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Havens Letter: October 5 1863

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: October 5, 1863
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 15
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 15
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: October 5 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: October 5 1863
Havens Letter: October 5 1863

Camp of train near Culpepper Va
Monday Eve October 5th 1863

Dear Father and Mother.
For more
than a week past I have anxiously
looked for a letter from you. but
being thus far disappointed I
have seized my pen this evening
to inquire the reason of your silence..
Now that Nell is no longer there
I must depend upon you for
my knowledge of your welfare.
and I trust that you will not
often keep me in suspense so
long as I have been at this time
I received a short letter from
Nell more than a week ago saying
he had left home but giving no
other reason than that an agreement
to disagree had been made.
Havens Letter: October 5 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: October 5 1863
Havens Letter: October 5 1863

I found the pleasure usually
given me by his letters sadly mar
red by the pain this intelligence
gave me and I was sadder after
reading his letter than at any
time since my absence from home..
I trust that this breach is not
so wide that time and a right
course of conduct (which I hope he
will pursue) cannot repair it..
I should indeed feel lonely
to visit home and find him
gone.. Can it be, that Geo. and
[Jas?] Lee have been the cause of this?
u
I hope not.. tho^gh one of them is
none too good – in my opinion..
But enough on this subject
painful alike to you and me..
I still remain with the wagon
train and find the duty much
easier than that of the company
We have lain near this place
nearly two weeks. have moved three
Havens Letter: October 5 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: October 5 1863
Havens Letter: October 5 1863

times during that time, twice
in one day, some four miles
in the morning pitched camp
then tore up and moved back to
the same camp before night..
This afternoon we moved again
but only some 40 rods. for the
sake of a clean camp.. The weather
has, with the exception of one day, been
clear and pleasant but quite cool..
Friday the 2nd [illegible in original] it commen
ced raining soon after daylight and
continued with but slight intervals
of cessation until 9 P.M.. Since
then it has been pleasant again
although much of the time it is
so cool as to make an overcoat
not uncomfortable.. I am enjoying
good health with the exception of
a cold in my head. a real old
fashioned one. making pocket hand
kerchiefs of good demand but making
no particular difference in health
Havens Letter: October 5 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: October 5 1863
Havens Letter: October 5 1863

We were paid ten days ago
and on Saturday last I expressed
you fifteen dollars to Buchanan
some also from Allen Park to
his father at the same place and
some from Wm Graham to his
Mother to Niles.. I wish you would
notify Mrs Graham that she may
get it as soon as it comes..
Yesterday two or three sutlers
set up their tents near us, and
although we were living well on
our rations, the boys were deter
mined to have a good Sunday
dinner and each one bought what
pleased his fancy best. One bought
some good sweet butter, another some
cakes and cheese, another some crackers
canned peaches, and we were think
ing something else was wanting when
Allen Park came in with a big
codfish under his arm. This
was a new thing for us to cook
Havens Letter: October 5 1863 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: October 5 1863
Havens Letter: October 5 1863

but nothing daunted we went
at it parboiled. it. then boiled it a
while mixed up some butter and
flour and stirred into it and
ate what little we had. laughed
over the thoughts of what our folks”
would say to see us and wished
for more.. We can live much
better here than with the company
By getting an order from some com-
missioned officer we can buy anything
we want from the Brigade Commis
sary and we are not slow in doing
so. The headquarters of the regt
are some 9 miles from here near
Welland’s Mills. and about half way
from Culpepper to Madison. C.H.
They do picket duty along the
Rapidan from These mills towards
James City. being on duty three
to four days in seven.

Havens Letter: October 5 1863 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: October 5 1863
Havens Letter: October 5 1863

We get but little news from
them. “All quiet on the Rapidan”
answers all questions as to “Whats the
news” as the same phrase did in time
past when the Potomac and Rappa
hannock were the points to which
our eyes turned. There has been
much surmise among our men
as to whether Meade would occupy
this country the coming winter
or fall back across the Rappahan
nock.. The question is not satisfac
torily answered yet, but I do not
think he will withdraw his forces
from here unless he is compelled
by Lee to do so. Two divisions
of the 6th Army Corps moved by
us today in the direction of
Raccoon Ford. Whether this is
the beginning of another forward
movement or has for its object only
the releiving of those troops there
from picket duty it is impossible
Havens Letter: October 5 1863 , Page: 7

Havens Letter: October 5 1863
Havens Letter: October 5 1863

for me to say.. I can not think
it a forward movement from the
fact that the 5th and (I think)
2nd Corps. that lie near us evince no
sights of moving.. Their camps present
the appearance of very comfortable
winter quarters.. There is a rumor
about camp that Longstreet and Hill
with their Corps of the rebel army have
returned from Chickamauga and
are now in front of us.. I give this
as a camp rumor. say nothing of its
origin and give it but little credence..
It may seem strange to you, and
it really is so, that surrounded as
we are by large camps of infantry
we receive no daily papers. but it is
true nevertheless. No news boy ever
visits us although at the regt daily
papers are abundant.. There is a large
[illegible in original] depot in the village 1 ½ miles distant
but although some one of us go there
every day I have seen no papers
for several days.
Havens Letter: October 5 1863 , Page: 8

Havens Letter: October 5 1863
Havens Letter: October 5 1863

The cavalry begin to look for
some different employment than stand
ing picket ere long.. A few days ago they
drew five days rations. (three being the
usual drawing) and received orders to
see that every horse was well shod. the
men being each supplied with extra
shoes for the horses and nails ready
pointed sufficient for immediate use.
A big raid is expected and Buford
Gregg and “Old Kill” will probably take
the war path again ere long..
But it is getting late and I
must close. I have written this by
candle light. the first one I have
written thus in months..
Wm Graham and Allen Park are
both usually well. Write soon
and beleive me as ever your
Affectionate Son
Edwin R Havens
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