Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fairfield Dead - William R. Reynolds

William R. Reynolds was born in Laporte, Indiana in 1838. He spent his teenage years working on the farm of James Greenwood in Springfield township, Laporte County, according to census records. He was probably still working here at the outbreak of the Civil War, though he does not appear in the 1860 census.

On June 19, 1861, William enlisted as a private in Company D, 8th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. The company was organized in nearby Norwalk, Ohio. He served with this unit for over a year, including the Peninsula campaign.

During the battle of Antietam in September 1862, William was wounded. His regiment saw some of the heaviest fighting in the battle, suffering nearly 50% casualties. This was apparently enough of infantry life for William and many others. The following month, recovered from his wound, he transferred to the cavalry.

Reynolds enlisted as a private in Company C, 6th U.S. Cavalry on October 23, 1862. He was sworn in by Lieutenant Albert Coats at Knoxville, Maryland, while his regiment was stationed at nearby Harpers Ferry. His enlistment documents describe him as 5'7" tall, with light hair, gray eyes, and a light complexion.

Private Reynolds survived the battle of Brandy Station unscathed, but was not so lucky the following month. He was part of Lieutenant Joseph Bould's squadron at the battle of Fairfield, which served as the regimental reserve. Seeing the regiment being overrun by a charge of the 6th Virginia Cavalry, Bould charged with his squadron in an attempt to stem the tide. Unsuccessful, the squadron was routed and pursued. Reynolds was most likely killed in the charge or the ensuing pursuit.

William Reynolds is buried in Gettysburg National Cemetery.


Anonymous said...

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Pamplin Historical Park and
The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier
(804)861-2408 Office
(804)861-2820 Fax

One of “Virginia’s Best Places to Visit” according to the Travel Channel, and designated as a National Historic Landmark, Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier is a 422-acre Civil War campus located in Dinwiddie County, Virginia offering a combination of high-tech museums and hands-on experiences. The Park has four world-class museums and four antebellum homes. The Park is also the site of America’s premiere participatory experience, Civil War Adventure Camp. For more information, please call 804-861-2408 or visit

J David Petruzzi said...

Don - thanks for this... I'll be sure to give him a special tip of the kepi on my next visit.