Havens Letter: April 28 1864


Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: April 28, 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 28 1864 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: April 28 1864
Havens Letter: April 28 1864

Near Culpepper Va
April 18th 1864

Dear Brother Nell.
Yours of the 19th just
came to hand and I seat myself this evening
to reply to the same although I hardly know what
to write.. You thought you was giving me just
old “[Goss?]” did’nt you because I answered three
letters in one? Well now dont you think
you had great cause for complaint. You who have
every evening and every rainy stormy day in
which to write letters. You complain because I chose
to snatch a few leisure moments from duties
that I must expect at any moment shine
or storm, day or night to answer three letters
in one.. Now Nell I’d hide my head in
shame and never raise it again until I could
find some sense, enough, at least to sympathise
with one deprived of every convenience of time and
place to write. If you think you can appreciate
my efforts to keep you posted as to ^ well being.
why. I’ll quit writing altogether from this time
forth. Come, what say you will you take my
letters as they come or do you prefer not to
take them at all.?
Havens Letter: April 28 1864 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: April 28 1864
Havens Letter: April 28 1864

I wrote you in my last that we were
going to move. Well. we have moved. and now
find ourselves within half a mile of the spot
where we lay so long. when near Culpepper last
fall. We were turned out of good comfortable quar
ters to a place where there was nothing not even
a bush for a shelter. But having brought most
of our houses with us we are now enjoying good
comfortable quarters. The weather has been quite pleas
ant since coming here and the nights so com
fortable that we have not built a fire since
we came here excepting to cook by. What is more
remarkable we moved without kicking up a storm
and. we have had but one storm since. which occurred
one night when I was alseep. by which means I
missed the fun.
News comes next does it. well I
dont know what to write for I do not know
but that which I might write might be
contraband. The first I will speak of is the
report of which I spoke in my last. that of the
mail stopping We still continue to receive
our mail regularly. but a rumor is afloat that
what we send out from here goes no further than
Washington where it will be detained until
after the first move is made. If this be true. which
I am somewhat inclined to doubt. you will not
receive this for some time.

Havens Letter: April 28 1864 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: April 28 1864
Havens Letter: April 28 1864

So perhaps my “contraband” news will do
no harm. Since we came here they have thrown
up quite strong earthworks between here and Culpepper
which protect all approaches to the town from this
way.. Gen. Grant has his Hd Qrtrs near the center
of the village in a very ordinary looking building
and puts on much less “style” than many of our
Gens. of much lower grade. I met him today riding
out towards Gen. Meade’s Hd Quarers with only one Aide
and one Orderly.. There are but few Brig. Gens. even. who
ever ride out unless two or three Aides and five or six
orderlies follow them. It is reported that while the
fortifications were being thrown up a day or two ago.
he came out to superinted them a while and actually
took of his coat and worked like a “nigger” for
sometime. Night before last Gen. Custer received
orders to report at in person at the War Dept. in Wash
ington. and it is thought. that it was intended to releive
him from his command here. He went in yesterday
morning and returned tonight. He says that
he leaves this brigade only when he leaves the service.
One regt from our Brig. (the 1st Vt) left us and
returned to the 3d Div. yesterday. leaving us an
exclusively Michigan brigade..
This morning when I awoke I found
a large body of cavalry passing by our camp
and going in the direction of James City and
Madison C.H. They returned this afternoon
Havens Letter: April 28 1864 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: April 28 1864
Havens Letter: April 28 1864

having failed to discover that large body of
rebs reported for so long as being in that neighborhood
They found a few pickets and captured fifteen of them
hard looking [illegible in original] they were too. One of our men was
shot in the foot. the only casualty I have heard onour
side. It is reported that old “Moseby” pitched into
some infantry near Warrenton Village one day last
week and got most gloriously whaled. It is also report
ed that sixty deserters came into our lines the next
night. I did’n’t see any of them however.
They are now busy making out our pay rolls
and muster rolls for March and April and we
may possibly get our pay before much of a
move will be made. Some think a move will
be made soon others think not. I think we’ll
move when Gen Grant thinks it best and tells
us to. and then you’ll know it most as quick as
I will I was somewhat surprised last night
to receive a letter from Aunt Mary. She wrote
that all were well and also sent me some news
which I presume you already know.
It seems by [Love’s?] letter that Father is
doing wonders this spring. walking all over
the country. I wish I could send him
my horse to ride. He could go around as much
as he chose and with as much ease as though
he sat in his big arm chair I am well
as usual and this will find all of the same
and that next time I write three letters
at once it will find you in better humor
As ever yours
Edwin R Havens
Direct as usual

Contact us with Questions or Comments