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John Reynolds
Civil War Encyclopedia >> People - Union Military
June 26, 1862 Battle of Mechanicsville [CS]
Battle of Beaver Dam Creek [US]
Battle of Ellerson's Mill [Alternate]
Battle of Ellison's Mill [Alternate:misspelling]

Daniel Harvey Hill [CS] attacks Fitz-John Porter [US].
Virginia
  Seven Days Retreat
  George McClellan
  Battle of Beaver Dam Creek
  Fitz-John Porter
  A. P. Hill
  Robert E. Lee
  George Meade
June 27, 1862 Battle of Gaines Mill [US]
Battle of First Cold Harbor [CS]
Battle of the Chickahominy [Alternate]

John Bell Hood [CS] and George Pickett [CS] breakthrough Fitz John Porter's [US] line, forcing Union troops south of the Chickahominy River and severing McClellan's supply line to Eltham's Landing (White House, West Point)
Virginia
  Seven Days Retreat
  John Bell Hood
  Battle of Gaines Mill
  Daniel Harvey Hill
  A. P. Hill
  Fitz-John Porter
  Gouverneur K. Warren
  George Pickett
  George Meade
August 29, 1862
August 30, 1862
Second Manassas[CS]
Second Bull Run[US]

General John Pope [US] lost to General Robert E. Lee[CS]. General James Longstreet's [CS] 28,000 man assault on August 30 was the largest simultaneous assault of the war in this Confederate victory.

Union losses 13,830

Confederate losses 8,350

Also includes: Manassas Plains, Gainesville
Virginia
  James Longstreet
  Robert E. Lee
  Stonewall Jackson
  Army of Northern Virginia
  Second Manassas - Second Bull Run
  Fitz-John Porter
  Northern Virginia Campaign
  John Pope
  Gouverneur K. Warren
  Army of Virginia
  Joseph Hooker
  Samuel Heintzelman
December 13, 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg

General Ambrose Burnside and the Army of the Potomac is soundly beaten by Lee's Army of North Virginia.
  Army of Northern Virginia
  Army of the Potomac
  Robert E. Lee
  Ambrose Burnside
  Lafayette McLaws
  Fredericksburg
  William B. Franklin
  Edwin Vose Sumner
  Jubal Anderson Early
  Joseph Hooker
May 1, 1863
May 4, 1863
Battle of Chancellorsville

General "Fighting Joe" Hooker's Army of the Potomac is defeated by Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia as it crosses the Rappahannock on the way to Richmond

Union: 17,268

Confederate: 12,821
Virginia
  Robert E. Lee
  Joseph Hooker
  Bloodiest Civil War battles
  Stonewall Jackson
  Army of Northern Virginia
  Army of the Potomac
  Lafayette McLaws
  Chancellorsville
  Darius Couch
  George Stoneman
July 1, 1863
July 3, 1863
Battle of Gettysburg

General Robert E. Lee [CS] advances into Pennsylvania where he meets George Meade [US]. First battling north of the city, by the second day Union forces had retreated south, forming a strong line as men arrived almost continuously. On the third day, the infamous Pickett's Charge marked the end of the Confederates hope for a victory

The bloodiest three days in American history
Pennsylvania
  Bloodiest Civil War battles
  Robert E. Lee
  John Bell Hood
  James Longstreet
  George Meade
  Army of Northern Virginia
  Army of the Potomac
  J. E. B. Stuart
  Lafayette McLaws
  Winfield Scott Hancock
  George Armstrong Custer
  Battle of Gettysburg
  Richard Ewell
  George Pickett
  The Gettysburg Campaign
  Early action at Herbst Woods
  James Archer
  George Armstrong Custer
  Jubal Anderson Early
July 1, 1863 General John Reynolds is killed west of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Less than a month earlier, Abraham Lincoln had offered him command of the Army of the Potomac
  Generals Who Died In the Civil War
  Gettysburg Chronology, July 1, 1863
  Battle of Gettysburg


John Reynolds

Before the Civil War

John Reynolds
John Reynolds
Born on September 21, 1820, John Reynolds was nominated for West Point by future U. S. President James Buchanan when Reynolds was seventeen and attending the Lancaster County Academy in 1837. One of three men in his family that became commanding officers, Reynolds graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1841. During the Mexican-American War he served under Zachary Taylor, fighting at Monterrey and Buena Vista. During the 1859 Utah War, Reynolds served under Albert Sidney Johnson. In 1860 Reynolds assumed command of the cadets at West Point.

