General John Reynolds
Commander, I Corps

Discussions by GDG Members

Reynolds and Buford Meet
Strategic Positions
John Reynold's Romance
Death of Reynolds
Effect of Reynold's Death
Remarks of Rev. Walter Powell, at the grave of Gen. Reynolds
Documents Found in John Reynolds's pockets at time of death  
Reynolds and Buford Meet

From: Terry Moyer Subject: Re: Buford and Reynolds meet


In _Gettysburg July 1_, (which is an excellent book and which is taking me a millenium to read), David Martin comes down squarely on the side of the meeting in the cupola scenario with Reynolds. (p96 -97, esp 97). Martin describes some of the questions concerning the meeting, but says; "Since both Jerome and Doubleday expressly place Reynolds at the Seminary building, and Veil's accound does not definitely contradict them, the incident is best accepted rather that (sic - LOTS of typos in this book) rejected." The following citation appears in the bibilography section of the book on page 702: Cameron, Bill. "The Signal Corps at Gettysburg." The Gettysburg Magazine, No. 3: 9 - 15. Oh yeah, and the following appears on the acknowledgments page of the book. "I am also grateful to Edward G. Longacre for research help and advice on the role of Buford's cavalry in the battle, and to Benedict Maryniak and Tim Smith for similar help at interpreting the fighting on Oak Hill."

Terry Moyer


Subject: Buford and Reynolds meet

In a message dated 95-12-24 20:43:34 EST, Bill wrote:

One the Jerome issue, I guess I believe Jerome on the issue of Buford being in the cupola when Reynolds rode up. The letter to Hancock was written right after the war (Oct 18, 65) [Bachelder I, p. 200-1]. Sauers questions it primary because he couldn't understand why Buford would be in the cupola but it is not that far from McPhearson Ridge and it is plausible to me that he went up there to see what was going on. Anyway, it is a case where Jerome would have had to just made up the story. Not enough time had gone by for him to get it mixed up. During my research on the Signal Corps, Jerome shows up a lot (he swam wire across the Rapidan, under fire, during Chancellorsville). Buford thought highly of him and he was an aggressive Lieutenant but there is nothing I have read that makes me think that he was prone to engage in hyperbole. He was writing to Hancock on behalf of Buford's role in the battle and I don't think it was particularly self serving. Could be wrong, you can become protective of these guys after you "get to know them".


Have you read "Morning at Willoughby Run," by Richard Shue? (Talk about your micro history here - now we're not only getting major works on single days of the battle, but serious efforts on _parts_ of days.) Shue supports the seminary as the meeting site, for much the same reason - he finds Jerome wholly credible, and besides, there's corroborating evidence from Buford's aide and a civilian, as well.

Dave Powell says:

In a message dated 96-07-01 20:12:57 EDT, you write:

What do you make of the fact Reynolds turned down the AOP command in reality, because Wash. wouldn't give him free control of the army? Was he overreacting, or it wasn't in his military nature to play games like Hooker? I can see you didn't feel Hooker deserved another command shot with the AOP.

Historian John Hennessy has an interesting and I think accurate observation to make of Gen. Reynolds in his article on the AOP on the Eve of Chancellorsville, in the recent series of essays published by UNC Press:

" Reynolds had been a candidate for command of the army but, when canvassed, had demanded too much autonomy to suit the Washington set. This was no disappointment to some in Congress. Like so many of his cohorts, Reynolds was widely viewed as a conservative of the McClellan ilk and consequently had received the hostile attention of some members of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. Indeed, Senator Benjamin F. Wade, who chaired the committee, recently had proclaimed his intention to see that Reynolds was removed from the army. But unlike many of his colleagues, Reynolds was quietly Democratic -- just as he was quiet about most things....Reynolds was probably the most respected man in the Army of the Potomac...." 

Esteemed member barbara jones

Hello, everyone!

