Havens Letter: March 18 1864


Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: March 18, 1864
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 20
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 20
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: March 18 1864 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: March 18 1864
Havens Letter: March 18 1864

Stevensburg Va
March 18th 1864

Dear Brother Nell.
Pursuant to promise in
my last. I now prepare to send you the “Diary”
thus spoken of. I have just reviewed it. and
confess that it fails to suit me by a
long ways. But as I have no material
to write another one on and I should
perhaps make it no better if I had I
shall despatch it with its manifold
imperfections. It will perhaps. add a
little to the accounts of the stirring events
that occurred during the space of
time which it covers which my letters
of those days contained.. Since the
close of that time my duties have taken
me away from the more stirring and
interesting scenes of the campaigns
of those times and I have kept no
Havens Letter: March 18 1864 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: March 18 1864
Havens Letter: March 18 1864

record of them. except such as has
been contained in my letters
There are many things. that I
should like to add to it. and if I
am fortunate enough to survive
the conflict and return home I
shall endeavor to do so..
In my letter of the 16th I spoke
of the celebration of “St Patricks Day.”
The ground chosen was some quarter
of a mile from our camp and at about
10 A.M. the soldiers. (we have no other
people you know) began to flock around.
and continued to come until the
middle of the afternoon.. at which
time a crowd was assembled whose
numbers I will not attempt to
estimate.. Brig. Gen. Culver. was
Master of Ceremonies. and he conduc
ted the affair in a splendid man
ner. Everything went off much as
as a Celebration at home does Every
one about as well satisfied. about

Havens Letter: March 18 1864 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: March 18 1864
Havens Letter: March 18 1864

as many persons [drunk?] and
about the usual amount of brawls
and quarrels. as is usually found in
a crowd where one man thinks him
self as good as another. “and a good
deal better be Jabers..” A large num
ber of ladies were present. none of whom
I must say. would more than “pass in
a crowd.” I dont know why it is. but
I havent seen but a very small per
cent of good looking ladies of all the
thousands who have visited us this
winter. Perhaps my eyes aint mates..
The first thing on the bill was the “Hurdle
Race.” over a course a mile in length in
which were five or six hurdles and
ditches. which each horse was required
to jump. Two riders got dumped. but no
serious accident occurred. next a green
pine pole with the bark taken off and
said to be greased was raised with a ten
dollar “greenback” stuck at the top. the
fellow who could climb to the top and
Havens Letter: March 18 1864 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: March 18 1864
Havens Letter: March 18 1864

get the money to pocket it and some say
get a 30 day furlough besides. Several tried
it but only one was successful. Next a greased
pig was let loose in a ring and anyone who would
catch him by the tail and hold him was to
possess the little “poker” One fellow was successful
Next a lot of men engaged in a foot race
of about twenty rods. with a sack drawn up on their
legs. and their hands tied behind. One poor fellow
struck on the back of his head about the first move
he made. Then came a hurdle race by a dozen men
of about 40 rods they having to jump one ditch the
winner getting 5 or ten dollars. Then came several
sparring matches with gloves. exhibiting some science
and a good deal of fancy moves. Then came
a hurdle race by mules the winning mule
getting 15 dollars the second best 5, next
came a flat race single dash of 80 rods by
several horses. their owners. paying 5 dollars
entrance fee, the winning horse taking
all the money. Old Kill entered one of
his favorites and won the pile. We all, then
gave three rousing cheers. soldiers cheers. for
the “Union, the constitution the Administration
and America” as called for by Gen Culver,
who said he wished us to show the ladies
how we could shout when we had any
thing to shout for and we did. Gen Culver
made a short speech after which we called
for “Kilpatrick” but he had skedadled and
we couldnt raise him. Gen Custer was severely injured
on Tuesday by the running away of his horses who threw him
from the carriage. And for a time his life was despaired
of. We had orders yesterday to be ready to move at a mom
ents notice but that was all it amounted to. Gen Kilpatrick
sent for a team with three days rations for driver and
team this morning and the supposition that
he has gone home where
No more for the present from
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