Havens Letter: October 30 1863


Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: October 30, 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 30 1863 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: October 30 1863
Havens Letter: October 30 1863

Gainesville Virginia
October 30th 1863

Dear Mother
Your most wel
come letter was received a few
days since and you can scarcely
imagine the degree of pleasure
it afforded me as it had been
a very long time since I had
heard from home.
I am still enjoying usual
health. and taking life as easily
as circumstances will allow
me to do.. Nothing worthy
of notice has occurred near
us since my last to father
was written. We have remained
quietly at the place. receiving
large quantities of forage and
stores. Gainesville still continues
Havens Letter: October 30 1863 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: October 30 1863
Havens Letter: October 30 1863

to be the principal depot for
supplies for the army in this
vicinity. Our Calvary division
is the only force in our imme
diate vicinity. The infantry
is stationed at different points
such as Warrenton City. and
stations on the Orange and Alexan
dria R.R. Yesterday and
to day I have been to the Head
Quarters of the Army of the Potomac.
which move around every day.
Yesterday morning we expected
to find them at Warrenton City, but
after reaching there we found they
had moved to Auburn. some
six miles distant and in a place
which seemed chosen. because
it was as much out of the way
and where no one would have
thought of looking for them as
any place of the United States.
Yesterday I went in company
Havens Letter: October 30 1863 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: October 30 1863
Havens Letter: October 30 1863

with a clerk of the Quartermaste^
department. But today I went
alone. Some ten miles. through a
desolate. abandoned country and
scarcely ever seeing a comrade. among
Moseby’s favorite haunts. and not
Knowing at what moment he might make
his appearance in some one of his many
disguises.. Moseby still continues to
make his dashes upon some solitary soldier
or perhaps a drove of horses and always
escapes. He has nearly recovered from
his wounds. and many begin to believe
him invulnerable to bullets or steel.
The weather is moderate and
some days are really pleasant..
Frosts, some of them severe enough
to leave ice on water in pails or
small pools have occurred nearly
every night this week..
The people, or a great many
of them in this vicinity are almost
entirely dependent upon the Kindness
Havens Letter: October 30 1863 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: October 30 1863
Havens Letter: October 30 1863

of our Quartermaster for their subsistence
and every day may be seen scores of them
visiting our camps to procure coffee, sugar
pork flour and other necessaries of life
Nothing is to be seen growing Except a
few small fields of corn, a few cabbages
or some other such little things.. but few of
them have enough to sustain them a month.
and many will not take the oath and they
of course will fare very slim in favors from our
officers The only fruit to be found now is
persimmons. You have heard of them if you
have not seen them. Unless fully ripe one
can not taste them but once. as they pucker
your mouth awfully, but when ripe they
have quite a pleasant, rich and agreeable taste.
I do not feel like writing this
evening, and having seen nothing that
interested me for some time past I
can not make an interesting letter..
I shall begin to look for a letter from
father before long.. I need some socks
badly and would like it much if you
could send me some soon. We shall
muster for pay tomorrow and if we
do not move from here will probably
receive our pay in ten days or two weeks
at farthest.. I received a letter from
Nell about the same time that I
wrote Father. He was well and seemed
well pleased with his place
Excuse the shortness and unin
teresting tone of this. and be assured
of the love and affection of your
Son Edwin R Havens

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