BUST VIEW CDV OF MAJOR GENERAL JOHN FULTON REYNOLDS - KILLED AT GETTYSBURG

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Vignette image of Reynolds in uniform. Contrast is good and the image is clear. Surface is very clean.

Reverse has “GENL REYNOLDS” in pencil at top. Photographer’s imprint reads J. E. McCLEES… PHILADELPHIA.

John Fulton Reynolds was born on September 20, 1820, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 1837, he was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Reynolds graduated in 1841 finishing 26th in a class of 50.

After his graduation, he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd United States Artillery at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland. Over the next four years he would serve at Forts Pickens and Marion in Florida and Fort Moultrie in Charleston, South Carolina. During the Mexican War, Reynolds, by then a 1st lieutenant, served under General Zachary Taylor. He was brevetted twice for gallantry. At the Battle of Buena Vista, his artillery stopped a flanking attack by Mexican cavalry, forcing their army to withdraw.

After the Mexican War, Reynolds served at various posts and from September 1860 to June 1861 he was the Commandant of Cadets at West Point, where he also served as an instructor.

On August 20, 1861, he was appointed Brigadier General of volunteers in the Union Army and was put in command of the Pennsylvania Reserves.

During the Seven Days Campaign, Reynolds commanded his brigade at the Battles of Beaver Dam Creek and Gaines’ Mill. After the latter, an exhausted Reynolds was captured while attempting to get some sleep. An embarrassed Reynolds was comforted by his pre-war colleague, Confederate General D.H. Hill, who told him “do not feel so bad about your capture, it’s the fate of wars.”

Reynolds did not remain a prisoner for long; just weeks later he was exchanged and put in command of the entire division of Pennsylvania Reserves. At the Battle of Second Manassas, Reynolds led a rear guard counterattack that bought time for the Union Army to escape potential annihilation. He was unable to participate in the Battle of Antietam because a panicky Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin demanded that he command local militia forces during Lee’s invasion.

Reynolds once again commanded his division at Fredericksburg. Afterward, when General Joseph Hooker was given command of the Army of the Potomac, Reynolds was given command of Hooker’s old First Corps. After the Battle of Chancellorsville, Reynolds was one of several Union Generals who urged Hooker’s removal. However, when President Lincoln met with Reynolds and offered him command Reynolds replied that he would only accept the position if he could be sure there would be no interference from his superiors in Washington. Unwilling to sacrifice civilian control of the military, Lincoln instead put Reynolds's friend General George Meade in command.

On the morning of July 1, 1863, as he was leading his forces towards Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Reynolds received a message that the Union cavalry were already engaged with Confederate Infantry. Reynolds rushed his First Corps to McPherson’s Ridge and while deploying his men he received a bullet through the neck. He died instantly. Reynolds was the highest ranking soldier on either side killed at Gettysburg.      [ad]

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