Fort Preble, Maine
August 5th 1849
My dear Hal,
Your letter arrived while I was away at Eastport on a Court Martial and I delayed writing until I could tell you positively when to expect me home. The news of [Issy’s?] death quite shocked me. I never supposed for a moment that she was seriously ill. What sorrow it must inflict upon her Sisters! When you write tell me some of the particulars of her illness?
I should have left here before this, but that I promised one of our officers to stand by him on a certain trying (or tiring) occasion—and I had expected that to delay me only [by this?] until the 15th of this month. But a few days since, Maj. Anderson received an order detailing him on a board—to report a system of Artillery tactics—which meets at West Point on the 20th [inst., Dec.?], which will prevent my Leaving here for the present. How long he will be away I can form no conjecture, but I think not very long. As soon as he returns you may expect to see me.
By last night’s Herald I see the “Alleghany’s” arrival at Washington all well. How happy he must be! I should like to be at home now, very much indeed. If Will & [Rebecca?] come any where near here, before I can leave, let me know and I’ll ___ on, and see them if possible.
Has Kate got back? I rec’d her letter just before I left for Eastport and did not answer it as she requested because I supposed she had returned by this time. I hope Lydia will be at home this fall, and then we may be all once more together.
The officer whose marriage I allude to is Lieut. Ayres of our Reg’t; the Lady is a Miss Dearborn, daughter of the Late Lt. Col. D. of the Army. He goes on leave for a month after the ceremony and when he returns I may be able to get my leave, tho’ it’s very uncertain.
It is probably as well I did not get my leave this summer as I could not have traveled much, for just when I wished to go north, the Colera is the worst. This place is remarkably healthy. No case of Colera has ever been known here. I suppose L. has been healthy.
Good night. Give my love to all. It is 1 o’clock and I have a pile of papers as high as my head on my table which I have just finished. So you see I have had writing enough for this day. Look carefully __ on the seal of the next letter I write. I intend to send you a Gold dollar, tho’ I suppose you have seen them before this.
Excuse this scrawl,
& believe me, ever your affectionate
Miss H.S. Reynolds