University of Delaware Library

Reynolds, Thomas M, 1840-1864.

Thomas M. Reynolds letters to Louisa J. Seward

1861-1864


Descriptive Summary

Identification: MSS 295


Creator: Reynolds, Thomas M, 1840-1864.


Title: Thomas M. Reynolds letters to Louisa J. Seward


Inclusive Dates: 1861-1864


Extent: .3 linear ft. (1 box)


Abstract: Letters written by Union soldier Thomas M. Reynolds to his fiancee Louisa J. Seward commenting on his relationship with Seward and his opinions about the Civil War.


Language: Materials entirely in English.



Citation

MSS 295, Thomas M. Reynolds letters to Louisa J. Seward, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Shelving Summary

Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (1 inch)

Location

Special Collections, University of Delaware Library / Newark, Delaware 19717-5267 / Phone: 302-831-2229 / Fax: 302-831-6003 / URL: http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/

Source

Gift, 1956.

Processing

Revised by Anita A. Wellner, 1993. Encoded by Asher Jackson, 2007.

Materials Available in Alternative Format

Access to digitized versions of the David Lilley Letters is available at University of Delaware Digital Institutional Repository. Transcriptions of the letters were produced by the staff of the University of Delaware Library Center for Digital Collections.


The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, http://www.lib.udel.edu/cgi-bin/askspec.cgi


Biographical Note

Thomas M. Reynolds, whose family hailed from Camden, Delaware, served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He was killed in 1864, during the "Battle of the Wilderness."

On June 28, 1862, Civil War soldier Captain Thomas M. Reynolds was enrolled in the 4th Regiment of the Delaware Infantry Volunteers in Wilmington, Delaware. On September 5, 1862 during the organization of Company H, Reynolds was mustered in as the company commander with the rank of captain. Reynolds was responsible for recruiting men into his company; he began pursuing volunteers as early as June of 1861.

Reynolds's letters to his sweetheart Louisa (Lou) J. Seward, who eventually became his fiance, provide few details of his life prior to the Civil War. The letters suggest that he had attended school in Greensboro, Caroline County, Maryland, in 1860, where Louisa also resided. His letters frequently refer to Caroline County and his desire to return there. From January to March of 1861, he was a school teacher in Chambersville, Delaware (near Smyrna, a town that he mentions in his early letters).

In his letters, Reynolds described himself as a "phrenologist" and someone who enjoyed writing, particularly poetry. He mentions his two sisters, Mollie and Frances (who was affectionately referred to as "Frank"), and the family home near Camden, Delaware. The muster sheet listed his occupation as "gentleman" and his place of origin as Delaware.

Captain Reynolds served in the Union Army until June 20, 1864, when he died of wounds received during the Battle of the Wilderness, near Richmond, on June 18. Reynolds was buried at Barrett's Chapel Churchyard in Delaware, where his tombstone records his age as 23 years and 3 months.

Sources:

Microfilm 366: Captain Thomas M. Reynolds Papers, 1862-1864. Dover, DE: Delaware State Archives, 1955.

Additional information in the biographical note is derived from material in the collection.


Scope and Content Note

The letters of Captain Thomas M. Reynolds to Louisa J. Seward, spanning the dates 1861-1864, consist of sixty-five letters, three poems, one essay, and one invoice for medical supplies and equipment. Much of the content is focused on his feelings for Seward and his activities in the Union Army. With the exception of three letters and the invoice, all of the material was written by Thomas Reynolds and sent to Seward.

The collection is organized into three series:

Series I. "Captain Thomas M. Reynolds's Letters to Louisa J. Seward" includes Reynolds's letters, poems, and essay, as well as an invoice. Captain Reynolds's letters begin in 1861, prior to his enrollment in the Delaware Infantry Volunteers. The early letters communicated Reynolds's feelings for Lou Seward, dreams for their future together, reminiscences about his visits with her in Maryland, and details of his everyday life.

By May of 1861, Reynolds's letters focused on the developing Civil War. The letters which were written during the Civil War provide a thorough chronicle of Reynolds's travels and experiences, as well as thoughtful examination of effects of war upon those who were directly involved. He conveyed his desire to serve his country by enlistment in the U.S. Army, discussed his participation in Delaware's "Home Guard," and spoke of the growing dissent among his friends as to which side they supported. In July he reported the organization of a "Secession Company" in Camden, Delaware, by A.B. Knight.

