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Havens Letter: December 5 1863

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: December 5, 1863
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 17
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 17
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: December 5 1863, Page: 1

Havens Letter: December 5 1863
Havens Letter: December 5 1863

Stevensburg Va.
December. 5th 1863

Dear Brother Nell.
Yours of Nov
27th came to hand yesterday mor
ning and I can assure you was
duly welcome.. coming as it did
after so long [illegible in original]
communication from you and
after a week with none from any
one. My last was written on
a day when somebody was in
expectation of a big move some
where and before long.. Well
that move has been made
and now we find ourselves
occupying the same ground
that we did on the morning
of November 26th.
Havens Letter: December 5 1863, Page: 2

Havens Letter: December 5 1863
Havens Letter: December 5 1863

The whole army was in
motion at an early hour that
morning and the train moved
to Culpepper Ford several miles
below here. where we lay until
Monday morning and then
moved back to Brandy Station
from thence here again arriving
on Thursday having been absent
just one week..
Of what was done by our army
during those days I can tell you
nothing. I have seen no papers
and what reports I have heard
are of such a conflicting nature
that I can not venture to give
them. Our cavalry crossed the
river at Raccoon and Morton’s
Fords on Saturday morning
and drove the Rebs some
Havens Letter: December 5 1863, Page: 3

Havens Letter: December 5 1863
Havens Letter: December 5 1863

four miles where they were
in return driven back. our
regt. lost 3 prisoners and
two wounded. So far as I have
been able to learn. Our Co. none
They took some 40 prisoners
during this fight who were
brought by the Provost guard
to where our train was parked.
They were poorly clad half
[illegible in original] and seemed much
pleased to get good Yankee
coffee and hard tack.. The
haversacks of those killed in
many cases contained nothing
but raw corn..
It was found almost im
possible to supply our troops
by the means of transporta
tion [we?] possessed and the
Havens Letter: December 5 1863, Page: 4

Havens Letter: December 5 1863
Havens Letter: December 5 1863

country afforded but little
subsistence to forage upon.
consequently on Thursday morn
ing last when we drew our rations
for the coming five days we
got only coffee, sugar, hard
bread and fresh beef and
from then until yesterday
we did not taste pork.
It may seem strange to you
knowing how dainty I used
to be concerning pork but now
I feel half [starved?] without
pork and beans.. We were
quite lucky in having a little
rice which partly supplied
the place of what was lacking.
But our baked beans and
pork are ready and I will
quit.
Havens Letter: December 5 1863, Page: 5

Havens Letter: December 5 1863
Havens Letter: December 5 1863

There is much excite
ment here at present concern
ing our future destiny. On
returning here the troops were
all ordered to occupy their old
camps and many held the
opinion that they would go in
to winter quarters where we are.
but today the infantry near
us is on the move again
and [to?] the front.. Many think
they will move nearer the river
and relieving our cavalry from
picket at the disputed [points?]
go into winter quarters, while
the cavalry moves back into
the defence of Washington
and take up winter quarters there
and that we shall leave here
within the coming 48 hours
Havens Letter: December 5 1863, Page: 6

Havens Letter: December 5 1863
Havens Letter: December 5 1863

The 2nd Corps is now pitch
ing camp close by us while
the 6th corps is farther to our
left and the 1st 3d & 5th occupy
new positions. Had it not been
for our inability to keep up the
supplies I predict that we should
have wintered South of the Rapidan
There is much dissatisfac
tion with Meade expressed by
those who profess to know
“what is what.” and there is
strong rumors that he will
be removed and Gen Hooker
recalled to the command of this
army. That Meade has failed
to fulfill all the hopes we had
of him is too plainly evident.
While content to [illegible in original] his
“Fraulein” on the Great Virgin
Havens Letter: December 5 1863, Page: 7

Havens Letter: December 5 1863
Havens Letter: December 5 1863

ia express line “from Alexan
dria to Culpepper he meets
with signal success. but if
he attempts to go further than
Culpepper or to make any such
route he fails at every attempt..
His victory at Gettysburg was
a grand thing for which the country
will ever applaud him and too
for the masterly manner in
which he conducted the [return?]
in October But if rumors are
true this last move has Killed
him. The news of Grant’s
Thomas’ and Burnsides’ victory
reached us on the first day of
our movement and [ruined?]
our men’s hearts to do and dare
deeds that would compare
equally well their [illegible in original]
Havens Letter: December 5 1863, Page: 8

Havens Letter: December 5 1863
Havens Letter: December 5 1863

I stopped a few minutes
since and packed up ready to
start but as present indications
seem to say that we shall not go
to night I will finish this if
I can. I am glad to know
that your first week in school
has gone off so favorably and
sincerely hope that you may
eet with excellent success.
the entire term. To hear that
Melinda’s eyes are nearly
well again gives me unfoun
ded pleasure and I shall hope
to have a letter from her
ere long.. I received Isoms
of the 25th yesterday and
shall answer at my earliest
convenience which will be
as soon as I find anything
to write.
Havens Letter: December 5 1863, Page: 9

Havens Letter: December 5 1863
Havens Letter: December 5 1863

The mail yesterday morn
ing contained besides the
letters from Isom and you,
one from our friend Martha
Darling who still remains
at the Normal Institute
at Ypsilanti. She says she
shall leave school at the
of this term, perhaps forever,
at least until this war is
over. She wished to be remem
bered to you and all friends.
Another letter from the
“Bend” bore the cheerful and
most welcome intelligence that
a letter received by Hattie Meade
from Rene stated that he and
his brother were alive and un
harmed but prisoners enjoying
rebel hospitality
Havens Letter: December 5 1863, Page: 10

Havens Letter: December 5 1863
Havens Letter: December 5 1863

This was welcome news to me
I can assure you for I had much
rather hear he was a prisoner than
dead. I have never been fully satis
fied in my own mind of his
death and could not dispel
the feeling that I should again
meet him after the close of
this war.
A letter from Aunt
Jeannette was received last
evening and contained a great
deal of interest.. She gave me
an account of the great sanitary
fair at Chicago which she
copied in part from the
New Covenant. She said
nothing of her ill health,
which can scarcely have improved
since Helen wrote
Havens Letter: December 5 1863, Page: 11

Havens Letter: December 5 1863
Havens Letter: December 5 1863

I have not heard from
Father and Mother in a long
time and begin to feel very
anxious to hear from them.
I trust you received a hearty
welcome at home and enjoyed
a good visit.. and I hope you
will write all the news you
hear from that section as I do
not receive any letters from
them since you left and school
commenced at Niles..
I will now draw this
thing to a focus and then
retire. If you can make out
one third of what I have tried
to write you will do better than
[illegible in original] and will use up all the
time you have to spare. My
pen ink and paper are all Awful!.
Havens Letter: December 5 1863, Page: 12

Havens Letter: December 5 1863
Havens Letter: December 5 1863

Write as often as con
venient and remember
me to all the folks.
Yours
Ed R Havens

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