William Reynolds, 12th C.V.I., July 28, 1863

Title

William Reynolds, 12th C.V.I., July 28, 1863

Subject

United States. Army. Connecticut Infantry Regiment, 12th (1862-1865)
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
United States. Army--Pay, allowances, etc.

Description

Reynolds writes to his friend James McCracken about the recapture of Brashear City, La. and the work of rebuilding after the Confederate retreat.

Date

1863-07-28

Text

Brashear City La
July 28th, 1862 [sic, 1863]
Friend James
Having a few mo-
meets of leisure, I will endeavor to
answer your letter of the 6th inst
which I received with pleasure.
I was at Donaldsonville - up the
Miss River - when I received your note
but was then under marching orders
& could not well attend to answer-
ing letters. We embarked at that place on
the 21st inst., left New Orleans on
the 23rd & arrived at Brashear on
the 25th after a short passage down the
Miss. & in the Gulf. Here we found
things quite different from what they were
on the 9th of Apr. last when we left the
place. The same desolation & ruin which fol-
lows the rebel army is here manifest in
the most affecting manner. Small forts
& rifle pits are thrown up at various

[Page 2]
points along the Bayou in which are
left some of the artillery spiked which
they took from our troops when they captured
the place & were obliged to leave on their has-
ty retreat. There are two engines left here
well torn to pieces & a great number of cars
burned upon the track. The smoke of their
incendiary deeds is yet visible & small
fragments of our clothing & treasured
articles scattered about the streets. The
13th Conn. Regt. is with us here & we have
commenced clearing off the track & getting
new timber together preparatory to laying
a new track. All the bridges are destroyed
from here to LaFourche crossing, where
our troops were lastly defeated & driven
back to the city; but when Old Dick
Taylor heard of the fall of Vicksburg &
Port Hudson he thought best to put off
the recapture of New Orleans & be making
tracks into Texas which he was not long in
doing. Our Gun Boats & troops did not
arrive here in time to intercept them
in their hasty flight across the country
& so they have gone on their way

[Page 3]
rejoicing. Had we not achieved great &
important victories since we left here we
might feel saddened at the sight & prospect
before us but as it is our losses are hard-
ly thought of. The road is being repaired as
fast as possible & it will not be many
days before the train will be here from
the city - new troops will arrive - the
place be built up & the comforts of life
again be restored to us. We have accumu-
lated a great many bords [sic] & slabs with which
we have made a bit of covering for us
from the rain & sunshine. The weather
is “hot” - well suited for mosquitoes at
night when they begin their pretty songs
to us. Our nets we had to sleep under
were captured with our clothing here &
there is no peace to the wicked here in
the night without them. Since we left here
they have not troubled us, so now they bite
with renewed appetites. We have received
no pay since the 31st of December 1862
so we are as moneyless as we are destitute
of everything else. I had a plenty of postage
stamps in my knapsack but they are gone

[Page 4]
with the rest of my things & I hav’nt any
thing to pay the postage on letters so I
am obliged to get them franked. When
communication is reopened to the city we shall
probably get some money again & then I
shall go to the city on a “spree” and get
some of the necessary articles in the line
of writing. Our Regt. is now quite small
- not half so large as it was when we
left here in April perhaps - some have
died from disease - some from sounds - others
have been killed & some taken prisoners
but we are as determined as ever to main-
tain our former reputation ain the field
when called again into active service to
remember our slaughtered ones, in re-
cent battles & strive to vindicate the
principles of American soldiers. Your
brother Chas was taken prisoner at
this place - paroled & sent to Ship
Island with the rest of the prisoners taken
around here. All the Ledyard boys in
this Regt. are in usual health like
myself. Port Hudson was not taken on
the 5th as you heard but surrender its
whole garrison on the 9th at 7 o’clock a.m.
I like to hear from you all often, so please
write when convenient & your letters
will find an early answer. remember me
to your wife - my folks & inquiring friends
Yours Respectfully
W.H. Reynolds
Co. K. 12th CI
New Orleans La

Files

mccracken18620728.pdf

Citation

“William Reynolds, 12th C.V.I., July 28, 1863,” Linda Lear Center Digital Collections and Exhibitions, accessed September 29, 2022, https://lc-digital.conncoll.edu/items/show/5.