San Francisco, Cal.

November 1st 1855


My dear Ellie,

I have rec’d your [two?] letters enclosed to the care of Lt. [Ninde?], and tho’ not very late dates were very welcome ones.  I left Ft. Yuma last month on my way to join my Company at Ft. Orford, Oregon and reached this place a week ago today, having just missed Will & Becky, for which I am extremely sorry as I fully expected from what I had heard that I would be here in time to misit them.  I went up to Benicia last week and returned yesterday evening.  A week ago tonight I was at the theater and met Mr. & Mrs. Baker there; Mrs. B. looking as well as I ever had seen her.  [Imagine?] how shocked I was on my return to the City last night to see a notice of her sudden death.  I have just returned from the funeral.  I saw Mr. B.; he was in great distress of course but he told me some of the particulars of her illness which was first apparent on [Thursday?] last, & showed me a letter from Becky written to Mrs. B. after their arrival at Panama.  It was anything but encouraging to Be[cky] & Will.  I thought, & still think Will has made a great mistake in leaving the Islands.  Poor Mrs. B. even read the letter; they got it on Tuesday and she died on Wednesday morning.  The Dr. pronounced her disease cholera.  I promised Mr. B. to write to Kate by this steamer, but as I do not remember her directions distinctly, and would have to overhaul my trunks to find it I write to you.

The funeral took place from the house of Lt. Beale, late of this [May?] and the attendance was very large and a great deal of feeling manifested on the occasion.

I manage to scrawl this in my ____ ____  I have very little or ____________ for writing.

Give my love to all at home & when you write, & believe me ever,

Your affectionate Brother,

John F. Reynolds


Miss Ellie Reynolds

         Lancaster, Pa.

         I leave on Monday next at the furthest for my fort on the Oregon Boat, and will write at length by the next steamer.