Monday, August 25, 2008

The Death of Reynolds - Gettysburg

A simple monument marks the spot where Union Major General John Reynolds was killed instantly by a wound to the back of the head on the first day of fighting at Gettysburg. In quick succession his body was taken to Westminster and then by train to Baltimore where it was embalmed. Within 36 hours of his death his body was in Philadelphia, then on another train to his hometown of Lancaster for burial. As the nation celebrated a Union victory at Gettysburg, he was interred in a simple service on the 4th of July. Captain Stephen Weld, with the General from Westminster and witness to the burial, wrote: "Poor General Reynolds disappeared from us for some time to come." Reynolds's standing in the Army is reflected in the number of monuments associated with him on field - including a full equestrian statue, another fall-length bronze in the National Cemetery, plus one on the Pennsylvania State Monument, this marker and a frieze depicting his death on the New York State Monument. (Click image for larger view).

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