By the end of 1862 Reynolds had been mustered in as Captain of Company H, 4th Regiment, Delaware Infantry Volunteers, and had been deployed from Camp du Pont at Brandywine Springs to several camps in Virginia, including Seward, "Tom Casey," and "Vermont." His letters are filled with expressions of patriotism, descriptions of the camps, thoughts about being a soldier, rumors about his regiment's destination, and comments about Delaware state elections and political implications for the war. In his letters during 1863, Reynolds conveyed his belief that the rebel forces would soon be defeated, detailed his company's movements throughout Virginia, described the difficulties of camp life, reported the skirmishes and raids in which he was involved, depicted the landscapes and buildings he passed, and frequently apologized for the melancholy tone of his letters.

From January to June of 1864, Reynolds continued to describe the engagements of his regiments, especially the terrible battles occurring around Richmond, Virginia. Reynolds also described the living arrangements for officers whose wives had joined them near the camps, and the morale and living conditions in the camps. His final letter, dated June 15, 1864, was written from Wilcox Landing on the James River, where the regiment was awaiting orders to cross the river and engage the enemy.

Included among Reynolds's letters are an essay and three poems that he wrote during his period of service. The poems are entitled "P Camden" (1861), "The Aspiration" (1864), and "Love Unrequited" (1864). The essay, titled "Thoughts Upon a Visit to Camp Fisker," describes the departure of the 3rd Regiment, Delaware Volunteers from Dover, Delaware.

Series II. "Letters concerning Thomas Reynolds's death" consists of one letter, written by A. J. Wright of Felton, Delaware, to Joshua Seward (father of Louisa Seward) reporting the death of Thomas Reynolds on June 20, 1864. In addition there are two letters from Thomas Reynolds's sister, Mollie E. Reynolds, written to Lou Seward in July of 1864 inviting her to visit the Reynolds family.

Series III. "Transcripts of letters, essay, and poems" consists of one bound volume of typescript transcripts of the all of the material in this collection, with the exception of the invoice found in F6.


Selected Search Terms

Personal Names
Reynolds, Frances, fl. 1861-1864.
Reynolds, Mollie E., fl. 1861-1864--Correspondence.
Reynolds, Thomas M., 1840-1864--Correspondence.
Seward, Joshua, fl. 1861-1864--Correspondence.
Seward, Louisa J., fl. 1861-1864--Correspondence.
Wright, A. J., fl. 1861-1864--Correspondence.
Corporate Names
Company H, 4th Regiment, Delaware Infantry Volunteers.
Topical Terms
Soldiers--Correspondence.
Geographic Names
Delaware--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources.
Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources.
Form/Genre Terms
Letters (correspondence)
Poems.
Occupation
Soldiers.
Personal Contributors
Seward, Louisa J., correspondent.
Seward, Joshua, correspondent.
Reynolds, Mollie E., correspondent.
Wright, A. J., correspondent.

Related Materials in Other Repositories

Microfilm 366: Captain Thomas M. Reynolds Papers, 1862-1864. Dover, DE: Delaware State Archives, 1955.


The letters are arranged chronologically within each of the three series.


Detailed Contents List

Series I. Captain Thomas M. Reynolds's letters to Louisa J. Seward, 1861-1864

Sixty-five letters total. All letters are autograph.

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1861 January 21   [Box 1 F1]

