do justice to his services and to his memory.
This statement does injustice to General Meade
, between whom and General Reynolds
existed a strong personal friendship, and we feel sure that both these gallant soldiers, now in their graves, would disapprove of the publication of anything calculated to convey so wrong an impression.
The above quotation from Meade
's official report is proof that he appreciated General Reynolds
' action on the first day at Gettysburg
, and, subsequently, on the occasion of the presentation to him of a sword by the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, he thus spoke, in words that express most eloquently the regret and admiration with which he cherished the memory of his fallen comrade and friend: “This reunion awakens in my heart a new sorrow for an officer whom it vividly recalls to my mind, for he commanded the division when I commanded one of the brigades.
He was the noblest as well as the bravest gentleman in the army.
I refer to John F. Reynolds
I cannot receive this sword without thinking of that officer.
When he fell at Gettysburg
, leading the advance, I lost not only a lieutenant of the utmost importance to me, but, I may say, that I lost a friend, aye, even a brother.”
While the contest was going on between the enemy and our advance, General Meade
was at Taneytown
, about thirteen miles distant, in the centre of his army.
Owing — to the direction of the wind, the sound of Reynolds
' guns did not reach his headquarters, and he did not hear until one P. M. of the same day that a portion of our troops had met the enemy, and that Reynolds
at once sent General Hancock
, with orders to assume command of all the troops, and to report to him concerning the practicability of fighting a battle there.
has been criticised for sending General Hancock
to command officers who were his superiors in rank, but that he was justified in doing so is made apparent by the following extract from a dispatch from General Buford
, an able and distinguished officer, received by General Meade
had gone to the front:
Being satisfied, from the reports of officers returning from the field, that General Lee
was about to concentrate his whole army there, General Meade
, without waiting to hear from Hancock
, issued orders to the Fifth and Twelfth Corps to proceed to the scene of action.
At 6.30 P. M. he received the first report from General