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Edwin R. Havens papers

Identifier: 00016

Scope and Contents

The Edwin Havens papers consist of letters and diaries written by Havens while serving in the Seventh Michigan Cavalry during the Civil War. 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.

Civil War related materials (Box 1 Folders 3-26, Box 2 Folders 1-16, Volumes 1-8) have been transcribed, scanned and placed online at


  • Creation: 1838 - 1926

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

Edwin R. Havens was born at Stafford, Genesee County, 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.

On September 1, 21862, Havens enlisted at Buchanan, Berrien County, Michigan in Company A of the Seventh Michigan Cavalry Regiment (Custer's Brigade) as a Sergeant. Havens was promoted to First Sergeant on October 25, 1863; and to Second Lieutenant on May 25, 1865.

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. Havens' final muster out and honorable discharge occurred in Detroit on December 28, 1865.

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.


0.66 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Gift of Roscoe Havens, transferred by the MSU Museum. Additional copies of originals donated by Tim Killam (2013).

Related Archival Materials

See also the Irenus McGowan papers (c.00160).

Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Edwin R. Havens Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US