Camp on Deep Creek
May 14th 1855
My dear Sister,
We are now fairly on our way to California, having bid the Mormons good bye some weeks ago, and have been proceeding very slowly & ________ since to give the grass time to make its appearance on our descent [decent?] route. When the mail which we had given up all hopes of receiving was brought into Camp today to the delight of everybody; by it I read your letter of March 15th for which you have my sincere thanks, and was delighted to hear such favorable accounts of all at home.
Col. Steptoe is still with us and it is hardly probable that he will accept the office of Gov. of Utah, as he has since been app’d Maj. in one of the new Inf’y Regts. Bragg a Major in one of the cavalry. B’s acceptance will promote me to his Company—a Light Battery—the very thing of all others that I wish for—by my services in that arm, and I trust my reputation in the Army, I have every claim to this particular Company, tho’ the regulations give to the Secretary of War the right to select the Captains for their Comps. This was intended to provide for ____ in which an officer might be promoted to them who was notoriously unfit for that service. I wish therefore Jim would write to Col. Freeman and find out whether I am to have that Comp. or not, or if Mr. Davis has any friend in the Reg’t whom he might be disposed to favor. If so he might get some of his political friends to go to him and simply state my services, and remind him how last year he did me a great injustice when in the face of my military recommendation he overlooked my application and services when he app’d my junior Capt. Kilburn to the Commissary Dep’t.
I shall be very much tempted to resign if I am treated unjustly this time.
I have written this on my knees in great hurry to send back to each, take by the express man who brought out our mail. Everyone must excuse this scrawl.
We are now about 120 ord miles from Salt Lake and have [nearly?] ___ 25 weeks to reach Sacramento City, which we hope to do by the 15th of July at the farthest that I suppose will be the end of our land journey. Where we go then is a matter of some doubt yet. If I am promoted to Bragg’s Comp. of course I will join it at Ft. Washita and may be at home next fall.
Give my love to Aunt & all at home, the others when you write & believe me, ever your affectionate
Brother, John F. Reynolds