Havens Letter: April 9 1864


Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: April 9, 1864
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 21
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 21
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: April 9 1864 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: April 9 1864
Havens Letter: April 9 1864

Stevensburg Va. Saturday
April 9th 1864

To Our Folks.
I have received letters from each
and all since writing last and will now try to answer
them all in one although I have but slight materials to make
a letter from. We are having very stormy, muddy
weather. at present. much the same as last year. though
I think a little worse. It rains almost every day and
we are sometimes so surrounded by water as to be
unable to get out of camp. Such has been the case
once during the present week. The incessant rains
make it very difficult to get supplies from Alexandria
in sufficient quantities to supply the demand.. We have
been compelled to go without potatoes for the past five
days and also hay for our horses. and can get neither
now.. It rained nearly all night last night and
has been and is now raining and bids likely to continue
all day.
Everything is quiet as yet and will remain so no
doubt as long as the bad weather continues. Troops are
coming in from Washington and Alexandria every day.
Some are old Veteran regiments and others new recruits.
A large number of new recruits for the cavalry corps
came in day before yesterday and yesterday while

Havens Letter: April 9 1864 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: April 9 1864
Havens Letter: April 9 1864

at Brandy Station I saw two large trains heavily
loaded with soldiers. A large number of soldiers and
officers are going home every day. which it seems to me
would not be allowed if the intention was to move during
the present month. Capt. now Major Walker returned
to camp on Wednesday last having been gone nearly or
quite thirty days. I have not seen him to speak with him
since his return. I saw Major Genl. Sheridan yester
day. He is now in command of the cavalry corps. having
releived Genl Pleasanton who has been assigned to duty
in the west or south west. I beleive that Genl. Sheridan
is the same general that Leu Lee and Will Kelley have
been orderlies for so long.. He is a young man. I should
think about the same age as Genl Custer and looks like
a determined hard working and thorough going officer..
It was intended to have a general review and inspec
tion to day but the order was countermanded on account
of the rain. Yesterday and day before were quite pleas
ant day and the ground would have been in very
good condition had it not rained last night.
We received a large quantity of clothing and
other stores yesterday and have been very busy today
issueing them. We are getting a very poor quality of clothing
of all kinds now. Mere shoddy. all of it. The only
exceptions are in drawers and rubber ponchos. the
latter being the best we have had this winter. It is
a shame for the government to accept such clothing
as they have been sending out for some time past
Havens Letter: April 9 1864 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: April 9 1864
Havens Letter: April 9 1864

Nearly every one, in fact every one. is well pleased
with Gen. Grants appointment and with his taking up
his Hd Quarters with this army. and nearly every one
has some thing to tell about what he says he is going
to do this coming summer. I say he will do all
that he can and when he has done it if it is necessary
I will tell you what he has done. I am not sufficiently
in his confidence to say what he will do before hand.
I am glad to hear that the men of the 6th are so
well liked at home. It proves that they are true sol
diers. A man who is fool enough to get drunk while
at home can not be depended upon ^ the field. Our
best soldiers are the sober men. men who can be de
pended on at all times and in all places. A man
who shows no respect for himself and others never
makes a good soldier. He may fight when he comes
to a tight spot but he will not submit to that disci
pline by which is shown the good soldier. Give my
best wishes to John Cowles and tell him that I
should be glad to hear from him again and if he
will write again I will gladly answer it. It has
been a year since I have had a letter from him
I do ^ know who was to blame for the first neglect.
I was much surprised to hear that Father walked
from South Bend home. It is more than I would
really like to undertake. young and strong as I am.
I have got so accustomed to riding that I should be
completely lost without a horse and saddle
Havens Letter: April 9 1864 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: April 9 1864
Havens Letter: April 9 1864

I hope to see or hear from Cousin Charlie soon
Eliza wrote me that he had enlisted in the 2nd Penn.
Cav. That regt a year ago was in our division but left
it during the Maryland campaign. and is now I think
in the 2nd or Gregg’s Div. near Warrenton. I can remember
seeing [illegible in original] Mrs Wilson of whom you spoke but do not
remember Mr & Mrs Plant. although I have heard them
spoken of. When I first heard that you had started for
Pennsylvania I almost feared you might come on here
And although I would like very much to see you I am glad
you did not undertake it. You could not have endured it
as we had some very rough weather about that time and our
quarters and fare would have been very hard for you. al
though we think we are happy in them.
And so Demott is going to build a new house this
summer is he? It’s a pity I cant be there to help raise it
but I suppose I cant. I wonder if he will succeed in doing
as he said he would two years ago. [beat?] all the houses in
the neighborhood. I’m afraid that if I ever get home I shall
feel like a cat in the wrong garret with all the changes around
there that have been made since I left there. If they
keep on for the next two years in the same ratio that they
have in the past eighteen months there will be nothing
left that I used to know..
Nell I received your letter and Photograph several days
ago. and once commenced an answer but was compelled
to stop before I finished it and have had no chance to take
it up again until this morning and then I threw it in the
fire. and concluded to answer all three in one. The Picture
you sent me was an excellent one and I must say that
you look better than I ever knew you to.. Stay at home this
war will soon be over and you will be all the better for
Keeping out of it. and when I get home I’ll try to make my
stories so big that they will do for two and give you half of
them. So far as the honor and fame is concerned I’ll give
you all that I win. I received a letter from Aunt Jeannette
and Willie last night. Aunt Jeannettes health is rather poor
now. but yet she writes just as long and interesting letters as
ever. Those two and Cousin Helen are about the only corres
pondents that answer all my letters. I have not heard
from Aunt Mary yet. and have finally made up my
mind that I shall not again. I am well as are all the
boys here. Neil Sparks has been very homesick for a few days
but is now well again. I expressed fifty dollars to you
last Monday which I hope will reach you safe. Write as soon
as received and let me Know and if you do not get it. before the last
of the month send the rec’t to me.
My Love to All. E R Havens

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