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Brigadier General
John F. Reynolds

 

 


 
John F. Reynolds

 

Click here to read an article from Esquire about Michael A. Riley entitled "What We Can Learn From Reenactors."

star with link to reynolds interview


John F. Reynolds was born in Lancaster, PA in 1820. He graduated from West Point in 1841. His career in the Regular Army included service in the Mexican War, the Utah Expedition, and various campaigns against the Indians. He received two brevet promotions for gallantry and meritorious conduct during the Mexican War. In 1860, he was appointed commandant of cadets and instructor of tactics at West Point, where he served until the outbreak of the Civil War.

Reynolds' first command during the Civil War was a brigade of the Pennsylvania Reserve Division. In June of 1862, Reynolds served as military governor of Fredericksburg, VA. After the battle of Gaines Mill, he was captured by Confederates and was later exchanged. He commanded the Pennsylvania Reserve Division at Second Manassas and led the Pennsylvania militia during the Maryland Campaign. Promoted to major general, U.S. Volunteers, he commanded the First Corps of the Army of the Potomac at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.

The day before the Battle of Gettysburg, George Meade placed Reynolds in command of the three corps which formed the left wing of the army. In Gettysburg, on July 1, 1863, he came to the aid of General Buford’s cavalry by directing the deployment of the Iron Brigade. He urged his men to advance on the persistent Confederate forces. Major General John Fulton Reynolds was one of the most respected, courageous and most competent Union officers, was struck in the neck by a mini ball and died in the instant of his greatest success.

                                                                                      Generals Reynolds and Buford in the field.

                                                                                            (Portrayed by Michael A Riley and Michael Smith.)
                                                                                    More photos on Events page.

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You can read more about the life and career of General Reynolds in Michael A. Riley’s book For God's Sake Forward, available online on Amazon and The Lancaster Historical Society.

 Portrayal by Michael A. Riley   Michael A .Riley is considered one of the foremost authorities and biographer on John F. Reynolds. An article on Esquire.com called him the "most educated and expert human alive on everything there is to know about General Reynolds." Riley was born and raised in Reynolds' home town. Riley has spent decades studying Reynolds and the Civil War. He presents living histories in the first person as Reynolds, has appeared in many movies as Reynolds, was a consultant on the movie Gettysburg, and due to his similar appearance to General Reynolds, he has been the subject of paintings by many noted artists.  

 

 

 

 

Reynolds on horse                             "Time to Fight"

"Reynolds" painting by artist Dale Gallon   www.gallon.com                             "Time To Fight" by artist Dale Gallon    www.gallon.com