Camp Floyd, U.T.
May 11th 1859
My dear Sister,
The last mail brought your letter of Apr. 10th together with the package you sent by Mr. Hockaday. He did not come out last winter at all & must either have given it to someone to bring out, who put it in the P.O. at Kearny where it has been ever since, or mailed it there himself; so you can now understand why some of your ingeniousness not noticed by me. The letters were nice long ones. It is a pity they should have been so long astray. There has always been some part of the disagreement between you & Sam which I could not understand. I see it is alluded to in this missing letter, & also a slight revival of it in your last. I am sorry for this but suppose there never can be any cordiality between any of us and the wife S[am] has chosen. When he reflects, he must see this himself. If he had only [hinted?] his desire for a wife to some of you I think he could have done much better.
Miss Young, the notice of whose marriage you sent in the papers, is the veritable young lady you saw at Lt. [Gillems’?], at Ft. McH[enry?]. She is no relation of theirs, I believe, only afraid Mr. English & Mrs. [Gillems?] are sisters; they were Miss Jones’ of Hampton, Va.
Tell Harry it is no great matter about the reel. If he cannot chance to fall upon some one coming out here, not to put himself to any trouble about it. I have been able to procure one here, which will answer all my purposes.
There seems to be little chance of any of the Army leaving here this summer and, in fact, not a soldier should be allowed to leave this soil until this Mormon question is settled. Things are drawing to a [focus?] of some kind or other, I think, and we have a chance of asserting the dignity of the Govt. in this matter now, which will precipitate to a crisis one way or the other. The M[ormon] people should be either made to submit to the law, or to leave the country; the latter would be a good riddance.
They have at last aroused the loyalty of Gov. Cumming, who is out with a proclamation, calling upon the armed parties who are now in the mountains & canions [sic], guarding the fugitives from justice, to disband & return to their homes and usual [avocations?]. He is only too late, having his eyes opened or cleared from the dust with which he permitted them last fall to blind his vision. His action now will result in nothing, and we must await the authorities in Washington as to the future course to be taken. People in the States have heard such outrageous accounts that they are loath to believe them.
It is ___ _____ useless to keep the Army here unless the Govt. mean to take some steps to reclaim its jurisdiction over their portion of its Territory.
I have my horses & Battery in fine condition now and we are drilling & practicing every week, and have gone into gardening on a small scale, tho’ the Infantry Regts. are making quite a farm.
We have had two deaths among the officers here. One was quite a young officer, and very much respected by his Regt.; the other was not altogether unexpected.
Our mails are now beginning to assume some regularity which it is hoped they will preserve for a time at least.
Give my love to all & believe me.
Yours affectionate Brother,
John F. Reynolds
Miss Ellie Reynolds,