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Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2)

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: June 5, 1864
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 23
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 23
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2), Page: 1

Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2)
Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2)

June 5th 1864

Dear Mother
As I have been writing
to Nell I will send you a few lines
in reply to yours received at the
same time I wrote a short note
in pencil from Bottom Bridge
night before last and thought I
would write more yesterday. but
early yesterday morning we got
orders to move and were on the
road until nearly night. I dont
know what is the reasons we have’nt
moved this morning but presume
it is because there is no place for
us to go. at any rate to the front.
and you Know Gen Grant nevers moves
back. But it really looks as though
we had got to the jumping off place
but [when?] studying whether to jump off
or not.
Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2), Page: 2

Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2)
Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2)

It is dark and lowery and we
have had a few slight showers this
morning and I have been up so
long (ever since seven. and it is now eleven)
that. I am beginning to get drowsy
and sleepy..
Since writing you from Fredericks
burg we have done considerable hard
marching.. and passed through much
new country. which has generally been
better than any we have before seen.
The old planters who used to own
the country through which we have
passed must have been very wealthy
in land. money and everything
that a man thinks he needs to
make him happy in this world.
The houses are larger and more
handsome. and the out buildings
such as negro quarters barns store
houses and every such things. more
numerous than in North East
Va.
Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2), Page: 3

Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2)
Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2)


Many of these have made
a larger and handsomer village
than Stevensburg. and many other
villages that we have passed through
since we came to Virginia. We have
seen many pretty little villages also.
such as Bowling Green. Elliott. New
town and others.. We are now amid
the swamps of the Chickahominy
where McClellan got stuck
two years ago and have passed
the graves of some who fell during
the campaign of May and June
1862.. I have no fear however
that Gen Grant will meet with
any such disaster. but beleive that
I shall have achance of seeing
Richmond before the 1st of August.
and when that is accomplished
I shall be snaking up my mouth
for some of Mother’s biscuit and
butter soon. I verily beleive that
if alive I shall be home ere another
Spring. and before Christmas even
Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2), Page: 4

Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2)
Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2)

I was much amused by your question
as to what made me like Virginia so
well. I can not make you any very
good answer. for I hardly know myself.
Unless it be that I have become so accus
tomed to this kind of life and have been
so long here that every thing seems so
much like home that it is second
nature.. I like the climate it is true.
and I do not beleive it possible for
any one to endure in Michigan what
we endure here every day.. and this I
think about the only good reason
As to some “Planters pretty daughter.
or sick widow with twenty slaves”
I plead not guilty.. I have never
seen one yet in Va that I thought
would do for me. I do not know why
it is. but every young person. that
is less than 30 years of age. that I
have seen seems tainted with negro
blood. We do not see the bright blue
eyes – fair hair and rosy cheeks. here
that we do in the north. The eyes
are black or if any other color are dead
and without expression. The hair. coal
black. or red. and the cheeks of a dull
ashy color. or decidedly shady. and
no more capable of a flush than
this paper. But once in Va have I seen
light brown hair . sparkling blue eyes
and rosey cheeks. and little graceful
form. and that was in Fredericksburg.
So you need never look for a Va
lady for a Mother in daughter
in law.. I shall bring home a Penn
dutch girl and bake oven.
Depend on that
Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2), Page: 5

Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2)
Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2)

The northern copperheads or
democrats may spout of amalga
mation all they will and call
us “Black Republicans Nigger
Worshippers” or “Abolitionists” but
if they want to see Amalgama
tions or Nigger equality let them
come to the “Sacred Soil” and they
can find it in all its beauty..
I have seen slaves whiter than
their masters and mistresses..
and one girl who was with us
a few days had a sister in her
masters family. But these are all
old stories that have been [illegible in original]
repeated times without number
and will be for years to come.
We hear that a man belonging
to our company who was taken
prisoner last October has died
Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2), Page: 6

Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2)
Havens Letter: June 5 1864 (2)

on Belle Island. His name
was Lang. and I have often spoken
to you of him as claiming to be
in someway related to your relatives
in Fredonia and Dunkirk.
I received a letter from Aunt
Jeannette a few days ago. She was
looking forward to warm weather
to give her a respite from the suffering
she endures in cold weather.. I shall
not be surprised to hear at any time
that she is no more. Helen writes
often and always cheerfully.
She certainly seems to be the hap
piest person I ever knew.
I received a letter from Cousin
Eliza at Fredericksburg. I have
not heard from Isom for a long
time.. I hope this may find
both you and Father in better
health than when you last wrote
and that you will answer imme
diately. Affectionately Yours. Ed

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