Edwin R. Havens Papers (c.00016)
The Edwin Havens Papers consist of letters and diaries written by Havens while serving in the 7th Michigan Cavalry during the Civil War. Edwin Ruthvens Havens was born at Stafford, New York on May 25, 1842. His family later moved to Michigan in 1851, settling in Niles Township. As a young man, Havens taught in the district schools of Berrien County. In September 1862, Havens enlisted in the 7th Michigan Cavalry Regiment as a Sergeant. The letters of 1862 concern the training period of the regiment at Camp Kellogg, Grand Rapids, Michigan. In February of 1863, the regiment was sent to Washington, D.C., and was later involved in campaigns at Gettysburg, Richmond, Petersburg, and the Shenandoah Valley. Havens' letters contain details of important battles, as well as the day-to-day life of the Civil War soldier. Descriptions of such notables as Ulysses S. Grant, George Meade, George Armstrong Custer, John Mosby, and Jubal Early are especially interesting. After the war, Haven was transferred to the West where he was stationed at Virginia Dale, Colorado Territory. On December 15, 1865 the regiment was mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and Havens returned home to Michigan. In 1888, he became an employee of the State Lands Division and retired in 1929 as the chief of the department. He died in Lansing on August 25, 1931 following a lingering illness. Havens wrote several articles about his civil war experiences based on his letters and diaries. These included "Cherries", Michigan History Magazine, Vol. III, 1919; "The Mysterious Rebel of Gettysburg", Michigan History Magazine, Vol IV, 1920; "How Mosby Destroyed The Train", Michigan History, Vol 14, 1930; and "You May Keep The Plate", Twice Told Tales of Michigan and Her Soldiers in the Civil War. Many of the letters in the Havens collection are to/ from his younger brother Nelson (Nel). Furthermore, some of the letters in the Havens collection are to/ from Irenus McGowan. The McGowan collection on this website features many more letters regarding Edwin and Nell Havens.
Additional images of Edwin Havens can be found on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tikill70/sets/72157630271344734/. A history of the Seventh Regiment is available online here by Asa Isham: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015008262811&view=1up&seq=1&skin=2021. A copy of the Personal and historical sketches and facial history of and by members of the Seventh regiment Michigan volunteer cavalry, 1862-1865. Comp. by William O. Lee is available here: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015008262647&view=1up&seq=6&skin=2021.
Subsequent material was donated to this collection by a descendant. These records include photographs and other materials dealing with his receiving his pension.