HENRY "HARRY" CLAY HAVENS
FIRST SERGEANT, "F" COMPANY
1ST. BRIGADE, 3RD DIVISION,
14TH. NEW JERSEY VOLUNTEERS
by GENE E. DONATIELLO
The troops of the 14th New Jersey Volunteer Regiment
were aroused from their position on the Petersburg, Virginia line early
Wednesday morning July 6, 1864. The 14th marched that morning to
City Point where they, along with the 87th Pennsylvania and the 151st New
York, boarded the steamers Columbia and Sylvan Shore. Thursday evening
July 7th the steamers docked at Locust Point near Baltimore, Maryland.
From there the men boarded the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for a trip to
Frederick, Maryland arriving there mid-morning Friday, July 8th.
The 14th. New Jersey Regiment had arrived at the Monocacy River in western
Maryland, a place they had left fourteen months earlier. Their job
now was to intercept Confederate forces lead by Lieutenant General Jubal
Early as they advanced on Washington, D.C.
Confederate Commander Jubal Early, under orders
from Robert E. Lee, drove the Union forces commanded by David Hunter out
of Lynchburg, Virginia. Hunter led his troops in a withdrawal into
West Virginia leaving an opening for Early to head east for a bold raid
on Washington, D.C. Positioned between Early and Washington were the forces
of Major General Lew Wallace ready to defend Washington at the stone bridge
over the Monocacy River a few miles east of Frederick, Maryland and only
35 miles from Washington. Amongs Wallace's command were the 14th
New Jersey Volunteer Regiment.
Upon arriving at Frederick, Early demanded $200.000
in cash from the townspeople or he would burn the town down to the ground.
The townspeople asked for time to raise the money. This delaying
tactic would eventually work to their advantage because, at 9AM on Saturday
July 9, 1864 fighting would break out in a wheat field on the west side
of Monocacy River distracting Early. The battle did not go well for
the Union forces. The 14th New Jersey Regiment would join the battle
about 3PM that afternoon. About that time the Union Forces, outnumbered
14,000 to 6,050, disengaged the enemy and were falling back in a fighting withdrawal.
Their valiant effort that day delayed Early's advance long enough for reinforcements
to arrive and turn back Early's advance on Washington. The Battle of Monocacy
had saved Washington from certain capture and was the last major offensive
by the Confederacy into the North.
Monocacy Battlefield, Maryland
On April 21, 1864, Henry wrote to his brother H. C. Havens, from Brandy
Station Virginia, that "everything is quiet in camp" and that on Monday
the 18th the 6th Corps. was reviewed by Lietenant General U. S. Grant,
"the hero of Vicksburg". By the time of the Battle of Monocacy on
July 9, 1864, Henry had participated in guard duty at Frederick Junction,
the Mine run campaign, Locust Grove and the Battle of Cold Harbor.
He was an experienced soldier and had risen to the rank of First Sergeant.
It was at the Battle of Monocacy that this verteran became one of 1,880
casualties. Listed as missing, presumed killed in action, Henry was
most likely buried in a mass grave with other unknown soldiers. Back
Home in Burrsville, mother Anna, distraught by the news of her son death,
took the family wagon and went to the Monocacy Battlefield to search for
her son, but it was to no avail. Today the battlefield is a National
site and there is a granite monument to the 14th New Jersey Regiment.
Sgt, Henry "Harry"Clay Havens
||Amongst the 14th New Jersey Volunteers was F Companys's 20 year old
First Sergeant Henry "Harry" Clay Havens, who grew up, along with his three
brothers John, G. W. Abraham, Horatio and two sisters, Sarah and Emily, in
the Burrsville(Laurelton) section of Brick Township, New Jersey.
Henry's father Abraham O. S. Havens died in October of 1854 leaving
his wife Anna to raise the children. Henry's bothers and brother-in-law
were the proprietors of Havens' Brothers General Store in Burrsville.
In 1862, when President Lincoln's call went out for volunteers to fight
in the War Between the States, Henry volunteered on August 15th and was
mustered in on August 26, 1862, at Camp Vredenburgh, west of Freehold,
New Jersey, with the rest of the 14th Regiment. .
Monument at Monocacy, Maryland to the 14th
New Jersey Volunteer Regiment
||The descendants of Henry "Harry" Clay Havens, have placed a memorial
marker in the family plot in the cemetery of the First Babptist Church
of Laurelton, Brick Township, New Jersey, as a reminder of a family member
lost in a war to preserve a nation.
Bilby, Joseph. Military Images, 9 July 1864. May-June 1980. p.8
Click Photo for a large image
|This book by Gene Donatiello is available in the Lizzie
Herbert Store located at the Havens Homestead Museum
Boatner, Mark M. III. The Civil War Dictionary.
Havens, Henry C. The Havens Family Genealogy. Trenton, New Jersey:
Phillips & Godshalk Co. Painters, 1933.
Historical Times. New York: Harper and Rowe Publishers, 1986
The Pageant of America. Toronto, Canada: United States Publishing
Salter, Edwin. History of Monmouth and Ocean Counties New Jersey.
E. Gardner and Sons, 1890
War of Rebellion. Official Records of the Union and Confederate
Armies. Series I, Vol. XXXVIII, Part 1.
Letter from Harry C. Havens to H. C. Havens from the collection of Walter
Photograph of Henry "Harry" C. Havens from the collection of Walter
Photograph of Monocacy Battlefield Mounument by Gene Donatiello
©2016 Brick Township Historical Society
P.O. Box 160
Brick, NJ 08723