June 4, 1862
My dear Sister,
Your letter from Lebanon is the last one which has reached me. I was very glad to learn you were enjoying your visit and were all well. The Events of the last week or two have so discouraged everything in relation to the campaign from this place, as to leave our Division occupying the north Bank of the Rappahannock with Guards at the Bridge & in town, over the Stores, &c. and myself as Mil’y Governor. Everything is quiet here and we are awaiting the turn of things in the Valley where Banks is operating, before the movement from here can amount to anything just as we are ready to start. The news of Banks’ disaster reached here and at the same time orders for all the command here, save our Division, to move in the direction of Front Royal and when Shields was ordered to us here I was afraid the very thing would take place. That has occurred, only I feared it might be more disastrous than it really was. The operations of the Dept. and Gvt., which I have seen something of lately has not tended to increase confidence in the Troops here: Stanton and The Presdt. have undertaken to conduct the war and taken it out of Gen’l McClellan's hands except as far as the operations of his own Army are concerned.—God grant us every success—but confidence in the Gen'l controlling the military movements and plans is very essential to give confidence to all who are operating with him. McClellan can take Richmond is he has force enough, the North are willing to give it & if it is not done it can only be by the blundering of the Gov't itself. God grant it may soon to be accomplished. The Corinth business looks suspicious and it is hard to make anything out of it—unless it be that a part of the forces under Van Dorn and Price are on their way to Richmond. Beauregard cannot be without gross lying but they would not hesitate at that to gain their ends. Secession is a word that has a very extended meaning and covers a multitude of sins. What if these people are made to answer for strictly. Will be an awful reckoning some day or other.
I have so much of my time occupied as to leave very little for writing anything. With much love to all.
Brother John F. Reynolds
Miss Ellie Reynolds