John Reynolds is Just Dandy

During a recent stay in Gettysburg, as I walked down the stairwell from the third floor, I came across an interesting painting hanging over one of the landings. Here’s a portion of the picture:

I don’t know anything about the painting: who painted it, or when, or in what medium. I don’t even know if this is the original or just a print. I kind of like it, though.

Meade’s horse is in motion, with both feet slightly off the ground (look at the shadows, where you can see gaps of sunlight between shadow and hooves). John Sedgwick’s horse stands as firm and immobile as the real-life statue of O. O. Howard’s horse on East Cemetery Hill, while Howard’s horse in the painting looks attentive and ready.

Dan Sickles, off his horse, is shown with both legs—obviously pre-wounding.

But what first caught my eye about this painting, specifically, was John Reynolds standing in the foreground. With hands on hips, he looks like he’s waiting for a train that’s running late (perhaps it’s a bullet train…). His askew hat does not look rakish, though; he looks, instead, like a bit of a dandy.

As I look closer, I’m beginning to wonder of maybe Howard’s horse is staring at Reynolds—I can’t tell. All I know is that I keep looking at him, at this painting, my eye drawn to the figure in the foreground instead of the army commander and his flag.

9 Responses to John Reynolds is Just Dandy

  1. Howard appears to be missing the bottom half of his right leg. Perhaps the painter was confused about which part of his anatomy he lost . It was his right arm lost at fair oaks. It was confederate general Ewell who lost his leg.

  2. In the painting , Howard clearly has his right arm!! How funny is that! No right leg but yes a right arm. An easy mistake to make

  3. Of ANY of the Union high command to make into a “dandy”, it sure as heck should NOT have been John Reynolds. Reynolds frequently led by example and shared the hardships of troops under his command. On the last night of his life, Reynolds slept on a wooden floor covered by an army blanket (or row of wooden chairs, depending on source). Reynolds pushed himself and his men hard and was as tough as they come. No George Pickett in John Reynolds.

  4. Sedgewick – KIA 1864
    Reynolds – KIA 1863
    Howard – WIA 1862
    Meade – WIA 1862
    Sickles – WIA 1863
    color bearer – if it was 42nd NY Inf Sergt. Michael Cuddy, KIA 7/3/63

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