With reference to Elaine's post concerning the romance of John Reynolds, he met Catherine Mary Hewitt in the summer/early fall of 1860 on his return from California. He was returning to the east after having taken a position of governess to a family in California. She was born on April 1, 1836 in Oswego, New York, to a wealthy family, so we might conclude that being a governess in California was just a bit of a lark for her. She was considerably younger than JFR, who was born 21 September 1820. At any rate, JFR was a bit of a restrained and remote person, and he told no one of his growing attachment. Miss Hewitt was Catholic, and to the staunchly Protestant Reynolds family, JFR was concerned that the family might not welcome her. They did exchange rings at sometime during the next year, his West Point class ring and a small gold ring of Kate's with "Dear Kate" engraved on it. Kate moved to Torresdale, PA, to the Sacred Heart Academy to take instruction in the Catholic faith, and was there at the time of JFR's death. She came immediately to the home of Katherine Reynolds Landis, JFR's sister, in Philadelphia, and for the first time met the grieving Reynolds family. It was Ellie Reynolds who remained with Kate during the long night of July 3 when she grieved beside John's coffin. She did not attend the funeral the next day, July 4, in Lancaster, due to grief. She then entered the convent of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul at Emmitsburg, maryland, where she remained as a teaching nun until September 1868, when she disappeared from view completely, leaving the convent because of illness. Despite many efforts by the Reynolds family to contact her, she was never found again. 

Esteemed member barbara jones

Hello, everyone, again!

A few more items about the romance of John Reynolds and Catherine Mary Hewitt. It's a very moving story. She was small, trim, blond and blueyed with a very sweet almost childlike face. John was returning from his western post when he met Kate. He went on to his next tour of duty as commandant of cadets at West Point, September 1860 through May 1861. Not much is known of how often they met, where, etc., but we know that Kate did settle at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Torresdale, PA soon after their meeting. Although JFR was close to his five sisters (Lydia Evans, Catherine Landis, Jenny Gildersleeve, Harriett and Ellie Reynolds) and his three brothers (Sam, Will and Jim) (parents deceased), he still had a bit of reserve about their acceptance of Kate who was by mid-1861 his fiancee. He wore her ring on a chain around his neck, under his uniform along with a medal she gave him "to keep him safe." According to Kate's confidences to his family after his death, they had determined to marry after the war and to honeymoon in Europe. After JFR's death, he was taken by his aides to Westminster, Maryland and his body was loaded onto the Baltimore train which arrived in the city early on the morning of July 2. It was immediately taken to be embalmed and then, accompanied by his sister Jenny and his brother in law George Gildersleeve, the body went on to Philadelphia where it lay in state through July 3. Kate arrived that day, and spent almost all of the hours remaining until the funeral on her knees beside him. We know that the funeral was a quiet and dignified occasion, as requested by the family, but the silent grieving crowds were enormous. Even when the cemetary could not possibly hold another mourner, still the people came with their hands full of flowers from their gardens. Kate did indeed join the Sisters of Charity on July 12, and was a teaching nun, Sister Hildegarde, for five years. JFR's orderly, Charles Veil, paid Kate a visit at the convent in April 1864, and found her still very griefstricken. We do not know what ever became of her after she left the convent, but research is ongoing at this time to attempt to trace her. 

Dear Barbara,

I read with great interest you desire to chronicle the last 4 days of JFR's life. I would find that very interesting!

I just wanted to share with you who carried JFR off the battlefield upon his death at Herbst Woods. The Fourteenth Brooklyn were the first to carry him back to Seminary Ridge, where the 76th NY Vols carried him into town.

Please consult:

1. "New York at Gettysburg" by James B Lyon published in 1902 Vol.2 pg.688 Adress by Seth Low;

2. "History of the Army of the Potomac" by Stine pg.455 statement by J.C. Rosengarten (staff of JFR);

3. "Star & Sentinel" newspaper April 10, 1888 (Gettysburg);

4. "Morning at Willoughby Run" by Richard S. Shue, published in 1995 by Thomas Publications pg. 114 (see footnotes too) and pg. 224. 

