Letter from John S. Smith to Juliana Smith Reynolds, April 20, 1862
Mrs Juliana Reynolds
You perhaps are beginning to think by this time that I do not intend to answer your last letter to me but I hope you will pardon me for my long Silence; for such is my dislike for letter writing that I often neglect writing when it is my absolute duty, another reason is I have not received any money Since I came here and being scarce of money I could not write as much as I should have done. I did not like the idea of sending my letters without the postage being paid, but I am obliged to resort to that for the present, although you may not thank me much for my letter and compelling you to pay the postage. The letter which you had written for Susan is at hand and it is a source of much comfort to my troubled mind to hear that my family is well and getting along so prosperously.
No general engagement has taken place yet, our army is not yet ready to make an attack and probably will not make one for some time. It is busily engaged in making fortifications, roads, pontoon bridges, transporting cannon[s] and every other preparation that is necessary to carry on a Siege. Yorktown is a very strong hold but we think we have a sufficient force here