2 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camden, Delaware. Reynolds professes his love for Louisa Seward and mentions that he is starting his first teaching position in New Castle County.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1861 February 13   [Box 1 F1]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Chambersville. Reynolds writes Seward for "news of the neighborhood", and says that he has heard nothing either from or about her since his move. He asks her to give him news of "Mollie F... for you know that she is one of my best friends." He also discusses his teaching position, stating that he has "about thirty-eight scholars...and the rudest you ever saw. I have expelled one already."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1861 March 9   [Box 1 F1]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Chambersville. Includes the poem "P. Camden (Adieu to Caroline County!)," written by Reynolds. Reynolds refers to the period of time between meeting Louisa Seward and leaving Caroline County as "the happiest period of my whole life" and says that it was "the period in my history in which those sentiments were developed which we truly experience but once and which flow but in one direction--those sentiments you have heard me express." Reynolds mentions that he has written Seward three time without hearing back from her, and asks her to send him a letter.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1861 March 27   [Box 1 F1]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Chambersville. Reynolds expresses his pleasure at receiving a letter from Seward and his happiness that his feelings for her are returned. He also mentions visiting with her both at her home and at Sudlersville; he outlines his plans to visit her more frequently.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1861 May 3   [Box 1 F1]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camden, Delaware. Reynolds writes, "Three hours ago our company left for Wilmington, consisting of about sixty men, thirty of which belonged to Camden and vicinity. And I assure you it was hard to take the parting hand of those who perhaps will never return, I felt that I ought to have been on[e] of the "Patriotic Band." But it cannot be." Reynolds also mentions visiting with Seward again, and expresses concern regarding the health of both Louisa and her mother.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1861 June 14   [Box 1 F1]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camden, Delaware. Reynolds writes, "...I sincerely hope that you have recovered your health e'er this, and that your cheerful smile may spread its joyful influence around as it used to do..." Reynolds also promises that if he is drafted he will visit Seward before he reports for duty. He further states that "I expect I shall get up a company of volunteers to go into the U.S. Service during the war. I have been advised by a great many and have considerable encouragement from the Head Quarters of the Del. Regiment."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1861 July 1   [Box 1 F1]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. Reynolds writes, "Lou there is a great deal of excitement here at this time, people are almost forgetting their former relations, and are heard to use threats towards their former friends which almost cause one to think he is not in a civilized but barbarous community. We have a Secession company organized in town by a young man from Georgia, N. B. Knight formerly of Camden."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1861 July 27   [Box 1 F1]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camden, Delaware. Reynolds writes, "When I reached home (Camden) I found that three had died since I left, and that near a dozen were ill; none have died since, and most of them are recovering. " Reynolds adds, "Some of our company seemed to intimate that I remained from home some time considering the press of business, and perhaps would charge me with negligence to duty. But Lou I think there are periods in ones history when he should sacrifice duty to friends; especially friends we love."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, [1861] August 11   [Box 1 F1]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camden, Delaware. Reynolds writes, "There is not much news to relate of importance, the Soldiers are all home now which makes Camden a little more lively than usual. Since I wrote you last there has been three or four deaths in town--two from the same family were buried the same day...the sickness is not so prevalent now, and I hope will soon forsake our quiet town. The ladies of Camden meet tomorrow morning for the purpose of making our uniforms, which will occupy all the week and I of course will be closely engaged."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1861 August 27   [Box 1 F1]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camden, Delaware. Reynolds mentions missing a visit with Seward due to bad weather, and promises to visit her shortly: "I have out a muster roll and expect I shall be mustered into the U.S. Service in a short time for three years...I must see you before I go; look for me within a week."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1861 September 30   [Box 1 F1]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. Reynolds writes, "Your late visit to Camden was to me a happy one and I never shall forget the joy I felt when I met you in my own home surrounded by those I love and there learned that they could love you. ...Tomorrow I leave for Wilmington and each successive turn of the wheels will take me farther from you..."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1861 December 23   [Box 1 F1]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camden, Delaware. Reynolds expresses pleasure at receiving Seward's last letter which contained news regarding various mutual acquaintances; he also briefly describes the Christmas preparations occurring in Camden.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 March 14   [Box 1 F2]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camden, Delaware. Reynolds mentions visitors to Camden and a series of weddings; he also extends an invitation to Seward to come visit him.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 March 21   [Box 1 F2]

1 p.

Autograph letter signed. From Dover, Delaware. Reynolds discusses an upcoming visit with Seward and his relocation to Dover.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 March 25   [Box 1 F2]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Dover, Delaware. Reynolds mentions a recent visit with Seward and asks her to "write a long letter, when you get tired of writing just remember that I have not received a letter from you for three months..."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 April 16   [Box 1 F2]

2 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Dover, Delaware. Reynolds writes, "I was extremely sorry to hear that you were so ill, and could of course have forgiven you for remaining silent so long...Lou I deem it very kind for you to write me under the circumstances..."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 May 21   [Box 1 F2]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Dover, Delaware. Reynolds mentions a visit to Maryland, where he accidentally encounters Seward after being told that she is not there. He says that the incident "resembles very much the visit I made you about a year ago from Smyrna" (see Reynolds' letter dated 1861 March 9).

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 June 14   [Box 1 F2]

1 p.

