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Havens Letter: February 24 1864

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: February 24, 1864
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 19
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 19
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: February 24 1864 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: February 24 1864
Havens Letter: February 24 1864

Stevensburg Virginia
February. 24th 1864

Dear Father and Mother,
I have waited
long and anxiously for a letter from
you yet none has come.. It has
now been many days. and I could
almost say weeks. for I have. forgotten
the date on which your last was received
and I feel almost homesick and have
finally resorted to the writing a
letter.. just to keep communications
open..
I am usually well. better than
when I last wrote you.. and trust
that. sickness among you has not been
the cause of your neglecting to write.
The weather has been beautiful for
a week past. and the roads are in
excellent condition.
Havens Letter: February 24 1864 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: February 24 1864
Havens Letter: February 24 1864

Stevensburg Virginia
February. 24th 1864

Dear Father and Mother,
I have waited
long and anxiously for a letter from
you yet none has come.. It has
now been many days. and I could
almost say weeks. for I have. forgotten
the date on which your last was received
and I feel almost homesick and have
finally resorted to the writing a
letter.. just to keep communications
open..
I am usually well. better than
when I last wrote you.. and trust
that. sickness among you has not been
the cause of your neglecting to write.
The weather has been beautiful for
a week past. and the roads are in
excellent condition.
Havens Letter: February 24 1864 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: February 24 1864
Havens Letter: February 24 1864

I attended the review. and was
much interested in it as it was the
first review of so large a number of
I had seen
troops ^.. The review of our division near
Frederick last June was the largest I
before
ever saw ^.. The troops actually under
review. numbered. I should judge
about 10,000. They made a line nearly
a mile in length and consisted of
such of our division as were not on
picket. the two light batteries belong
ing to our division. and the infantry
and artillery belonging to the 2nd Corps..
A large number of ladies were
present. I estimated them at over two
hundred. a large share of whom rode
on horseback. the others in ambulances.
Gen Meade was accompanied by a
young lady. supposed to have been his
daughter.. President Hamlin’s daugh
ters were also present. After the troops
of had passed in review. Kilpatrick
drew up two regts of cavalry. and
Havens Letter: February 24 1864 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: February 24 1864
Havens Letter: February 24 1864

went through a mounted skirmish
and charge. which were well executed.
I have watched the papers quite closely
since the annnouncement the escape
of the 109 from Libby Prison that I
might learn if any of my friends
chanced to be among the number. Yester
days issue gave the names. of several recap
tured and among them Lieut [Greble?]
of the 8th Mich. I am confident that
he is our old acquaintance. I have
noticed the name of one Major of the
20th Ind. (Rene’s regt.) who arrived at
Fortress Monroe. and a Capt. of the same
who was recaptured.. But can hear
nothing of Rene. I am in hopes he
was lucky enough to escape safe and
sound..
I am much interested in the
movements of Sherman and sincerely
hope he may be successful in everything
I hope that the rumor of his captur
ing 12000 prisoners may not be
contradicted
Havens Letter: February 24 1864 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: February 24 1864
Havens Letter: February 24 1864

I received a letter this evening
saying that recruiting was going on
quite lively in Buchanan. I am glad
to see it.. and cant say that I pity the
poor devils. whom I tried to enlist for
our regiment. and now take up with
infantry. How. are you. “Dough Boys”
Father, I know you used to advise me
if I ever enlisted to go in infantry and
I used to think so. too. but my ideas have
undergone a very material change since
coming into Virginia. and I now think
as we soldiers. say. “No infantry on my
plate” They have a slight advantage
over us while in camp. by having no
horses to see to. but there are very
few men who have passed through
one seasons campaigns that is not
willing to take care of a horse for the
sake of having one to ride..

Havens Letter: February 24 1864 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: February 24 1864
Havens Letter: February 24 1864

All the bounties that Uncle
Sam could offer. could never induce
me to become an enlisted man in
infantry. You ought to see one in
full equippage. A large “Government
Bureau” on his back. full of clothing
blankets etc. a haversack with five days
rations of “Hard Tack and Salt Horse”
slung under one arm. A canteen and
a cap under the other. a frying pan
and coffee pot. tucked away some
where or carried in one hand. His
rifle weighing at the least fourteen
pounds. his belt and cartridge box
with from 40 to 60 rounds of ball
cartridge each one of which will
weigh more than an ounce. and
some have a heavy sabre bayonet
in addition to these. Now isnt
that a nice little load for a man
to carry. They take as much luggage
as we do on our horses with the ex
ception of our saddles.

Havens Letter: February 24 1864 , Page: 7

Havens Letter: February 24 1864
Havens Letter: February 24 1864

I hear that “Neil Sparks has en
listed for our company. I hope
this is not so. although the news
comes from a source that leaves
but little room for doubt. I hope
he may be rejected and that it was
not the delegate sent from our
company to Niles who enlisted him.
The Pay. Master arrived in camp
last Friday and has been busy
since in paying the men their
wages for the months of November
and December. Our regt was paid
yesterday..
One day last week I heard
that we could get photograhs taken
at one of our regt and went over
and sat for some. I will send
you one. It will be needless for
me to say that they are poor ones
you
as one glance will satisfy ^ on
that fact.. I shall try to get a
few ambrotypes before breaking
Havens Letter: February 24 1864 , Page: 8

Havens Letter: February 24 1864
Havens Letter: February 24 1864

up winter quarters.. I am about
as heavy this winter as I have ever
been since coming into the army.
I weigh from 143 to 145, in my
common fatigue suit. without any
overcoat. I have worn no vest and no
undershirt at any time this winter
and much of the time only a light
woolen sack coat not lined at that.
If it will not be too expensive or
too difficult for you to obtain them I
would like to have you send me two
light flannel shirts of some dark
color. I do not like the shirts furnished
by govt. and cannot look at any
shirt at a Sutlers shop. for less than
five dollars. and I had rather pay
even that sum at home and be sure
of getting a good shirt. Send them by
mail. and buy them at my expense
I will try to send home some money
in a few days.
With my best wishes
for the health and prosperity
of you all. and beleiving that it will
not be long till we meet in peace
I remain your Affectionate Son E R H
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