William Reynolds 13th C.V.I., November 19, 1864

Title

William Reynolds 13th C.V.I., November 19, 1864

Subject

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
United States. Army. Connecticut Infantry Regiment, 12th (1861-1865)
Recruiting and enlistment

Description

William Reynolds writes to his friend James McCracken about his regiments retreat to winter quarters, the likelihood that he will not be released from service when he had hoped, and his disillusionment with the government.

Date

1864.11.19

Identifier

5-14

Text

Shenandoah Valley Virginia
Nov 19th 1864
Friend James
Your favor mof the 10th inst is thankfully
received. Was very glad to learn that previous letters have
not given offence and that we are still on interceding terms. 
The army has fallen back to the rear of Newtown, about six
miles from our former position at the Creek. Are constructing very for-
midable breast works and have orders to make ourselves as comfortable
as possible, so I think that the prospect is good for stopping here for
the Winter, if we Gen. Early has no objection.
I am in good health to this date.
The Johnnies followed us to this place and for several days, we
had skirmishing with them, but they finally concluded to let us
alone, and at last reports they were falling back towards Lynchburg
Deserters occasionally come into our lines and represent the Confederacy
rather in the decline. Of course deserters will tell anything to suit
themselves and the occasion so they cannot be relied upon.
The date of the old organization of the 12th C.V. I believe is Dec 3rd
and we, Nov. Vets, have supposed that we should all get discharged
at that date, but it is rumored that they will keep every man
till he has served 3 years from date of muster into U.S. service. No
other Ct. Regt. has been thus treated, and we thing it is an insult to
us if they manage that way. That will bring my time out about the 1st
of February, 65. There are some will not get out until near April.
All enlisted under the old organization to be discharged with the Regt. and
many enslited in La. in May + June under those considerations and are
justly entitled to their discharge. There is a good deal of noise about camp
arising from the injustice of the thing. In the 26th Mass. Regt. the
La. men got their discharge with the Nov. Vets

[page 2]
Some of our boys were mnustered into the service the
20th of Nov. tomorrow, but it is decided that they can
not get their discharge until the 3rd of Dec. the date of
the Regt. If they can keep them until then, it seems to me that
it is their duty to discharge all then, but they will do as they
have a mind to. Soldiers are humbuged in every way and
it is for that reason that I have no respect for government
Officials. No one seems to know or care anything about the rights 
of the soldier. Nearly all the officers of the 12th are trying to get
out of the show, and it is as much as they can do, to look out for their 
own interests. In a few days, I shall know more about it.
No man would have enlisted in the 12th C.V., after the 3rd Dec. without hav-
ing a guarantee that all should be discharged at the end of the organ-
ization. Such treachery on tnhe part mof Gov. officials does not tell well
in the matter of future enlistment.
I have'nt anything of importance to communicate so I may as well close
hoping to hear from you soon + often
With due regards to you + wife I remain as ever
your sincere friend
William H Reynolds

Original Format

ALS

Files

mccracken18641119rs.pdf

Citation

“William Reynolds 13th C.V.I., November 19, 1864,” Linda Lear Center Digital Collections and Exhibitions, accessed May 28, 2024, https://lc-digital.conncoll.edu/items/show/1717.