Ft. Leavenworth, K.T.

May 6th 1858


My dear Sister,

We reached this place, after a very pleasant and rather expeditious trip, last Sunday week.  We find everybody busy with preparations for the move but no one here as yet to order the movements to commence.  I think, however, the 15th of the month will see us all finally much in route over the plains.  I have of course been very busy with my Company, have 77 horses and 86 men to start with, but will take no artillery out with me.

This is quite a busy place you may imagine.  Horses, mules, oxen, & teams going all day long.  Everyone here seems to be looking after Uncle Sam’s money and appear to care very little about his Congress or what legislation may be in store for them, tho’ it is true Leavenworth has ever been much mixed up in the political doings or miss doings [sic] of the Territory.  Speculation seems to possess everyone here, and the most inflated prices are asked for lots in town, which is situated just beyond the Genl. reserve and near where in ’54 I encamped when not the sign of a house was visible or anything like cultivation probably for many years; at least it seemed so to me then.  It is now at the height of its prosperity and I think is doomed to have a smash of some kind.  Things cannot be kept up in this unnatural state a great while.  When admitted as a state and the troops removed from the territory I really cannot see what is to make [their market as their?] advantages over many other places in Missouri & Illinois that people leave behind them beautiful spots too, for cultivation, land just as good for farming, tho’ passed (almost all of it) out of government possession into other speculator’s hands, and held at some fictitiously high prices, somewhat higher than govt. land in this part of the country.  I have not time to write much—[and?] have no particular news.  My books came safely and I am much obliged to somebody, I don’t know who; it was not directed in Jim’s hand.  I am glad Lucinda sold as well as it did.  If Sam or anyone has money for me I wish it put in some safe and good stocks and given to you and Hal, for your joint use of the interest.

With much love to all a home.

Believe me,

Your affectionate Brother,

John F. Reynolds


Miss Ellie Reynolds,

         Baltimore, Md.