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Havens Letter: July 17 1864

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Creator: Edwin R. Havens
Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Date: July 17, 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 17 1864 , Page: 1

Havens Letter: July 17 1864
Havens Letter: July 17 1864

Light House Point Va
July 17th 1864

Dear Nell
Yours of the 10th came
to hand last evening and while
sitting here listening to the “patter
of the soft rain overhead” I will
hurriedly scratch off a few lines
in reply.. We are having a blessing
in the shape of a “right smart” shower
Its none of your hurrying. bluster
ing storms such as we might expect
after nearly two months dry weather
but comes down as quietly and
easily as any one could wish to
see it. Then too, we have just
received another blessing; namely
“Green Backs” Our pay master
arrived here on Saturday evening
last and immediately proceeded
Havens Letter: July 17 1864 , Page: 2

Havens Letter: July 17 1864
Havens Letter: July 17 1864

Light House Point Va
July 17th 1864

Dear Nell
Yours of the 10th came
to hand last evening and while
sitting here listening to the “patter
of the soft rain overhead” I will
hurriedly scratch off a few lines
in reply.. We are having a blessing
in the shape of a “right smart” shower
Its none of your hurrying. bluster
ing storms such as we might expect
after nearly two months dry weather
but comes down as quietly and
easily as any one could wish to
see it. Then too, we have just
received another blessing; namely
“Green Backs” Our pay master
arrived here on Saturday evening
last and immediately proceeded
Havens Letter: July 17 1864 , Page: 3

Havens Letter: July 17 1864
Havens Letter: July 17 1864

There is nothing new
from Petersburg. Everything
is quiet and we can scarcely
hear a gun from any direction
A few nights ago. a small
force of cavalry with one or two
pieces of artillery made their
appearance on the opposite side
of the river near Harrison’s
Landing (which is about a mile
and a half below. Light House
Point) and commenced pitching
a few shells at some of our trans
ports that were passing. One of our
gunboats went down and for
more than an hour there was
very brisk cannonading. but the
Johnnies had to get back with
out doing much damage to either
gunboat or transports. Saturday
the rebs had got a battery
planted on Malvern Hill
Havens Letter: July 17 1864 , Page: 4

Havens Letter: July 17 1864
Havens Letter: July 17 1864

about five miles above here
and pitched into some of
our gunboats lying near
there and they had a pretty
sharp time till after noon
when as usual the rebs withdrew
This is about all the cannonading
I have heard since I wrote you last.
The third annual invasion
of Maryland is now reported over
and what do you think of its
results. I’ll tell you what I think
of it: I think it has been a little
the “biggest thing” of this years
campaign. Neither Kilpatricks
Sheridan’s or Wilson’s raids amoun
ted to anywhere near what that
has. They have sent a force over
a hundred miles from their main
army. plundered and burned and
destroyed what they chose and are
now on their way back with
all their plunder and in a very
fair way. to safely reach Lee’s
army with everything. To be sure
steps are now being taken to cap
ture what they can but in my
opinion that will be but a
little.
Havens Letter: July 17 1864 , Page: 5

Havens Letter: July 17 1864
Havens Letter: July 17 1864


They failed in one thing
only. that was an attempt
to induce Grant to abandon
the siege and protect the borders
of Maryland. I really don’t like
to see the farmers of any loyal
state suffer and yet I cant pity
them much either. I hope this
will arouse them into doing what
they ought to have done two years
ago – organize a State militia
to turn out under arms at a
moments notice to repel inva
sion. They might do consider
able towards saving their property
by taking this course. and as long
as they wont do it, why. let them
suffer.
The cavalry still remains
quiet doing nothing but picket
duty. Our brigade does picket

Havens Letter: July 17 1864 , Page: 6

Havens Letter: July 17 1864
Havens Letter: July 17 1864

out near King George’s Court
House about eight miles from
here. Both men and horses
are now well supplied with
everything they need. The govern
ment commissary’s furnish
us with many things never
before issued to the troops
while the Sanitary commission.
still adds considerable for
the benefit of the soldiers and
we have a good supply of potatos
and all other vegetables. The
other day we had some splen
did Krout. which made me think
of days when I “boarded [illegible in original]”
The Sutlers are beginning to
flock in again and the boys
can now have cakes. cheese.
canned fruit of all kinds. jellies
and many other luxuries, by
paying a fabulous price for them

Havens Letter: July 17 1864 , Page: 7

Havens Letter: July 17 1864
Havens Letter: July 17 1864


If the price paid for anything
here were taken as a standard of how
we lived it would be found that
we lived on the top shelf.. When one
sits down to a meal for which
he has paid four or five dollars
and after having eaten everything
gets up smacking his lips for more
you would think he certainly lived
high..
You speak of Charlie’s
being such a fine colt. I am
glad to hear it; But if you want
to see fine horses you want to come
to Va and “capture” some old citizen
colt.. They you’ll find one worth
having. I would like to take home
some horses that I know of just
to show the natives. I’ve got a ltitle
chestnut sorrel that money could
not buy if he was at home. and
he’s no great beauty either. but when
it comes to a long ride and a

Havens Letter: July 17 1864 , Page: 8

Havens Letter: July 17 1864
Havens Letter: July 17 1864


hard ride he’s always on hand.
can
I ^ jump over as high a fence or
wide a ditch as any bodys horse
or gallop him to City Point and
back as quick as anyone. When
I reenlist I’ll bring him home
and let you see him..
What has become of all the
folks in the Bend and else
where. Nobody gets any letters from
home at all. any more. Will. Al,
John and Chet. are all complaining
because they don’t get any letters.
Al. says if he can find out what wages
are there he’ll send home a days wages
and hire them to stop work one
day and write to him. If folks
are awful hard up there for money
and time we’ll get up a contribution
and send. them so that they shant
lose any thing by taking time to
write us. Its darned pleasant to see
a bushel or two of mail come every
night and nothing for us once in
a lifetime. Write when you have
time. Ed

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