Esteemed member contributes:

In a message dated 96-12-12 11:52:17 EST, you write:

<< Esteemed member ERIC JAMES

Just been thinking (!), we read/hear constantly about what a loss Reynolds' death was to the Army of the Potomac. I'm wondering why this is so. What were Reynolds' big pre-Gettysburg accomplishments? He is spoken of with such reverance that I suspect there must be more to the man than mere competence. I believe he was a stalwart at Chancellorsville, but then so was Meade, no?

As historian John Hennessy points out, Reynolds' pre-Gettysburg career probably had more downs than ups, militarily. Hennessy views Reynolds' performance in the debacle of Second Manassas, where he vainly tried to preach reason to the misguided army commander Pope, as perhaps his "finest hour". But I would note that there was something about Reynolds' persona, his bearing, his character -- that elicited almost instinctive respect from his subodinates, and may have been the key ingredient in his popularity. His aide, Stephen Minot Weld, touches on this when he wrote of Reynolds as "the best general we had in our army." Weld continues,

"Brave, kind-hearted, modest, somewhat rough and wanting polish, he was a type of the true soldier...." and again, "A braver man or a better soldier than General R. never lived. He was a very reserved man, but still a kind one, and one for whom I had the utmost respect and regard." In other words it was, I think, this "soldierly" persona of Reynolds that most appealed to those who knew him, or who served under him.

Brian Pohanka 

Esteemed member Patty Lindsay and Lee Fuell

Esteemed member contributes:

In a message dated 96-12-12 20:44:32 EST, you write:

Lee Fuell notes,

<< Reynolds loss at Gettysburg was not tragic because of what he had been, but tragic because of what he could have become had he lived--much like Jno Buford.

Interesting you make the comparison of Reynolds and Buford. Colonel Charles S. Wainwright notes in his diary on Dec. 30, 1863, following word of Buford's death,

"In many respects he resembled Reynolds, being rough in his exterior, never looking after his own comfort, untiring on the march and in the supervision of all the militia of his command, quiet and unassuming in his manners. As General Hunt said: 'Reynolds and Buford are the greatest losses this army has suffered.'"

Brian Pohanka 


Wow! Almost enough to make me feel clairvoyant--I've never seen that comparison by Wainwright or Hunt's comment before. My comparison of Buford and Reynolds was based (GDG discussions aside) heavily on their characterizations in The Killer Angels (and I even admit it in this forum!). I wonder if Shaara was aware of Wainwright's and Hunt's comparisons, and intentionally developed his characterizations to be similar?



Subject: Re: News Flash - Reynolds not killed by Sharpshooter! (or was he?)


I believe either Martin or the Shue book I mentioned argues convinvingly that a sharpshooter was unlikely to have been able to shoot Reynolds, and attributes his death to a stray bullet from Archer's brigade.

As for Morningside - they get far too much of my money already. Another catalogue could be crippling...

Dave Powell


Subject: Reynolds' Death

To declare that Reynolds' death came from a stray shot as opposed to a sharpshooter's bullet may be another didactic exercize, but I will throw in my two cents. In researching Iron Men: Iron Will, Reynolds' death was mentioned in several sources. At the same time as Reynolds fell, many other men dropped at the same time. A particularly heavy toll was taken on the flag bearers which would give an indication that Archer's men concentrated their volleys in that direction. Would being killed by a bullet from a Confederate volley constitute being killed by a stray bullet? I don't think so. Being killed by a sharpshooter conjures up a mental image of a single gunman with rifle rested on a rock or limb taking slow aim. I tend to believe that Reynolds died from one of the blasts of a well aimed volley by Archer's men.

Craig Dunn

From: (Alexander Cameron)

Craig, I'll leave the discussion as to the difference between a stray bullet and ;a well aimed volley; to you and Dave, however, Sanders' article in GBM quotes a number of primary sources and basically concludes that it didn't come from a sharpshooter. He discusses the possibility that Reynolds fell ;right after the 2nd Wisconsin had exchanged volleys with the 7th Tennessee ;. He discusses a number of other possibilities to include friendly fire (I hate that term, ain't nothing friendly about it). It looks like a well researched article and I can't do it justice in a short post.

