Havens Letter: June 16 1864


Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: June 16, 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 16 1864, Page: 1

Havens Letter: June 16 1864
Havens Letter: June 16 1864

White House Landing Va
June 16th 1864

Dear Nell
Your letter of the 8th came to hand
yesterday and having nothing better to do I thought I might as well
scratch off a few lines in answer. although I am so continually
writing that I see nothing new about which to write. I am getting
too lazy to enjoy good health.. or a moderate degree of good spirits
I could almost wish I were at home driving the plow through
the cornfield or assisting in the many other duties of farm
life. rather than lying here under this scorching sun doing nothing
but sleep and eat. day and night.. We have lain here for a week
now and know not that we may lay here as much longer
although we are expecting to move every day. It has been reported
that our cavalry was expected here each day since Sunday
and as soon as they arrive we expect to move from here, as
I have before written, to some point near the James river..
There is little left here excepting our train and a few troops. Every
thing else. hospitals. Quartermaster’s and commissary’s departments
have all left here. The large numbers of rebels that were here
a few days ago have now dwindled down into two gunboats.
three or four steamers and as many sailing craft, all the
rest have gone with stores. and troops to the point which is to be
made our new supply depot. I have rather much interest
in viewing the vessels that have arrived at and left his point
since we have been here. They have been of all sorts. from the smallest
craft that floats. up through the different grades of sail and steam
craft to large three masters and steamers capable of carrying
thousands of passengers. that is soldiers. each of whom requires no more
room above ground than is necessary to stow away his [carcase?]
and effects. The largest steamers I have seen were the New York
and Connecticut. The New York was a large three deck steamer
about 260 feet long on deck and in build and finish equal
Havens Letter: June 16 1864, Page: 2

Havens Letter: June 16 1864
Havens Letter: June 16 1864

to many of the first class of Ocean and Lake going vessels
There have been a great many government vessels..
June 21st
For some reason or other I stopped writing the other
day and did not con have an opportunity of writing
again till now. Yesterday morning we were attacked
by a considerable force of rebels and were hustled
out of camp double quick. We moved acrossd the
river and parked here out of range of their artillery
and still remain here. The attack commenced
in a dense fog soon after sunrise by a force of
cavalry charging upon our pickets and capturing a
number of cattle and about fifty men.. They seemed
to have a large force of cavalry but no artillery at
first and it was thence [two words illegible in original] they brought
any to bear on our camp. Their shells did no great
damage to any of the train but one battery of artillery
lost some forty horses. We had one regt of mounted
cavalry a brigade of colored troops. a large number of
dismounted men of cavalry and four or five hundred
Invalids two or three batteries of artillery
and three gun boats. The cavalry corps
has now come up and are pitching
into them. I must close as the mail
is just going out
Your Brother
E R Havens
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