If you want his letter returned, let me know.
Camp Floyd, U.T.
February 3rd 1859
My dear Sisters,
I believe I am behind hand & owe you two letters. Your No. 9 of Oct. 31st I have answered. That of Dec 5th as also the one enclosing Be[ckie]’s letter (Dec. 19) I have to acknowledge now. Poor Will! I suppose he will require money to the end of his days. It is a great consolation to know that he suffers little pain and is so patient under affliction. I enjoyed Beckie’s letter very much—it is a veritable romans letter. You may ask, what do I know about them! Well, I don’t know much. Your news of Jim’s recent display of sociability is quite refreshing. I hope it won’t disagree with him, and the prospect of Lydia’s _______ in your neighborhood permanently is a subject of congratulation for us all. Will & I remain the only wanderers—tho’ I am afraid from the account of his leg his wanderings are somewhat stayed.
Our winter is fast wearing away and we are looking anxiously for spring, tho’ what we expect to gain by it one could not tell if asked the question. It is dreadfully monotonous here, and the season makes but little variation in our daily occupations.
One week ago today I got the horses of my Company back from the herd and such plight as they are in is enough to make one sick almost; if not sick at heart, sick of the service, such service at least as we have out here. The men are well enough off, and the horses might have been too, if they had been properly cared for. If I am lucky I expect to get them all through the winter until grass comes when they will [recruit?] very rapidly on the green “bunch grass” of these valleys. I am very glad to have the care of them again, as it gives me something to occupy myself about. My own animals & the other officer’s are in fine condition and fit for any service.
I forgot to acknowledge the receipt of one number of the “Illustrated London News,” which was quite acceptable & hope to receive it regularly, tho’ the paper mails are not much respected by our mail carriers. They throw them out at any of the stations along the road, whenever they think they have too much load, to be brought up when circumstances permit.
I hope you will find some one out who is destined for Utah next year in time to send out the reel. Mr. ____ is married I see to a lady in St. Louis. I forget the name tho’ I think it is Barricht.
Your news about John Weidman was quite unexpected, & hope his recovery is permanent.
Congress I suppose will accomplish very little this winter unless they should chance to pass the Pacific Rail Road bill, then I think they will have done enough. We have some hopes of a Retired bill for the Army, which we see has been repeated. It is almost too good a thing to be expected.
Give my love to all & kiss Reynolds for me. Tell him to take it off the blank space below this. I have not time to fill it—the [chores?] now.
Your affectionate Brother,
John F. Reynolds
Miss Ellie Reynolds,