Welcome aboard. I saw your note when you first logged on but nothing since. Glad to have you here. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I see that your book is listed by Morningside. How about telling us some more about it. Where did you do your research and how did the publishing process work?



Ah hah, time for six pages detailing the differences between aimed fire and stray rounds.:)

Actually, I was just repeating what I recalled in passing. I recall some discussion that Reynolds was out of line of sight of Archer's troops, and speculation that it was hence a stray bullet that caught him. A volley from one of Archer's regiments works just as well for me, however.

Dave Powell

Jim, if the version of Reynolds death I mentioned is myth, then I by all means would like to be corrected. I must first confess, that it has been over two years since I read Coddington, 6 months since I read the article in Gettysburg magazine, of which I vaguely remember bits and pieces, 30 yrs of ice hockey will do that to you; and have never read the Shue, or D. Martin works, though reviews of the Shue work I have seen do not consider it a very well researched, or scholarly work.

 Anyway, if Reynolds was shot, I believe you said, "most likely", by the 7th Tennessee, during a volley? I got to thinking, and hope you, or other members could help out? How many effectives were in place in the 7th Tennessee at the time of this volley? 100? 200? 300 guns? Was Reynolds on horseback or standing on the ground at the time of his being shot? Were any members of his staff with him, and were they on horseback or standing? Was Reynolds just caught between the lines when this volley was leveled, or was the 7th Tennessee shooting specifically at Reynolds? Was Reynolds, at the time of the volley, standing directly in front of the 7th Tennessee, or off to one of their flanks? Were there any other regiments to the right or left of the 7th Tennessee, thus covering their flanks, that could also have been shooting in the direction of Reynolds, or was the 7th out alone, with their left and right uncovered? Was it only one bullet that pierced Reynolds body, or was his body riddled from this volley? If he did have staff with him at the time of his being shot, were any of them hit?

 Sorry if I rambled, but Jim's response has, as mentioned, made me curious, and if I have been believing a myth all these years with regards to Reynolds death, I would at least like to know the truth. Are the questions I asked above addressed in the reference material listed in your response to John Leo? If yes, then I can dig out my Coddington's, and my Gettysburg magazine, but would appreciate, if practicable the info from the other sources, though as mentioned, based on the reviews I have seen, the Shue book may be suspect.

 I appreciate the assistance.


 Jeff says:

 Hi Jim,

 Well, now I am even more perplexed. I did dig out my issue of Gettysburg magazine, and while I have Coddington's, I was not able, at least last evening, to look through 30 some odd packed boxes to find it, and I am leaving this evening for Virginia, and will not have that opportunity for over a week. Also, as previously mentioned, I do not own the other two books you mentioned; Shue's and D. Martin's.

 However, upon rereading the Gettysburg article, I found the following: ( I do not have the article with me, as I am at work)

 Sanders' conclusion is most interesting with regards to this issue, for while in the 1st paragraph it is stated, "it is almost impossible to determine what actually transpired that fateful July morning." continuing on to indicate that he can correct that using actual reports, his conclusion would indicate that he really does not know, and that alot of his article is speculation. Also use of the word almost in the above sentence, I believe only allows for him to propose his theories on this subject, and really should not be used upon reading his conclusion, and much of the text.

 These, if not verbatim, are close to what he states in the conclusion:

 "It is at this moment the record becomes confused, making it impossible to determine exactly where Reynolds was when he rec'd his fatal wound" he adds to this that "Possibly his horse dragged him"

 An even more telling statement:

 "The greater likelihood is that "he was felled" near East McPherson Ridge, shortly after the 2nd Wisconsin had exchanged volleys with the 7th Tennessee."

