Camp Pierpont, Va.
Oct. 22. 1861
My dear Sisters,
Your letter of the 18th reached me at Drainsville, to which place I had advanced with my Brigade for the purpose of making an "Armed Reconnaissance" of the country in that direction which we accomplished with only a Slight Skirmish between a detachment of the "Bucktails" (Col. Biddle's Regt.) under Lt. Col. Kane and a small party of the enemies' cavalry and vaulted as far as we know in the top of one near in the part of the enemy. No one hurt on our side. It proved some Louisiana cavalry.
We are not quite ready for a forward movement and will, I hope, wait until the leaves fall. My brigade is not well organized, I have only one aide de Campe yet, Lt. Lamborn from West Chester, Pa. and Capt. Kingsbury as my Adjt. Gen'l, Qr. Mr., and consentient. As yet I have here tho' in every day expectation of having them. Our march in advance has not lended to increase my confidence in the Vols. They plundered and marauded most outrageously and disgracefully, pure and properly, wherever the people had left. Of course it was stopped but not until great damage had been done. I see by the Phila. papers that great praise is given Gen'l McCall's division for being exempt from this stain upon our Army, our country, and our character. Do not believe a word of these accounts which must be written from here by some of the very scoundrels who were the leading characters in it. They plundered the persons in our vicinity in the most shameful way when we first got here. I have here an officer and three men in arrest under charges for their plundering at Drainesville and hope to have them hung if I can. I shall do all I can towards bringing up the level of my Brigade and when fully satisfied that it is hopeless I will try and get my Regt. which I know I can make soldiers of.
Col. Chas. Biddle (whom I suppose is a friend of Harry's) had his Regt. along with us under my orders and I am happy to say he has a totally different Regt. from the other Cols.--they are something like soldiers. His Regt. is the Bucktails and was considered the most unmanageable when raised but it has been brought discipline and they might be all made equally as good if the off’r were worth anything.
Excuse this hasty
scrawl & believe me your
John F. Reynolds
We left Saturday morning and returned to our Camp to the front of Langley Tavern near Lewisville yesterday (Monday). Your letter of the 18th with Kate's note I rec'd just before we started out. It had been sent by mistake to the Rooms of the Sanitary Commission, am saddened by it. I have not written for my things to be sent to you until today.