Havens Letter: September 28 1863

I know from the Kind
nature of your heart that when you
reflect on all these things. on the failing
health. of our dear parents. on the certain
ty that that they. or one of them may
at any time be taken away from us.never
home
more to welcome us ^ from after an absence
of even a few days. when you have
experienced the cold carelesness of stran
in
gers, who feel an interest ^ you and
your welfare only so long as you can
be of benefit to them in securing
wealth to them. that you will never
stray so far from home but that you
can fly to their assistance when that
assistance is needed. and thus prove
to them that you are not devoid of all
filial gratitude for their many years
of watchful care and kindness during
our years of infancey and helplessness
No matter how tyrannical Father
Havens Letter: September 28 1863 , Page: 7

Havens Letter: September 28 1863
Havens Letter: September 28 1863

wished yourself at home again
Do not, I beseech you, think that
I consider you the only one at fault
in this case. I do not. I could not.
Knowing as I do all the influences
by which you were surrounded. but do
not I ask you. beleive yourself the only
one persecuted.. Remember that: with
out intending it or even with the re
motest idea of offending our parents
you may have committed many faults
much
and given Father ^ reason for thinking
that you were of little benefit to him..
Forgive him for it. and I know
that when he finds himself alone.
with none of his own children to help
him and comfort him in his declining
years. when he has for a time tried
the assistance of those who feel no
interest in our home but that paid
for by his money in Stipulated sums
his heart will yearn for Nell to again
make home bright and happy
Havens Letter: September 28 1863 , Page: 8

Havens Letter: September 28 1863
Havens Letter: September 28 1863

Forgive me for writing in
this manner but I feel sad and
lonely. this morning and more
like writing in this strain than
in my usual cheerful manner
in writing to brother and parents
whom I believed to be happy..
It is a sympathetic influence in the
heart for I beleive that on this Sun
day morning when you look around
you and contrast your present surround
ings with those of a few days ago. that
you are sad. and that they while
performing their Sunday morning
duties feel their hearts ache as they
remember the happy boy who was
wont to make home all that it can
not be without him. I wish that
we might both go there this morn
ing together and dispel the gloom
that now lies around them. On all
your future acts strive to be a man and
keep free from the influence of the evil
associates that you will find any where
away fom home Be a man. one whom
every one will delight. to honor. and our
dear parents will never be ashamed of
Havens Letter: September 28 1863 , Page: 9

Havens Letter: September 28 1863
Havens Letter: September 28 1863

I have little news
of movements in our vicinity to
relate. On Monday morning as
I think I told you in a letter writ
ten a few das since. I our cavalry
started on a reconnaisance towards
Gordonsville. They stopped Monday
night at Madison C.H. where the
rebs attacked their pickets but were
repulsed and next day they crossed
the Rapidan and proceeded to
within nine miles of Gordonsville
where finding a large force of infantry
and. too having accomplished the
object of their reconnaisance they
returned the cavalry of the enemy
following to Robinson [illegible in original] this side
of the Madison C H. They had consider
able fighting and lost quite a num
ber of men in killed wounded and
missing. Co L. of our regt lost some
Havens Letter: September 28 1863 , Page: 10

Havens Letter: September 28 1863
Havens Letter: September 28 1863

I have little news
of movements in our vicinity to
relate. On Monday morning as
I think I told you in a letter writ
ten a few das since. I our cavalry
started on a reconnaisance towards
Gordonsville. They stopped Monday
night at Madison C.H. where the
rebs attacked their pickets but were
repulsed and next day they crossed
the Rapidan and proceeded to
within nine miles of Gordonsville
where finding a large force of infantry
and. too having accomplished the
object of their reconnaisance they
returned the cavalry of the enemy
following to Robinson [illegible in original] this side
of the Madison C H. They had consider
able fighting and lost quite a num
ber of men in killed wounded and
missing. Co L. of our regt lost some
Havens Letter: September 28 1863 , Page: 11

Havens Letter: September 28 1863
Havens Letter: September 28 1863

to obtain one for me and I shall
put him to his promise if an oppor
tunity occurs. I shall also try and
have Graham and Park go with me.
and if we should succeed I hope
to have a good time. Say nothing of
this and if possible let no one
see this part of my letter. I do not
wish to raise any hopes in those
at home that are almost certain
of disappointment and do not
allow this hope to occupy much
of my mind knowing as I do the
almost certain impossibility of such
a thing.. When I return I hope
to find you again at home and
all harmony again. I trust that
I may be home ere long when my
soldiers life is ended. Remember
do not enlist.. You are exempt from
the conscription. Keep out of the
Service where you can not be compelled
to enter it.. I did not enlist from fear
of a draft. and were I at home I should

Havens Letter: September 28 1863 , Page: 12

Havens Letter: September 28 1863
Havens Letter: September 28 1863

in all probability enlist again
but I never want to know that
you are a soldier. Many substitutes
that have desrted have been shot
some eight or ten within a few
miles of us. I never want to witness
such an execution
I am sorry to hear that Melinda’s
eyes are so bad and hope that they
may soon be well enough to permit
her to write to me again. I shall try
and write her a letter before long
Write soon and tell me you all
the circumstance of your leaving
you
home if ^ can make up your mind
to do so. I have received no letter
from Father or Mother yet and it
may be a long time ere I do.
Come what will remember
that you have the love. esteem
and good wishes of your
Brother
Edwin R Havens

Contact us with Questions or Comments