 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ IMHO, this statement is not a ringing endorsement that it was the 7th Tennessee who necessarily killed Reynolds, mainly because of the words, SHORTLY AFTER. I read from this, the volley has already taken place, and it is after the volley that he is felled. Would not the words, "he was felled near McPherson Ridge, AS A RESULT OF, a volley exchange between the 2nd Wisconsin and the 7th Tennessee" be a stronger statement for his conclusion. Since it is shortly after, as Sanders states, and not as a result of the volley, could not a lone gunmen have killed Reynolds? I know one of the reference materials he uses, mentions that it was a specific soldier of the 7th Tennessee who killed Reynolds, as reported in a Confederate publication? Well, if it was during a volley, how would any one soldier know he killed this officer? If it was this gentleman, could not he have fired after the volley, striking the general down? If yes, then could not it then be believed that a sharpshooter in fact killed him? I believe that by Sanders using the words, "shortly after', instead of a strong stance, or statement such as, "as the direct result of" or "as the result of" weakens his position on this issue. Also, if it was the result of a volley, how come only one bullet hit him? Why did none hit his horse? What of Sgt. Veil? Why was he not hit? Nor his horse?

 Another telling portion of his conclusion:

 "it was "Probably" enemy fire which killed him, but it seems equally plausible

^^^^^^^^ that it was "Friendly fire""

 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Well, this adds a new twist to the puzzle? Could create a whole new myth? This only further muddy's what he's trying to say. Does he believe or have concrete proof who killed Reynolds, or how Reynolds was killed? From as best as I can tell, he does not, and his conclusion confirms this. And once again, his use of words, "probably", would indicate that he is not sure, does more harm, than enhance this article. would not "definitely" ben a better word, and that would eliminate the "friendly fire" issue. But, since he chose "Probably" then questions should continue to be raised.

 He uses in his text, alot of officers reports, many who were not there to show how the "myth" grew. Many of the accounts came after the war. It appears from his text, only Sgt. Veil, who was allegedly with the general produced anything during the conflict, and if I recall, he does not say anything in either case, whether it was a full volley, or a lone gunmen who killed him, but tells of being with him, and removing him from the field.

Anyway, in lieu of the above three statements, I've quoted, or attempted to quote from Sanders' conclusion, I do not think he presents a strong case on the killing of Reynolds. His conclusion shows IMHO, alot of speculation as to what really happened, and I do not see where he actually pins this honor on the 7th Tennessee?

 I know during the article, one of Sanders' strongest statements for believing it was not a sharpshooter who killed him is the lack of an autopsy to determine the trajectory of a bullet. However, two issues with this, is that he is really only rebuking the thought that the sharpshooter was stationed in a tree shooting down. He does not make a ny stance on the possibility that the sharpshooter could be elsewhere? Also, lack of an autopsy does not prove anything, nor does it disprove anything. Sanders needs that autopsy to strengthen his statement that the sharpshooter was not in a tree, but the lack of an autopsy does not automatically disspell the possibility of a sharpshooter, it just opens up for argument the possible angle of the bullet. Also, because there is no mention of an autopsy, does not mean one was not performed? Records do get lost, destroyed, etc. Anybody have a good background on medicine at that time? Were autopsy's routinely performed, even if someone perhaps knew the cause of death? If yes, then it's commonality to the times may be why no mention was made?

 I guess I will have to dig out my Coddington's. But as best as i can tell, this article is not a strong affirmation that Reynolds was not killed by a sharpshooter. If I am reading this wrong, please, someone let me know. I am just trying to get this straight, for if the sharpshooter story is a myth, I along with others would like that info. IMHO however, this article does not go far enough to dispell that notion.



Esteemed member Marshall Lewis contributes:

 Greetings All,

 I am very new to the group and have been finding the discussions facinating. My father is the Gettysburg 'expert' in the family, but he has never owned or used a computer. I made a deal with him that if I could find notes for him on the following issue on the internet he would get a computer. He would be blown away by the quality of the discussions here. So, here is my/his question:

 My father wrote down a note years ago stating that a Confederate sharpshooter named Bejamine Thorpe killed Reynolds, or at least claimed to in a letter to the Reynolds family after the war. Unfortunately, my father does not remember where he saw this reference. Evidently the letter is in the Reynolds collections of papers in Lancaster, but he hasn't been able to find it. Does anyone have any information, sources, clues or advice on this issue? I understand that this was a topic a while back -- I apologize for bringing it up again if it's been "done."

