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  • General John Reynolds' Witness Tree Deluxe Letter Opener
  • General John Reynolds' Witness Tree Deluxe Letter Opener
  • General John Reynolds' Witness Tree Deluxe Letter Opener
  • General John Reynolds' Witness Tree Deluxe Letter Opener
  • General John Reynolds' Witness Tree Deluxe Letter Opener
  • General John Reynolds' Witness Tree Deluxe Letter Opener
  • General John Reynolds' Witness Tree Deluxe Letter Opener
SKU: WT-172

General John Reynolds' Witness Tree Deluxe Letter Opener

$80.00Price

Born in September 1820, John Fulton Reynolds was a career United States Army officer and one of the most respected senior commanders during the American Civil War. By the time of the Battle of Gettysburg, Reynolds was a brigadier general. On the morning of July 1, 1863, he commanded the left wing of the Army of the Potomac, with operational control of the I, III and XI Corps as well as General John Buford’s cavalry division. Earlier that morning, Buford occupied the town of Gettysburg in response to two Confederate brigades of infantry arriving from the west. Buford set up light defensive lines in front of the Confederates to delay their advance until Reynolds arrived with the I Corp of Union infantry. Upon his arrival, Reynolds rode ahead of his troops to meet Buford and discuss strategy. As Reynolds was supervising the placement of the 2nd Wisconsin, he was said to have yelled, “Forward men, forward for God’s sake, and drive those fellows out of those woods!” At that moment, he fell from his horse, having been hit by a sharpshooter’s bullet near the base of the back of his head, and he died instantly.

The loss of Reynolds was keenly felt by the Army. He was loved by his men and respected by his peers. It is said he turned down the command of the Army of the Potomac by President Abraham Lincoln, who ultimately chose Gordon Meade for the position.

Reynolds’ body was immediately transported from Gettysburg to Taneytown, Maryland, and finally to his birthplace in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where he was buried on July 4, 1863. Befitting his importance to the Union and to Pennsylvania, he is memorialized by three statues in Gettysburg National Military Park and another in front of Philadelphia City Hall.

  • Gettysburg Sentinels crafts products from the oak Witness Tree where Reynolds died on July 1, 1863. The tree fell during a summer storm in 1987. Some of this wood was secured by the Civil War Round Table of Gettysburg, and Gettysburg Sentinels acquired all of the remaining wood from the organization in fall 2023.

  • Available without engraving.

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