During the Civil War

Lieutenant Colonel John Reynolds was placed in charge of a regiment and reassigned to the Union's North Carolina coastal force. Before the force under Ambrose Burnside left, George McCall tapped Reynolds (now a Brigadier General) for his Pennsylvania Reserves. His fellow commanders in the Pennsylvania Reserves were George Meade and Edward O. C. Ord. In early 1862, Reynolds not only trained his troops near Fredericksburg, he became the highly respected provost of the city.

From Fredericksburg Reynolds and his command sailed to White House Landing on June 9th. Arriving at the east end of the Richmond and York Railroad on June 14, 1862, Reynolds advanced to Tunstall Station only to find it in flames, courtesy of J. E. B. Stuart. The Confederate cavalry had set fire to the depot earlier in the day during Stuart's Ride around McClellan. At the Battle of Ellison Mill, Reynolds took a strong position behind a mill race alongside Truman Seymour. A. P. Hill's attack began with James Archer's brigade striking Reynolds in what was the beginning of a rolling attack against the Union line. During the Battle of Gaines Mill on June 27, 1862, Reynolds and a majority of his command were either killed or captured. Reynold's brigade was chosen for rear guard, but Reynolds fell asleep and was captured at Boatswain's Swamp by men under Daniel Harvey Hill. He was taken to the infamous Libby Prison in Richmond. Exchanged in August, 1862, Reynolds I Corps struck Rebels at the top of Henry Hill during Second Bull Run, delaying the Rebel advance on the retreating Federal Army.

Returning to Fredericksburg, John Reynolds commanded the I Corps of the Army of the Potomac, under William Franklin in the Left Grand Division. His position, on the extreme left flank, put him up against Powell Hill. Although the battle was a Union disaster, one of his division commanders, George Meade, successfully crossed the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad tracks, before being turned backed by a massive Confederate counterattack. Reynolds is often cited for his failure to support Meade's attack, however, at the time Meade requested support General David Birney was in operational command.

Joseph Hooker did not commit the I Corps to battle during Chancellorsville. Following Chancellorsville, he become commander of the Pennsylvania Reserve, a home guard intended to protect the state from a possible Confederate invasion. In Edward J. Nichols book, Toward Gettysburg: A Biography of General John F. Reynolds when Abraham Lincoln was looking for a new commanding general for the Army of the Potomac in June, 1863, John Reynolds was his first choice. In a private meeting on June 2, Reynolds told Lincoln he would do it so long as Lincoln protected him from political pressure. Lincoln knew he could not do this, so Reynolds refused the command. Less than a year later Lincoln would agree to the same demand made by Ulysses S. Grant.

At Gettysburg

From his headquarters in Taneytown, Maryland, commander George Meade asked John Reynolds to assume command of the hastily formed Left Wing of the Army of the Potomac on June 30, 1863. Reynolds and Meade had a long-term relationship that included Meade serving under Reynolds during the Seven Day Retreat. With Powell Hill marching on John Buford's defensive lines west of Gettysburg, Reynolds arrived in the town, found Buford and rode to the Seminary Ridge. After viewing the oncoming Confederate threat (two brigades under James Archer and Joe Davis), Reynolds ordered Buford to prepare his men to withdraw as the I Corps arrived.

As the First Division of the I Corps arrived, Reynolds directed the 2nd Brigade north of the Chambersburg Pike to replace Col. William Gamble and the 1st Brigade to the south of the Pike to replace Col. Thomas Devin. The 1st, an all-Western brigade, went into battle formation (changed from a column to a line) near the Lutheran Seminary and advanced prepared to fight. Reynolds urged the 2nd Wisconsin Regiment (Iron Brigade) on as they entered Herbst Woods. As Reynolds turned to look for the next regiment a MiniƩ-ball struck him from behind and he died almost instantly. Abner Doubleday assumed command of the I Corps for the remainder of the day, but was replaced by John Newton that evening and Doubleday returned to divisional command.

Links appearing on this page:

A. P. Hill
Abraham Lincoln
Albert Sidney Johnson
Ambrose Burnside
Army of the Potomac
Battle of Ellison Mill
Battle of Gaines Mill
Daniel Harvey Hill
Edward O. C. Ord
Fredericksburg
George Meade
Herbst Woods
J. E. B. Stuart
James Archer
James Buchanan
Joseph Hooker
Powell Hill
Ride around McClellan
Second Bull Run
Seven Day Retreat
Ulysses S. Grant
Utah War
West Point
Zachary Taylor

Civil War Encyclopedia >> People - Union Military

John Reynolds was last changed on - November 13, 2009
John Reynolds was added on - November 15, 2006





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