 One other question. My father introduced me to the battle by giving me High Tide at Gettysburg by Tucker. I was wondering what you thought of the book and if you could recommend another that is at an "entry" level -- I'm a real novice.

 Finally, as a multimedia developer I'd be interested to know of Gettysburg or CW CD-ROM's that you may have experience with.

 Thanks for any responses.

 Marshall Lewis
Upper Marlboro, MD 

Esteemed member "Bob Sullivan" contributes:

 I wrote a college paper as an independent study on this very topic many years ago (Who Shot General Reynolds?, 1975). It probably was the springboard that led me to become a licensed guide in the mid 70's. The quote (or source) is a story, along with a footnote, in Glen Tucker's book "Lee and Longstreet at Gettysburg". This book is a companion book to his "High Tide at Gettysburg", and includes much of the material that Tucker left out of his Gettysburg work. It has quite a detailed analysis of the McLaws/Longstreet controversy, an attack against the "Sunrise Attack Order" and the entire Early/Gordon anti-Longstreet campaign, and other interesting tidbits. Thorpe's story is in either the end of the first chapter or the beginning of the second. (I'm moving in a week, all books are currently packed). Thorpe, in a letter written after the war, claims that he was detailed for sharpshooter duty on July 1st, and was stationed in a cherry tree about 600 yards from the eventual line. He had a lieutenant as a "spotter". He claimed that his first shot fell short, and was told to correct his aim by his spotter. His second shot hit the mark, and he stated how sad he was to know that he was the man who killed a great man like John Reynolds.

Now, using some basic research and some crude detective techniques (thank you Professor Jack Lane), my paper investigated this incident to determine if Thorpe should have felt guilty about doing this deed. In a nutshell, here's what I found.

An 1860 map of Adams county showed two cherry orchards in the vicinity and at the distance claimed by Thorpe.

 As I recall, one was on the north side of the Chambersburg Pike and one was on the south side. If stationed in the north side orchard, based on the angle of entry of the shot, Reynolds would have had to be facing forwardwhen shot. Based on the accounts of those around Reynolds when he fell, he was facing back and therefore I discounted this orchard. The south side orchard had McPherson's woods between it and Reynolds. I don't know if you hunt, but a shot through a couple hundred yards worth of woods without hitting any trees (in July, mind you) is darned near impossible. This made me suspicious of the account.

According to the OR's there was no mention of sharpshooters detailed from any brigade, from any regiment, on July 1st in Heath's division. However many of these reports were written by officers who weren't in charge on July 1st because of the high casualties in the battle. Also, if sharpshooters were detailed regularly, it wouldn't be mentioned in the reports. I considered this a wash.

Benjamin Thorpe claimed to be from Tenn., but was with a North Carolina regiment, I believe (memory is failing me here).

 A search of the National archives turned up no mention of any Benjamin Thorpe belonging to any regiment in Ewell's corps. I considered this to be a very damaging piece of evidence to his claim, but didn't discount the claim completely on this because I or someone at the Archives may have missed something. While those records are exhaustive, they are not infallible, and neither am I.

Stationed in a cherry tree.

 This point also puzzled me. With the fluid flow of the first day's action, how can anyone pick a spot that would be considered a good vantage point for sharpshooting? Thorpe's story hints that he was stationed there and waited for some time for a shot. With the Confederate advance, retreat, and second advance, I can't see anyone remaining in a tree very long.

Thorpe's claim that he was short on the first shot and corrected his aim. Now, I ask all esteemed members: Logically, with the fire fight that was going on in the vicinity, the tremendous amount of bullets whizzing about, how in the world can one person pick out one miss and identify it as the miss of the sharpshooter stationed in a tree above him?

