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Joseph Jones Reynolds

Union general
Born: 1/4/1822
Birthplace: Flemingsburg, Ky.

Born in Kentucky, Reynolds moved to Lafayette, Ind., with his family in 1837. A year later he entered Wabash College at Crawfordsville, and in 1839 he gained entrance to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After graduating in 1843, he served on the frontier and then taught at West Point until he resigned as a second lieutenant in 1857. For a brief time he taught engineering at St. Louis University before returning to Lafayette to run a grocery business with his brother.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Reynolds became the colonel of the 10th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Within two months he was promoted to brigadier general and assigned to a command in western Virginia, where he held off a Confederate offensive at Cheat Mountain in Sept. 1861. In December his brother died, and Reynolds gave up his commission to take care of family business in Lafayette.

He returned to the field in Sept. 1862 and two months later was promoted to major general. In 1863 he commanded a division during the Tullahoma campaign and also at Chickamauga. Later that year he was appointed chief of staff for Gen. George Thomas. In 1864 he helped organized the capture of Mobile, Ala., and from late 1864 to early 1866 he served as the commander of the military department of Arkansas.

After the war, Reynolds was commissioned as a colonel in the regular army and served in the infantry until 1870, when he transferred to the cavalry. In 1876 he led an attack on a Sioux village on the Powder River in Montana. Although the expedition was successful, Reynolds withdrew inexplicably, leaving behind his dead and a wounded soldier. Following an official inquiry into his conduct, Reynolds resigned the next year and moved to Washington, DC. He died there and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Died: 2/25/1899

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