Friday, March 22, 2013

Gettysburg, PA

John F. Reynolds and the Battle of Gettysburg

The Making of a General

On the morning of July 1, 1863, Major General John F. Reynolds was organizing his men on the edge of a small Pennsylvania town named Gettysburg. As the Confederate troops marched closer, Reynolds was seated atop his horse, shouting orders and urging his men to keep fighting.

Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 20, 1820, John Fulton Reynolds studied in Lititz. He was nominated to the U. S. Military Academy in 1837 by Sen. James Buchanan, a friend of the Reynolds family.

For several years after leaving the academy, Reynolds was assigned in the south—Florida and South Carolina—then Texas during the Mexican-American War. Afterwards, Reynolds was assigned throughout the country. He was stationed in Maine, Louisiana, New York and Oregon.

Reynolds was promoted to Brigadier General on August 20, 1861, and was assigned to the newly formed Army of the Potomac. During the first two years of the Civil War, Gen. Reynolds served under a number of commanding officers and was involved in several major battles. He was at the Second Battle of Bull Run, where he led his men in a stand that halted a Confederate advance long enough to give the Union forces time to form an organized retreat.

Later, at the request of Pennsylvania’s governor, Gen. Reynolds was given command of the Pennsylvania Militia during the Confederate invasion of Maryland.

After the Battle of Fredericksburg was over, on November 29, 1862, Reynolds was promoted to Major General.

The Battle of Gettysburg

On the morning of July 1, 1863, Union Brigadier General Buford occupied the town of Gettysburg and worked to prevent the advance of two Confederate infantry brigades.

Major General John F. Reynolds was leading the “left-wing” of the Army of the Potomac. Reynolds was supervising the 2nd Wisconsin when he was shot from his horse and died while urging his men forward.

Today, historians do not agree on many things about Reynolds death: exactly when Reynolds was killed; whose bullet it was that killed him; and exactly where he died. The most widely accepted theory, though is that the place on the Gettysburg battlefield where a small monument commemorates a man who died, so they say, urging his men to keep fighting.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania

Though most people do not expect to hear the howl of a wolf in settled Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, visitors to Speedwell Forge—just north of Lititz on Route 501—may have just that experience.

            The Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania, located at 465 Speedwell Forge Road, is home to more than forty rescued wolves and wolf-hybrids. The sanctuary operates completely as a non-profit and is funded by the donations of visitors and supporters. It is not a government supported organization.
During the winter months, up to March, the wolves are especially active during the tour times, which may be found on the sanctuary’s event calendar. During the month of March, tours are given Sunday, Thursday, and Saturday: Tuesday by appointment.

On Saturday, March 30th, the sanctuary will offer their traditional Full Moon Tour, offered on the Saturday of each month nearest the full moon. During this evening tour, visitors may take their time and walk from pack to pack at their own pace. When you grow tired of walking, there is a bonfire where you may sit and roast marshmallows, or just talk.

These tours are a good way to learn about the wolves both housed at Speedwell Forge and wild wolves. The volunteers who give the tours are passionate about these beautiful animals—and are not afraid to show it.

Either before or after the tour, the gift shop is a good place to stop. They offer picture postcards of the wolves and other merchandise to commemorate a special day spent with some special wolves.