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