Autograph letter signed. From Dover, Delaware. A brief note informing Seward that Reynolds will not be visiting her that day as originally planned. Reynolds adds, "My company is progressing finely. I have some 38 names upon the roll."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 June 26   [Box 1 F2]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Dover, Delaware. Reynolds apologizes to Seward for his "very abrupt departure," stating that "the peculiar circumstances in which I am placed always renders my leaving you very cooly indeed." Reynolds adds, "I must speak of our meeting on Tuesday which was grand in the extreme, if you could have heard the speech of N. B. Smithers you would have wondered why any loyal man could stay peaceably at home, while traitors in fiendish form were so ignobly assailing our glorious nationality. There were many wet eyes in that large assembly. I am not excepted."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 July 10   [Box 1 F2]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camden, Delaware. Reynolds mentions his camp, located "five miles from Wilmington at Brandywine Springs..." he adds, "My Company is progressing finely, I expect to get it full in four weeks. I shall get the first Company if nothing happens."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 July 14   [Box 1 F2]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Dover, Delaware. Reynolds apologizes for not writing Seward when he promised, and expresses pleasure at reading her last letter. He also states that if he refused to serve his country "I should prove recreant to my duty, as an American Citizen, I should feel unworthy of the title of a freeman."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 July 21   [Box 1 F2]

2 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Felton. Reynolds writes, "I have the pleasure of informing you, that I arrived safely last night about 10 ½ o'clock...I expected to be hailed by some of the rebels in the forest but fortunately escaped." Reynolds mentions a Mrs. Golt, who he considers a friend and confidante; he also expresses regret that he has no close friends within the Seward family.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 July 26   [Box 1 F2]

1 p.

Autograph letter signed. From Dover, Delaware. Very brief note apologizing for not writing more frequently.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 August 30   [Box 1 F3]

2 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Dover, Delaware. Reynolds writes, "It is strongly rumored in Wilmington that our regiment will leave within ten days."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 September 13   [Box 1 F3]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp du Pont. Reynolds writes to Seward regarding the war. He mentions Jackson's invasion of Maryland and tries to reassure Seward that the Union Army will eventually "send the Rebel hordes howling back to their dens."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 October 18   [Box 1 F3]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp du Pont. Reynolds tells Seward that he misses her company. He also discusses his future plans and discusses life at Camp du Pont.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 October 23   [Box 1 F3]

1 p.

Autograph letter signed. From Wilmington, Delaware. Reynolds informs Seward that he has an unexpected leave and will be visiting her shortly.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 November 6   [Box 1 F3]

2 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp du Pont. Reynolds writes, "I arrived safely in Camp after my trip down to the Election. There was some fighting but we all returned safely. The state has gone for the Union I believe ... There is nothing new in Camp ... except various rumors in reference to our leaving here." Reynolds also reports on a rumored excursion to Texas; he believes that he may be asked travel there with General Banks.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 November 7   [Box 1 F3]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp du Pont. Reynolds writes, "The snow is about six inches deep, and if the wind remains where it now is it will be three feet deep by Morning. The men have the canvass tents, and in fact we all have them but the officers have stoves and the men have not. I have a number of men in my tent now who have come in to get warm." Reynolds again mentions an impending trip to Texas; he fears that it may be months before he is allowed to return home to visit Seward again.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 November 18   [Box 1 F3]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp Seward on Arlington Heights. Reynolds writes, "Since I left Camp duPont I have been faring rather roughly, yet I have no doubt many are even worse off than I." Reynolds provides a further description of conditions in the camp, then discusses a visit to Alexandria with several other officers.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 November 29   [Box 1 F3]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp "Tom Casey." Reynolds writes, "...we are building huts for the winter, why we did not go to Texas I know not neither do I care. Lou you spoke of happier days when I sang of Dixie, they are past, but I am glad that with me, you look forward to their return." Reynolds reaffirms his commitment to the war and looks forward to the reunification of the United States. He also responds to various pieces of news that he received from Seward in her last letter.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1862 December 24   [Box 1 F3]

1 p.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp Vermont. Reynolds mentions leaving Camp "Tom Casey" ten days prior and says that the trip caused his illness to worsen. He writes that they are to leave camp the next day to march to Fortress Monroe.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 February 17   [Box 1 F4]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp Gilpin, Gloucester Point, Virginia. Reynolds writes about his loneliness and tedium that characterizes the life of a soldier. Reynolds adds, "We had a very interesting time in Camp on night before last. Our picket line was attacked by the Rebels, about 9 o'clock. The Long roll was beat immediately and the Regiment formed in line...the Colonel ordered all our tents pulled down, and we were marched into the Fort near by ... here we waited patiently for their attack, but they came not."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 February 19   [Box 1 F4]

