West Point, N.Y.
June 11, 1861
My dear Sisters,
Ellie's letter of the 9th came today. Harry's last Saturday week; one from Jim in the meantime, from Washington announcing the death of William Coleman on the 24th of last month. Sad news under any circumstances but doubly so, under the present, when every one feels the depressing influence from the sorrowful conditions of our recently so happy and prosperous country. Who would have believed when I came here last September and found Mr. Jeff Davis here labouring with a committee of Congress and civilians to re-organize the Academy, our National School! whose sons never, until the seeds sown by his parricidal hand had filled it with the poisonous weed of secession, had known any other allegiance than that one to the Whole Country, or worshipped any other flag than that which has waved over our youthful hopes and aspirations and under which we marched so friendly in our boyish days-- "Who!" I say, could have believed that he was then brooding over his systematic plans for dis-organizing the whole Country. The depth of his treachery has not been plumbed yet, but it will be!
I have heard nothing of my promotion officially. In fact, nothing beyond what I am bound to hear and can form no idea as to what effect it will have in my position here, tho' I can hardly think they will let me remain if I am put into the new Artillery Regt., it will want all its officers.
Your letters contain gratifying news of Will's improved condition, which is some consolation amid the discouraging public affairs tho' I doubt if anyone in Washington will think, or have time to think, of him when so many engrossing things are pressing and being pressed upon them. Does his office expire by limitation? Or is he subject to removal? If the latter, I think he has not much to fear.
We are now fairly in the middle of our examinations and are very busy--will be so for a week or ten days to come. I have not time to write you a long letter. With my love to all. Tell Harry that in the midst of duty and time taken up by the Board of Visitors, to say nothing of the feminine Visitors. I must make his answer out of this--I am grateful to know that the books were useful, and that his Company promises to be equally so and that without leaving home for the present. Anything ever I can do for him he had not hesitate to ask and thank his offer of kind services for me.
John F. Reynolds
Miss Ellie Reynolds