Reynolds, John Fulton

Reynolds, John Fulton,

1820–63, Union general in the American Civil War, b. Lancaster, Pa. He distinguished himself in the Mexican War. In the Civil War, Reynolds was made (Aug., 1861) a brigadier general of volunteers. In the Seven Days battles (July, 1862), he was captured at Gaines's Mill but was exchanged in time to command a division at the second battle of Bull Run (Aug., 1862). In November he was made commander of the 1st Corps of the Army of the Potomac and promoted to major general. He rendered able service in the battles of Fredericksburg (Dec., 1862) and Chancellorsville (May, 1863). In the Gettysburg campaignGettysburg campaign,
June–July, 1863, series of decisive battles of the U.S. Civil War. The Road to Gettysburg

After his victory in the battle of Chancellorsville, Confederate general Robert E. Lee undertook a second invasion of the North.
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 Reynolds directed the fighting on the first day (July 1, 1863) until he was killed.


See biography by E. J. Nichols (1958).

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Reynolds, John Fulton

(1820–63) soldier; born in Lancaster, Pa. A West Point graduate (1841), he served in the Mexican War and on the exploration and Indian-fighting expeditions in the West; he was commandant of cadets at West Point when the Civil War began, but was soon assigned to help defend Washington, D.C. Starting in spring of 1862 he held command positions in a series of battles and was considered one of the best generals in the Army of the Potomac—many believe he rather than Meade should have succeeded Hooker as its commander on the eve of Gettysburg. Instead he was killed by a Confederate sharpshooter at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.