2 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp Gilpin, Gloucester Point, Virginia. Reynolds discusses news that he received from home, and the possibility of becoming engaged to Seward.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 March 8   [Box 1 F4]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp Gilpin, Gloucester Point, Virginia. Reynolds describes camp life and his perspective on the war. About midway through the letter, he notes that "Two Rockets have just been sent up, on the Picket line which indicates that the Rebels are advancing. I will not write further until I learn the result." He later returns to finish the letter and inform Seward of what has transpired.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 March 30   [Box 1 F4]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp Gilpin, Gloucester Point, Virginia. Reynolds reiterates the dullness of camp life. He also discusses local events, including a wedding and an accident in which he burned his hand attempting to set off a warning rocket.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 April 9   [Box 1 F4]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp Gilpin, Gloucester Point, Virginia. Reynolds expresses optimism with regards to the war, which he believes will end soon. He also describes his Regiment's raid on Gloucester Court House.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 May 8   [Box 1 F4]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp Gilpin, Gloucester Point, Virginia. Discusses General Hooker's Army and their mission in Virginia. Responds to news regarding Seward's parents.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 May 29   [Box 1 F4]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp Gilpin, Gloucester Point, Virginia. Reynolds expresses his loneliness and sadness at having been separated from Seward for the past seven months.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 June 16   [Box 1 F4]

2 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp in the Field, Virginia. Reynolds discusses conditions while the Regiment is en route to a new destination (he believes that they may be heading to Richmond); he also mentions some minor ambushes that occur along the way.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 June 22   [Box 1 F4]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp Wales. Reynolds writes, "There is nothing new in camp: everything in relation to our future movements remains in a perfect mystery. ... I suppose the people of Maryland are watching closely the movements of the Rebel army."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 June 29   [Box 1 F4]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp at "White House", Pamunkey River, Virginia. Reynolds writes, "We have now been here two days and may probably remain several days yet. Troops are constantly arriving on transports and I presume we have over 50,000 men within a days march of Richmond."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 July 4   [Box 1 F5]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Camp in the Field, Virginia. Reynolds mentions several military maneuvers that result in skirmishes with the Confederate Army.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 July 15   [Box 1 F5]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. Reynolds expresses delight at the lodgings, food, and the opportunity to spend some time "among civilized creatures."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 July 21   [Box 1 F5]

2 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Fairfax Court House, Virginia. Reynolds describes an exhausting march from Washington, D.C. to Alexandria, then on to Fairfax. Reynolds adds, "This day two years ago the first battle of Bull Run was fought and that too within 6 miles of this place. I expect we will pass the old Battle ground tomorrow."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 August 2   [Box 1 F5]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Headquarters, Fourth Regiment, Delaware Volunteers, Fairfax Station, Virginia. Reynolds describes his current assignment, which is to guard the Orange & Alexandria Railroad on its runs between Alexandria and Warrenton Junction: "I ought to state that the army of the Potomac is now lying at and beyond Warrenton junction, and that their supplies are carried over this road. We are placed on the trains to prevent the Rebels form capturing them or tearing up the track. We have been attacked twice and then when we give them a volley they Skedaddled."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 August 12   [Box 1 F5]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Headquarters, Fourth Regiment, Delaware Volunteers, Fairfax Station, Virginia. Reynolds discusses a possible leave of absence and an illness that is affecting many of the officers within the Regiment. He also expresses hope that the war will end soon.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 August 21   [Box 1 F5]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Headquarters, Fourth Regiment, Delaware Volunteers, Fairfax Station, Virginia. Reynolds describes observing the emotional reaction of a soldier reading a letter from home and parallels the event to his own feelings for Seward. He also writes about becoming acclimated to outdoor life.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 October 2   [Box 1 F5]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Fairfax Station, Virginia. Reynolds responds to a discussion regarding Seward's health; he also responds to a request concerning an upcoming visit.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 November 7   [Box 1 F5]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Fairfax Court House, Virginia. Reynolds expresses pleasure at the content of Seward's latest letter. He also talks about his hope that the Regiment will be returning home soon.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1863 December 11   [Box 1 F5]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Alexandria, Virginia. Reynolds writes about life in Alexandria and briefly mentions his visit with Seward.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1864 January 17   [Box 1 F6]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Alexandria, Virginia. Reynolds discusses various troop movements. He also advances the idea of marriage to Seward: "I called for a few minutes this morning on two of the Ladies (officer's wives) they seem exceedingly anxious that I should bring my wife down shortly. I of course promised them that I would. I expect to make application for leave of absence as soon as I get to Camp and if I succeed who knows but that I may bring Mrs. Reynolds on with me at my return."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1864 February 22   [Box 1 F6]

2 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Fairfax Court House, Virginia. Reynolds talks about an officer who introduced his new bride to the members of his Regiment and wishes that he could do the same with Seward. He also discusses his sister Mollie and his desire to receive letters from Seward more frequently.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1864 March 10   [Box 1 F6]

1 p.

