Direct all your letters hereafter to Camp Floyd, Utah Territory, via Salt Lake City
Camp Floyd, U.T.
Sept. 25th 1858
My dear Sisters,
I wrote you a hasty line while we were at Laramie, since which time I have had no letter from you until our arrival yesterday at the termination of our long journey, when I found your letter, no. 4, of the 28th of July & the papers enclosed in it and also the “Times,” for which I owe many thanks. Your letter of the 8th by Mr. [Hockaday?] has not been received yet. When did you meet him? I know him very well, but think he has not reached Salt Lake City yet. He is the mail contractor & has probably delayed along the road.
I am now encamped with my Battery in the Camp of Genl. Johnston, and begin to feel at home already. Glad that our trip, a tedious one, and not very well managed, is over. Reno’s Battery that you saw mentioned is the Battery that is now mine. He is an ordnance officer in the staff & therefore not entitled to command troops. He had no right in law to the Battery, while I was by law made Lt, Artillery (illegally deprived of my right by Mr. Davis) and therefore I claimed this Battery, which I have now the pleasure of being encamped behind. Our horses are to be turned over in a few days to the Qr. Masters Dept. to winter for us and we are to go to work and build quarters for ourselves of adobes (a sun dried brick), which will require us to work pretty rapidly to finish before the winter sets in, but will be quite comfortable.
The mail is just in & brought Ellie’s letter of the 8th of [Aug.?] (No. 5). The letter (No. [5?]) sent by Mr. [Hockaday?] is yet to arrive. I am glad to hear that you are all in so flourishing a condition from Sam down to little Reynolds. Will’s account of his leg is quite professional. (I do no mean nautical but that of surgery). I have spent $125 out of my own pocket for the Company, which I wish to make up out of the interest on the St. Louis bond, and if you & Ellie do not want the money, get Harry to put the 30.00 to my tailors in N.Y. Richardson, Spence, & Thomson, No. 156 (I think) Broadway, N.Y. [near Bube’s?] Hat Store & get a receipt. Should you want it use it as well as the interest on the bonds, &c. of my own. My pay will be more than I shall spend here, tho’ it is expensive living: eggs & butter, 50 c; potatoes, $2.00; &c., & my family consists of 2 scouts, 1 horse, two mules, “Duke” (who by the way has just reminded me of him, by a howl, having trod on his tail), & myself. Oats [at?] $2.00 a bushel; & hay, $20 a ton so the animal part of the household will prove very expensive. “Duke” was the [gentleman?] on the road, having ridden all the way from [Leavenworth?] in my carriage. I do not know what will be done in the spring with the Army here. It will be a great cost to the Govt. to maintain so large a force as we have at present in this Territory. 3 Regt. of Infy., 1 of Cavalry, and 2 Lt. Batteries, and yet this question of the Mormons ought be settled now & forever. I would like to go east next year with my Battery but of course if it does not go, I will not leave it.
You can tell Will when you write that Dr. Milhan of whom he enquires, served with me in Oregon & is a very promising member of the medical profession in the Army. I liked him very much & saw him at Leavenworth. When we reached there that spring for a few days he was on duty with the 6th Regt. of Infantry and marched with them on their expedition, theirs being the first column of the Utah Forces & taking the new route to Bridger, leaving Laramie to the north, and passing the Rocky Mts. at the “Cheyenne” Pass, they were in ________ of the turn of events here, and the unfortunate affair of Col. [Slepter?] in Oregon, ordered to proceed on to California by way of San Francisco, he of course went with them. They took the Oregon Road from Bridger, did not pass through Salt Lake City, & were last heard from beyond the “_____ _____ Mts.,” expected to reach California in good _____, so here you have pretty much his history.
Love to all & write soon again. Thanks for the newspaper slips.
Your affectionate Brother,
John F. Reynolds
Miss H.S. Reynolds