Ft. Orford, O.T.
January 11th 1856
My dear Sister,
I have at length succeeded in reaching my Company & fort. After my adventurous trip in the steamer “California,” I wrote you a few lines from Benicia, where I was detained a week or two on a board ordered to examine the new appointments in the Reg’t.
I found your letter of Dec. 3rd from Baltimore on my arrival here, and was very glad to learn the news from home, &c. I was in San Francisco at the time of Mrs. Baker’s death, saw her a few days before, and attended her funeral, tho’ I mentioned this in my letter to one of you at the time. She had rec’d a letter from Be[cky] at Panama which she never read. Mr. B. showed it to me; it was a very sudden blow to him, and her sisters too, no doubt.
I have my hands full at present in taking charge of the fort, and have not time to write but a few lines at this mail. Ft. Orford is quite a small place—a few miles south of Cape Blanco the most westerly point on the coast except probably Cape Flattery so you see, I am about as far away as we can [will?] get—however I prefer it Yuma. The climate is healthy & pleasant enough in the summer. At present we are in the midst of the rainy season, and it is impossible to get off the coast on the interior. The country around us is mountainous & entirely a mining region—at one time quite extensive operations were carried on but latterly, it has dwindled away to almost nothing. We have the steamer & the mails twice a month from San Francisco which prevents me being entirely out of the world.
Tell Jim I expected to hear from him as whether he had done anything in the way of securing the promise of Mr. Davis to give me the light Co. of the Reg’t in case Bragg resigns, which I understand he will do in February next. I hope he has not neglected it. Tell him to write at once.
Give my love to all at home and believe me,
Brother, John F. Reynolds
Miss Ellie Reynolds,