William Reynolds, 12th C.V.I., December 15, 1864


William Reynolds, 12th C.V.I., December 15, 1864


United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865

United States. Army. Connecticut Infantry Regiment, 12th (1861-1865)
Shenandoah Valley Campaign, 1864 (August-November)
Sheridan, Philip Henry, 1831-1888


William Reynolds writes to his friend James McCracken about the progress of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign, the superiority of Philip Sheridan, and the signs that the war is coming to an end.




Camp “Russell” Virginia
Dec 15th 1864
Friends Jm. + Wife
Your letters of the
7th inst come duly to hand a day or
two since and the present opportunity I
will improve in replying. I am glad
to know that good health abounds
and that you + yours are especially
enjoying that Benign blessing.
I was never better in that respect in
my life and the prospect is good for
me ere long to be in your midst with
a whole frame and in a healthy condi-
tion. The weather I have to chron-
icle is not at all pleasing to the poor
soldiers, snow + hail seems to be de-
scending upon us without mercy and

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all signs fortell a severe storm.
The earth has already been covered
with snow since the 9th and how dreary
and desolate it is! As oft as I look
away upon the snow capped mountains
of this frozen clime and wade among heaps
of drifted snow, I wish myself back
to the sunny south where the winters
cold comes not. I do really love the
winters of the south, but in summer
a higher latitude is highly prefer
able and far more healthy
Notwithstanding the cold snow the
usual fatigue on the fortifications is
daily carried on and now we have
a very formidable line almost complete.
Two forts are now in progress on the
Pike, which, when completed will ren-
der this an important military fort in
regard to strength. After all fa-
tigue duty is done the boys have
the promise of furloughs, and that
is quite an incentive to action.
Your humble servant will stand a good

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sight for one before spring if nothing
happens. I hardly know what to
do when I finish my present job.
If I could consent to remain in the
service I can get just as good a
position as I want in the Qtr Mstrs
Department. O.E. Stoddard was rec-
omended by the Capt. for a commission
and was mustered out of service under
those considerations. It is at his option
to accept it or not I believe. It seems
to me he is very foolish if he does,
when exchanged. The war is becoming
more and more desperate, and must
increase until it finally ends I
A very favorable report comes from
Sherman, who seems to be having
everything his own way down in Georgia
Shouldn’t wonder if Savannah had gone up.
Old Phil. I guess has got through for
a while, but having retrieved the
loss of three years battles in the
old Valley, he can afford to lay

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by a while. When we crossed the Potomac
at Harpers Ferry four months ago, or at the
commencement of the campaign. The Md.
soldiers on duty there said “we would be
back in a week”. We have once been back
almost to the river by being flanked, but
since then we have gone + stayed where we
pleased. The Union Army here used to be
called “Harpers Weekly” by returning to
the Ferry as often, but now it has lost the
complimentary title. Old Phil is the
best General the 12th has ever been under.
Ben Butler + Weitzel were good enough.
The 6th Corps has gone to Petersburgh, or
most of it as you are aware, and some of
the 8th. The 19th I suppose will be left
here for the present.
I am delighted to know that there
are a plenty of Eve’s fair daughters
around to prevent a few disconsolate old
bachelors from forever despairing. The loss
of men for the past three years has been
so great, it seems to me the balance need
not want for a better half.
How does Zeke, entertaining such radical
views as he does, find favor in the sight
of Uncle Joe? or does the favor originate from
another source? Two extremes have certainly
met, and I hope the collision will not prove disastrously.
A very good idea of yours to put forth
an effort to keep me out of mischief. Wouldn’t
it be best to add to it by oftener writing?
It should certainly have me indorsement.

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Where is Uncle Elijah?
I never hear a word spoken about
him no more than as though he were dead
Give my regards to all inquiring
friends, and when it is convenient
just remember that I am always
delighted to hear from you.
With due regards to you
remain as ever your esteemed
friend W.H. Reynolds

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P.S. Direct to W.H. Reynolds
Co “B” Ct. Veteran Battalion
1st Div. 19th AC Washington DC

Original Format





“William Reynolds, 12th C.V.I., December 15, 1864,” Linda Lear Center Digital Collections and Exhibitions, accessed July 19, 2024, https://lc-digital.conncoll.edu/items/show/1809.