Havens Letter: July 4 1864


Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: July 4, 1864
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Document
Collection Number: LC00016 – Havens Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 24
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 24
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Havens Letter: July 4 1864, Page: 1

Havens Letter: July 4 1864
Havens Letter: July 4 1864

Near [C?] Light House Point Va.
July 4th 1864

Well Nell.
What are you doing to spend
the “Fourth” I’d like to be there and see
From the tone of your last letter I might
be led to beleive that you were spending it in
a moping way at home: but I can hardly beleive
that you are so foolish as to do that. Perhaps you are
at work at something on the farm that may be
of benefit to you. If so I have nothing to say.
but it really seems to me that were I at home
to day I should be enjoying the amusements
afforded at some of the towns near at hand..
I received a letter from John Jarvis this
morning in which he spoke of a grand ball
at Buchanan to night. I hope you will go
I know I should were I there. and had
been at work as you have this summer.
A little harmless recreation at such a
time as this will hurt no one.
Havens Letter: July 4 1864, Page: 2

Havens Letter: July 4 1864
Havens Letter: July 4 1864

I have been looking for a few days past
for another letter from some of you but it has’n’t
come yet. I received a letter from Aunt Jeannette
a few days ago. the next day one from Cousin
Helen. and yesterday one from Cousin Eliza.
Aunt Jeannette spoke of her health in a more
discouraging tone than I have ever before known
her to. It is evident that she must be suffering
greatly. and I often think each letter must be
the last I will ever receive from her.. Cousin
Helen said her family were all well and both
complained very much of dry, hot weather. Eliza
wrote a good cheerful, lively and interesting
letter as usual. All were well there. The weather
she said had been very cold for some time
before the date of her letter (June 12th) and she
said they had two severe frosts on the nights of
the 10th and 11th.
Nell. I was talking of the “fourth” and for
got to say how it was going off in this part
of Christendom. In the first place it has been
the most comfortable day we have seen in
a month. The morning was cool. cloudy
and seemed to promise a little rain; but

Havens Letter: July 4 1864, Page: 3

Havens Letter: July 4 1864
Havens Letter: July 4 1864

the rain has thus far “failed to connect” and
the dust is more than awful. Everything is
quiet towards the front, and many conjecture
that Petersburgh is another “Fourth of July” as
Vicksburg and Gettysburg were but I know
nothing concerning the case. The vessels ^ the river
came out this morning with the Red. White and Blue”
flying from every masthead and flagstaff. and
the river near the landing has been a very forest.
of “Stars and Stripes” This is the first time I have
ever seen the National colors displayed on board
our vessels. with the exception of the gunboats in
the late action at White House. At noon the
gunboats and forts at City Point fired a salute
and this is all the notice I have seen taken of the
day. excepting by some few of the soldiers who have
enough of the “needful” to purchase a canteen of whiskey
with. and who are bound to have a “Fourth” any
way.. The whole corps is now taking a rest. and
have been in camp near this point since night
before last. Our brigade lies about a mile and a
half from here. and has a fine healthy locality
and I hope may be allowed to enjoy it for some
time. Light House Point is about two miles below
Havens Letter: July 4 1864, Page: 4

Havens Letter: July 4 1864
Havens Letter: July 4 1864

City Point by the course of the river but can not
be reached by teams without going a distance of four
or five miles. It takes its name from a light house
built upon a point or bar which projects from a bend in
the river. The country is more hilly than is usual so near
the banks of this river but is as good land as I have seen
in Va. We have excellent water here too another great
desideratum for a camp Black Cherries are quite plenty a short
distance from here. It is thought by some that we shall
remain here until after we receive our pay. We mustered
a few days ago for four months pay and if we get it: it will prove
quite a Godsend to us. Some few men always manage to keep
money by them. but the majority of the soldiers have been out of
money for months. and as for myself. I am much in the same
fix as the fellow who said that he had been out of money
so long that it made his head ache “fit to split” when he tried
to recollect how a dollar looked.. A few Sutlers have come
out to the army and had the men any money they would reap
a rich harvest. but as it is sales are slow.
Many of the men who have been dismounted during
the present campaign received horses at City Point and have
joined the command. Wm Graham has returned to the company
also John Alexander and Chit. Calvin. Niel Sparks has been detailed
from the dismounted squadron, where he has been since breaking
camp at Culpepper.. to work in the corps hospital. John Alexander
is getting roughened to it and looks fatter than I have seen
him before. Wm Graham is rough and hearty and feels his
oats as usual. He is now acting 1st Sergt of the company.
I assisted them about making out their muster and Pay rolls
for May and June at Wind Mill Point. and today I made them
a visit and soon found myself busy helping them about some
other papers they were making out. As long as they remain
in camp they will have enough business to see or to keep four
or five men busy all of the time. During these long campaigns
much important business is necessarily neglected and as soon
as they arrive in camp all this has to be cleared up..
I should dread to be a Regt Adjs or Adjs Gen on some Gens
Staff at such a time as this. Did I ever tell you that the Adjs
Gen. of our brigade was captured during the fight at Trevillion
Station (see Pavilion in one of my former letters) He was a splendid
fellow and always followed Gen Custer.. wherever he went..
But I must close as I have let off a goodly share of
the “gas” that has been wanting a vent for two or three days
I have a large number of letters to write to others, but circum
stances refuse to allow me to do so at present. Tell John
I was very glad to hear from him and will answer as soon as
possible. Hoping that you are enjoying yourself hugely. notwithstanding
your complaints. and that this will find all in “bully” condition
I remain Your Affectionate Brother Edwin R Havens
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