Hd. qrs. 1st A.C.
Camp at Brooks Sta., Va.
Nov. 30, 1862
My dear Sisters,
Your letters of Nov. 1, 16, and one in August last came to me at Warrenton and on the way hither. Also Mr. Riddle came with yours of the 24 and the package of furs and gloves for which kind thoughtfulness I am much in your debt. I have not written you I believe since the removal of Gen'l McClellan. It of course was a surprise to the greater portion of the Army here but take it altogether, it created less feeling than I feared such a step would have done. I saw more of him on this march than I have seen since he has been in Com’d of the Army. Had been with him most of the time in the advance and think the step taken by the Authorities in Washington was as [unwise?] injudicious as it was uncalled for. Yet the prevailing spirit, with few exceptions, is to Obedience to the powers that be, and determine to do all that they are capable of under the New Chief, who is as noble a spirit as ever existed but who feels no doubt, in his honesty of purpose, that he is fairly qualified to carry an Army of such magnitude as this, through a campaign. Very few persons are that I know of, that is, under all the circumstances. The country is not as favorable as Maryland and the enemy are now in a position where they receive supplies and reinforcements ab libitum. We will have a hard campaign of it if we undertake to advance from this point. The roads and the country itself are not favorable.
Your question about my promotion I can only answer that I have been or will be nominated to the Senate for a Major General so I have been informed by pretty good authority and have nominated my staff accordingly by request of Gen'l Burnside. It will make Capt. Kingsbury Lt. Col., Lamborn Major, and Riddle a Capt. and I will have a place for someone whom I have not yet selected as Capt. and [A.D.C.?] I have met and seen Capt. Rosengarten and like him very much from what I have seen of him. I had also in my mind Walsh Mitchell of Rush's Lancers, a Phi’an I believe also recommended by Cleus Barclay. I have Capt. Wadsworth, a son of the Gen'l with me at present; tho’ he belongs on McDowell's staff, and Maj. Sanderson, Maj. Painter, Col. Wainwright, and Lt. Col. Crane.
Your West Point trip was quite an adventure, and you are fortunate in not suffering more than you did. You ought not to have started with so little information about the Boats, Hotels &c. In winter, when the visiting ceases, there is but little travel to the Point. I am glad you saw the Point and Will too. I do not know whether he was ever there.
I do not know now but that I have answered your enquiry about the money which Mr. Evans received for the sale of the Land at Pittsburg, but I do not care about being in a hurry to invest at present prices of stock—and you may if you think Cousin Kate will accept of the enclosed to her $100 as a Christmas Present or I can send the money from here, probably in a few weeks when the paymaster appears, tho’ I would rather you would do so for me, telling her that I regretted very much I did not get to Frederick when we were so near there.
The paper you refer to as abusing Seymour and myself is to be published by one Taggart whom S., after the battles before Richmond, made resign. He was reinstated by Stanton on Gen'l McCall's recommendation, joined us on the March up toward Frederick and I had Burnside, who commanded the Right Wing, order him back peremptorily to Washington as utterly incompetent, and not be trusted with a Regt. let alone a Brigade which he would fall in command of if he remained. That is the last we have seen or heard of Col. T. tho' I suppose from what you say he is venting his spleen in his miserable little papers. I have never seen it that I know of. While at Warrenton, Brady took several groups of the offr. at the Hdqrs. Camp. I was taken on one with Burnside sitting on the stump of a tree—and it was very good. If you can ever get a copy of it, do so. I only saw the plates. There was a group of Gen'ls alone also taken but I was not there, so was taken in this.
With much love to all at home,
Brother John F. Reynolds
Enclose bill of fare on Thanksgiving so you will see we have not yet quite gotten to the verge of Starvation. You will not be surprised when you know that the caterer for the occasion was Sanderson who formerly kept Hotel in various places in Phila, N.Y., &c., and now a Maj. and one of subsistence in the Army. It was really a grand dinner.
Yours very affectionately,