counted in turn on having within his reach and at his immediate service at least the three corps that belonged to him, and there can be little question that if they had been up as promptly as he was in answer to Buford
's call, the line he had marked out would have been fully manned and firmly held, while Meade
's concentration behind Gettysburg
would have gone on easily, and the whole of the Army of the Potomac would have done briefly and effectually what was gained only at the end of three days of hard fighting, with varying successes that more than once threatened to turn against us, and the loss on our side would have been so much less that the pursuit of Lee
's forces could have been made promptly and irresistibly.
It is not, however, given to all men to be of the same spirit, and the three corps that were under Reynolds
followed his orders in a very different way from that in which he always did his work.
When he got Buford
's demand for infantry support on the morning of the first, it was just what Reynolds
expected, and with characteristic energy, he went forward, saw Buford
, accepted at once the responsibility, and returning to find the leading division of the First Corps (Wadsworth
's), took it in hand, brought it to the front, put it in position, renewed his orders for the rest of the corps, assigned the positions for the other divisions, sent for his other corps, urged their coming with the greatest speed, directed the point to be held by the reserve, renewed his report to Meade
had found the place for a battle, and that he had begun it, then calmly and coolly hurried some fresh troops forward to fill a gap in his lengthening lines, and as he returned to find fresh divisions, fell at the first onset.
The suddenness of the shock was in itself, perhaps, a relief to those who were nearest to Reynolds
In the full flush of life and health, vigorously leading on the troops in hand, and energetically summoning up the rest of his command, watching and even leading the attack of a comparatively small body, a glorious picture of the best type of military leader, superbly mounted, and horse and man sharing in the excitement of the shock of battle, Reynolds
was, of course, a shining mark to the enemy's sharpshooters.
He had taken his troops into a heavy growth of timber on the slope of a hill-side, and, under their regimental and brigade commanders, the men did their work well and promptly.
Returning to join the expected divisions, he was struck by a Minnie ball, fired by a sharpshooter hidden in the branches of a tree almost overhead, and killed at once; his horse bore him to the little clump of trees, where a cairn of stones and a rude mark on the bark, now almost overgrown, still tells the