Based on the location of the orchards, Thorpe's absence from official records and rolls, and the tendency of soldiers in battle in the Civil War to shoot at mounted officers anyway (sometimes directed to by their officers), I discounted Thorpe's claim entirely. While Thorpe perhaps went to his grave believing he was the man who shot Reynolds, I think he didn't.

Rest easy, Benjamin Thorpe.


Bob Sullivan 

Benjamin Person Thorp[no 'e'] does exist. He is listed in NC Troops, volume XIII. He was born September 8, 1844, and resided in Granville County. He enlisted in Virginia on June 1, 1863, and was captured at Falling Waters July 14, 1863. He was at the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, then Point Lookout, and then Elmira. He was finally exchanged on March 15, 1865. No mention of him being from Tennessee, but it does mention the information about him that you found in Lee and Longstreet at Gettysburg.

As to what direction Reynolds was facing when shot keep in mind that, depending on what type of weapon the "sharpshooter" used, it would probably take at least 1 1/2 - 2 seconds for the bullet to reach the target after the gun was fired at a range of 600 yards. A lot can happen in 2 seconds.

Oh, I forgot, Thorp was in Company K of the 55th NC Infantry. I'll let someone else handle CSA troop dispositions on 1 July .

 John Gross 

Esteemed member ( TERRY MOYER) contributes:

 Greetings all,

 My personal opinion is that there is no one who can know for certain who killed Genl Reynolds. However, I believe what Marshall wants to know is not, "Who Killed Genl Reynolds" but "Where did my Dad see the reference that said it was Benjamin Thorpe". If Marshall can find the answer to this question by using the internet, then his father will realize that it is time to buy a computer and get 'connected.'

 So I did a search on Benjamin Thorpe (via the internet of course) and here is an answer for you Marshall:

 REPLY: Who Shot John Reynolds?

 H-Pol/Civwar co-moderator Peter Knupfer ( Thu, 23 Jun 1994 10:30:41 -0500

 From: Greg Gardner, "V70A::GARDNER"


In 'Lee and Longstreet at Gettysburg' (Bobbs-Merrill, 1968) Glenn Tucker makes a strong case that MG Reynolds was shot by 16 yr old Benjamin Thorpe of Satterwhite, NC. Thorpe, a member of the 26th North Carolina in Pettigrew's "All North Carolina" Brigade of Heth's Division, was one of 100 sharpshooters selected from the regiment to support the attack of Archer's Brigade. Tucker calls him " of the best marksmen in Lee's army."

 Thorpe was assigned to the top of one of the cherry trees on McPherson's farm. At about 9 AM his lieutenant shouted up to him, "Ben, do you see that tall, straight man in the center of that group? He is evidently an officer of some high rank and is directing operations. Sight your gun at 700 yards and see if you can reach him." The officer was, of course, MG Reynolds who had just arrived on the field and drawn up on the little elevation on the eastern edge of McPherson's woods.

 Thorpe's first shot fell well short. "That was a little short, Ben," said the lieutenant. "Sight her at 900 yards this time and hold steady, for we must have him." Ben sighted carefully and squeezed the trigger. "I knew before the report died away...that the shot had been a good one," he said. Then he saw the man fall and his horse plunge forward.

 "Ben, it did its work," said the lieutenant. "You may come down now. It's time for us to be moving."

Thorpe didn't find out until long after the battle that the man he had shot was Reynolds; "a great and good man." Thorpe noted he was "genuinely sorry" and added, "I have been sorry ever since."

Interestingly, after the war, Thorpe wrote to the Reynolds family in Pennsylvania to explain the circumstances and express his regret and sorrow. He received a letter of reply in the same good spirit, saying that Reynold's death was the fortune of war, and making it clear that the Reynolds family held no animosity toward a young soldier who fought for his convictions and obeyed his officer's orders.

All that is from pp. 214-216 of the referenced work. Tucker's footnote cites an unsigned story in the Pittsburgh 'Leader' from 1903 entitled "He Shot General Reynolds." A copy is in the Gettysburg Park Clipping Book, I, 127.

Greg Gardner