Steamer "Cannonicus" York R.

June 10, 1862

 

My dear Ellie,

         We have just dropped anchor in York River, below West Point, having embarked in the Rappahannock yesterday morning.  Tomorrow we will be up at the White House when we march to join the Army before Richmond.  My brigade and Meade's will probably be there.  The 3rd Brigade will be detained for transportation.

         I have been for the past sixteen days military governor of Fredericksburg and have been kept so busy between the [few?] traders and Camp followers from the North and the townspeople that I have not have had time to answer Hal's letter from the Hermitage by which I was glad to hear you all are well and enjoying your selves so much.  The photographs she speaks of having found in my desk I do not remember now what ones they were, but Lydia and she are welcome to them.  Will _____ was disappointed in not getting the Recruiting Rendezvous in Phila. but hope he may yet be able to report for duty of some kind at the Yard.  Your letter of June 8 came yesterday, or Sunday rather, tho’ I had not time to read it until yesterday.  McCall is yet in command of the Division tho' for the last week he was very sick, but is up and on duty again.  I thought at one time that he was going to be laid up entirely.  Stanton's operations I do not like at all.  They had no business to interfere with McClellan in this first instance when he left for the peninsula and he has only botched everything he has undertaken in consequence since the taking away of Shields from Banks.  Was a great mistake, tho' the idea of moving on Fredericksburg and advancing from there was a very good move if he could have gotten a sufficient number of troops without making any columns v/hich directly in front of the enemy.  He might as well have brought them from Yorktowne as from where he did.  It makes me sick to think of the absurd ideas people have of military operations—I can't write about them.  The Corinth break-up is some [desp?] planning on the part of the Rebels and it is quite possible Richmond is to be reinforced by the best part and finest of them under Beauregard.  McClellan much more surely to be sure and certain of what he is doing and they think it possible to accomplish the junction before the decisive moment.  McClellan ought in any event to have all the troops he asks for and the blow made certain and final.  They have a good many troops in Richmond but a large number are impressed and some probably not armed, and altho' we can meet them upon open ground they have great advantages in their works which it will not do to rush our volunteer troops against without heavy art’y.  Gen'l Ricketts' brigade went up after Jackson so I know nothing about young Reigart, whether King's division or, Ord's (Gen'l Seymour has Ord's old Brigade in the Div.) will be sent to McClellan.  I do not know but think some of them will be now that Banks, Fremont, and Shields are united.

I shall mail this at the White House tomorrow and do not know when I will have a chance to write again as I suppose we will go up to the front at once.  Most probably my brigade is that waiting for the remainder of the Division.

Remember me kindly to the Reigarts, Anna, and Kate, and John H. and with much love to all at home believe me Your affectionate Brother

John F. Reynolds

 

I want some summer clothing badly: undershirts, and drawers, and stockings but do not know how to get them.  I have plenty in my trunks but did not bring a trunk with me. The people in Fredericksburg are secesh of the first water—the first almost we have seen of the real F.F.V.’s and tho' they were distant, the ladies especially, they behaved with much more dignity and propriety than they did in New Orleans.  A family of Washington's on whose place I made my Hd.Qrs. before we moved over to Fredericksburg, were very sensible and sociable, and as there were two young ladies (not bad looking either) your friend Mr. Lamborn became quite intimate with them.  They had a brother in the army with Gen'l Pettigrew's command and as he was a prisoner were very anxious about him after the late battles.  Send your letters as usual Army of the Potomac via "White House."

J.F.R.