site logo
J.F. Reynolds

J.F. Reynolds

Federal (USV)

Major General

John Fulton Reynolds

(1820 - 1863)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Education: US Military Academy, West Point, NY, Class of 1841;Class Rank: 26/52

Command Billet: Commanding PA Militia

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: Pennsylvania State Militia (1862)

Before Antietam

After graduating from West Point in 1841, he entered service with the 3rd US Artillery. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in June 1846. He served as Regimental Quartermaster 1850-52, following Mexican War service, where he had been cited by 2 brevets for his actions Monterey and Buena Vista. He was promoted to Captain in March 1855. He was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the new 14th US Infantry in May 1861. After a short period as Commandant of Cadets at West Point, he accepted a commission as Brigadier General of Volunteers in August, commanding a Brigade of Pennsylvania Reserves.1

In June 1862 he was captured on the Peninsula Campaign, and was held in Libby Prison. He was exchanged in August, and returned to command McCall's Division. The division fought well, under Pope in the Army of Virginia, at Second Bull Run.2

On the Campaign

Reynolds was released to command Pennsylvania state militia troops at the request of Governor Curtin on September 12 in defense of his home state, and was detached there for most of the Maryland Campaign.

The rest of the War

On September 29th Reynolds was back with the AoP and was given command of the First Corps. He was promoted to Major General, USV, in November 1862.1 He saw service in Corps command at Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. Beginning in June 1863, after (possibly) having been offered command of the Army of the Potomac, he commanded the "Left Wing" of the AoP. 2

He was killed in action early in the first day's fighting at Gettysburg, at the very front of his command, on 1 July 1863.

References & notes

An Alfred Waud sketch of Reynolds' death at Gettysburg is online from the US Library of Congress.

His gravesite is pictured online from Find-a-Grave. The photo above is from one in the US National Archives, Record Group 111: Records of the War Department, Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 1860 - 1982.


09/21/1820; Lancaster, PA


07/01/1863; Gettysburg, PA; burial in Lancaster Cemetery, Lancaster, PA


1   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, pg. 825  [AotW citation 485]

2   Tagg, Larry, The Generals of Gettysburg, Campbell (Ca): Savas Publishing, 1998  [AotW citation 486]