demonstrations against Fredericksburg
Here we saw the general cross the Rappahannock
, on the pontoon bridge, in gallant style, under a heavy fire of shell.
Three days after this he visited our division, then on the right of the army at Chancellorsville
, his corps having arrived upon this battle-ground the evening before, in time to take the place of the Eleventh Corps, then just swept from its position by Stonewall Jackson
's famous flank attack, in which Jackson
himself found a soldier's death, and the Confederacy
lost one of its greatest heroes.
Once again we remember seeing General Reynolds
It was when on the march to the world-renowned battlefield of Gettysburg
He was standing on a little eminence near his headquarters, looking, doubtless, with a just pride at his splendid corps, as it filed past him into camp for the night.
This was the last time our eyes rested upon that noble officer and patriot.
That vision often looms up in the memories of the great rebellion.
A few days thereafter he fell.
A distinguished officer of his staff says:
On the night before the battle, General Reynolds retired to his room about midnight, and rose early, as was his usual practice.
On the march from our headquarters, at the Red Tavern, he was very reticent and uncommunicative to all around him, as was his wont.
He was, in this respect, an entirely different man from any other general officer with whom I served during the war, having very little, if anything, to say to any one, other than to communicate to them such-orders as he desired executed.
He would, while upon the march, ride miles without having any conversation with any one.
Our ride to Gettysburg.formed no exception to this rule.
From this you can see that no conclusion could be arrived at as to what his feelings and presentiments were upon that day. I consider him one of the finest and most thorough soldiers which the civil war brought before the country.
The whole army was shocked at the death of General Reynolds
His corps deeply felt his loss.
This great Commonwealth, of whom he was a native, mourned over his death.
In him the national cause lost a powerful supporter and leader.
The officers of his corps testified their appreciation of his services, and their high regard for him as their commander and comrade, by the erection of a monument to his memory.
With the historian's record of the great battle of Gettysburg
, Major General John F. Reynolds
' bright name and fame will pass down to posterity.
Were a star quenched on high,
For ages would its light,
Still traveling downward from the sky,
Shine on our mortal sight.
So, when a great man dies,
For years beyond our ken,
The light he leaves behind him
Upon the paths of men.