West Point, N.Y.

Dec. 10th 1860


My dear Sister,

Your letter from Balt. came with its enclosures, in due season, as well as the one from Phila. of Oct. 28th; the latter containing several items of news to me.  I had only heard that amongst the numerous applications for the place of Commdt. here, my name was mentioned and decided upon after the failure to settle upon any of the applicants.  I am of course very much gratified to learn that Mr. B. remembered me at all.

How can anything of the kind you mention have gotten into the papers?!  Did you see it?  And what was the nature of it?  How much such reports must annoy Miss. H. tho’ I suppose she is pretty [worried w/?] the newspapers, parading her daily movements, life, &c. to be much surprised at their finding her _____ in ________.

I am so glad Kate’s furs were made to suit her.  _______ is a _______ of the nicest kind.  I have [however?] had mine made up very nicely by [Lasak & Sons?].  I find them very useful now just at this time.  When in N.Y. the other day I saw Mrs. A___, Miss Sarah, Will & his wife; took lunch with them.  They were well, except Will, who, tho’ they were somewhat alarmed about him, picked up so much in the few days just before I saw him, as to relieve them greatly of their anxiety about him.  [Will?] rode up with me in the carriage to the depot on 3rd St.  He is greatly [annoyed?] about Jim’s not having his “will” made & [wrote?] him to either do it, or send him back his papers so that he could have it done in N.Y. or elsewhere himself.  I wrote to Jim after my return here to urge him to one course the other; whether he has done anything I have not heard since, but Will is really so unwell as to make it a matter of the most vital importance to [him?] & his family that this business should be attended to at once.  He & his wife left N.Y. for Phila. the Thursday before Thanksgiving, which Mrs. A. & Miss Sarah spent up here with Mrs. [Mahan?].  They had not heard from them (Will C. & his wife) since they left N.Y. at that time.

I am very sorry to say that I shall have to disappoint you all at Christmas, but the superintendent will not allow any of the offr. on duty with cadets to leave during the holidays & in Jan. the semi-annual examination commences.  In fact the position of Comdt. here is no sinecure I can assure you, & it will take all the time and energy of anyone to do justice to it, as the duties are now arranged.

Will’s [income?] of pay comes very opportunely to himself & Becky & the idea of getting new clothes seems to be as great an affair to them as when Will got his middy uniform, or B. her first [bonnet?].  When you write to Jenny tell her to give my kind remembrances to Mrs. [Barren?], Mrs. _____ & Mrs. Gillman.  I do not know when I shall be able to get there to see them.  What are they to do in event of their state leaving the Union?  We are not without feeling the effects here of the unsettled state of the country & can only be hopeful as to the termination of this fearful state of affairs in the ridding Congress & the country forever of that baneful subject, slavery.  How is this state of things affecting you in Phila. & [Lancaster?] & [Georgian?] Balt.?  Your friend Miss [Lylehunt?] is here.  I have leave to call on them only since they went to housekeeping.  I am living at the mess, tho’ I bought the parlor furniture, &c. ________ from Col. H. when he left, so I had no trouble in getting into my qrs. at once as soon as they left.

Love to all & believe me.

Your affectionate [Brother],

J.F. Reynolds