Autograph letter signed. From Fairfax Court House, Virginia. Reynolds writes, "I have not received a line from you for more than a month during which time I have written three times. I am exceedingly anxious to know, if you are prevented from writing by sickness or otherwise."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1864 April 20   [Box 1 F6]

1 p.

Autograph letter signed. From Camden, Delaware. Reynolds writes a brief note informing Seward of his imminent arrival.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1864 May 2   [Box 1 F6]

2 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Fairfax Court House, Virginia. Reynolds informs Seward of his regiment's movement for a special assignment and tells her that he will not be able to communicate with her for several weeks.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1864 May 8   [Box 1 F6]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Licking Run, Virginia. Reynolds writes, "There is very little news with us that I am allowed to relate. I may say however that there has already been some very hard fighting and the losses on both sides is very heavy ... Our forces thus far have been very successful and one of these fine mornings you may expect to hear that Richmond is ours! We reached this point in time to see General Burnsides' forces pass they numbered about forty thousand and near ten thousand of them were negroes, they presented a rather fine appearance."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1864 May 14   [Box 1 F6]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Sangster Station, Virginia. Reynolds writes about his regiment securing a ten mile length of railroad in Virginia. He also shares his hope that the 'Rebellion' will be over by fall.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1864 May 21   [Box 1 F6]

4 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Alexandria, Virginia. Reynolds states that his regiment is located near Bull Run while two other Delaware Regiments (3rd Infantry and 1st Cavalry) have been ordered "down the noble Potomac River to join in the next fight before Richmond." He also expresses pride regarding his period of military service, and mentions that he is nearing his second anniversary with the regiment.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1864 June 4   [Box 1 F6]

2 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From "In the field." Reynolds references three days worth of battles, the loss of eight men in his company, and expresses relief that he has not been injured yet himself.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1864 June 9   [Box 1 F6]

2 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Chickahominy River, Virginia. Reynolds writes, "I have just returned from picket along the banks of the Chickahominy. The Rebels are within 50 yards on the opposite side they were trading with us yesterday Tobacco for Coffee. Since I wrote you we have been on the march and throwing up entrenchments almost constantly, but have not been regularly engaged with the enemy since the 2nd."

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1864 June 15   [Box 1 F6]

2 pp.

Autograph letter signed. From Wilcox Landing, James River, Virginia. Reynolds expresses gratitude at the receipt of two letters from Seward. He explains that the fighting has abated because both armies are moving to new positions. He briefly mentions suffering a fall into the Chickahominy River.

PDF

"Thoughts Upon a Visit to Camp Fisker", undated   [Box 1 F6]

3 pp.

Essay titled "Thoughts Upon a Visit to Camp Fisker."

PDF

"The Aspiration" and "Love Unrequited", undated   [Box 1 F6]

4 pp.

Autograph poems entitled "The Aspiration" and "Love Unrequited."

PDF

Invoice, undated   [Box 1 F6]

1 p.

Autograph invoice for medicines and hospital supplies for Surgeon Sutherland at field hospital in Washington, D.C.

PDF

Envelopes, 1861-1864   [Box 1 F7]

Collection of envelopes that were separated from the letters.

PDF

Series II. Letters concerning Thomas Reynolds's death, 1864 June-July

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1864 June 22   [Box 1 F8]

1 p.

Autograph letter signed by A. J. Wright. From Felton, Virginia. A brief message relaying news of the death of Thomas Reynolds to Louisa Seward's father.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1864 July 4   [Box 1 F8]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed by Mollie E. Reynolds. From Camden, Delaware. An invitation for Seward to come spend some time remembering Thomas Reynolds with the rest of his family.

PDF

Letter to Louisa J. Seward, 1864 July 18   [Box 1 F8]

3 pp.

Autograph letter signed by Mollie E. Reynolds. From Camden, Delaware. Includes a request that Seward maintain contact with the Reynolds family.

PDF

Series III. Transcripts of letters, essay, and poems, 1861-1864

Bound typescript transcript of the materials in this collection. Excludes invoice in F6.

Transcripts, 1861-1864   [Box 1 F9]