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Lieutenant March 3, 1847. He accompanied the army in its triumphant march into the interior, and greatly distinguished himself for his gallantry at the battle of Cerro Gordo, April 18, 1847. For his conduct upon this occasion he was brevetted First Lieutenant, his commission dating from the day of the victory. He faithfully served. through the summer campaign, and by his energy and intelligence attracted the favorable attention of his superior officers. At the storming of the castle of Chapultepec, September 13th, he was again prominent and was severely wounded in the course of the action. For his gallantry in this action, he was rewarded by a promotion to a brevet Captaincy. Returning home in 1818, he was appointed, January 9, 1849, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at West Point and held the position for six months, when he was selected as Secretary to a Board of Artillery officers. thus engaged for nearly two years in making experiments with heavy guns, which led to extremely interesting and valuable results. He also prepared a system of tactics for heavy artillery. He was subsequently detailed upon the Coast Survey, in which he served but a short time, when he was ordered to the Engineer Department, and proceeding to the West, superintended the construction of a military road from the Big Sioux river to St. Paul's, Minnesota. He was made a full First Lieutenant of Ordnance, March 3, 1853.
In the year 1854, General Reno was stationed at the Frankford Arsenal, Bridesburg, Pennsylvania. Here he served three years, when he accompanied General J. E. Johnston, in his expedition to Utah, as Chief of Ordnance. He returned in 1859, was on duty for a time at the Mount Vernon Arsenal in Alabama, and was subsequently sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. On the 1st of July, 1860, he was promoted to a full Captaincy, was called to Washington in the early part of the war and was commissioned as Brigadier General of Volunteers, November 12, 1861. His distinguished gallantry at Roanoke Island and Newbern secured his promotion to Major General of Volunteers, April 26, 1862. His
subsequent career, and the nature of his services to the date of his death, have been made sufficiently familiar to the reader of these pages. In all the acts of his life his fine and generous qualities of character were made manifest. He was quick and hasty in temper, thought, speech and act, and of great daring. Possibly he may have sometimes been impatient of results, and so may have exposed himself to unnecessary danger, thinking that his personal example might stimulate others to a more prompt and vigorous performance of duty. But he was always just, always ready to recognize and reward merit, if equally ready to condemn unfaithfulness. Warm-hearted, cordial, fearless, he was a thorough soldier, and fully deserved all that his superiors in command have said of him. General Pope's testimony in his behalf has already been adduced. “The loss of this brave and distinguished officer,” says General McClellan, “ tempered with sadness the exultations of triumph. An able general, endeared to his troops and associates, his death is felt to be an irreparable misfortune. He was a skilful soldier, a brave and honest man. “ I will not attempt, in a public report,” says General Burnside in his report of the operations of his command in Maryland, “to express the deep sorrow which the death of the gallant Reno caused me. A long and intimate acquaintance, an extended service in the same field, and an intimate knowledge of his high and noble character had endeared him to me as well as to all with whom he had served. No more valuable life than his has been lost during this contest for our country's preservation.” A brave and gallant gentleman, indeed, who knew no fear and suffered no reproach!
The officers of our army recognized his sterling qualities of head and heart. Even strangers and casual acquaintances perceived his worth, and felt the impression which the sense of his manliness and honor made upon them.
The public journals throughout the loyal States bore witness to his fine nobility of character, and it was universally agreed that the
* McClellan's Report, p. 197.
loyal cause had lost one of its best, bravest and most trustworthy defenders. His remains were taken from the field where he fell, were carried to Boston, Massachusetts, where his family then resided, and were carefully and tenderly consigned to the earth. In person, General Reno was of middle stature, stout, well knit and compact in frame. His forehead was high and broad, his face wore a genial expression, his eye beamed upon his friends with rare and quick intelligence, or, kindled in the excitement of conflict, flashed out in brave defiance of the foe. He had a magnetic kind of enthusiasm, and when leading on his men, he seemed to inspire his followers and make them irresistible in action. A dauntless soldier, whose like we rarely see!
VOR the battle of South Mountain, which General Burn
Fidel fought, a General MeClellan received the hearty
thanks of the President. Mr. Lincoln, immediately upon hearing the gratifying intelligence of the victory, sent the following kind message: “God bless you and all with you ; destroy the rebel army if possible.” General McClellan, during the fight on the 14th, had massed his entire army, with the exception of General Franklin's command, in Middletown and its immediate vicinity. At early dawn on the 15th, the advance of the pickets revealed the fact that the enemy had retired during the night from the mountain and its neighborhood. General Mansfield had arrived at headquarters early in the morning after the battle, and immediately assumed command of the twelfth corps. That Corps, with those of Generals Sumner and Hooker, the latter of which had been detached from General Burnside's command, and General Pleasonton's cavalry, were ordered to pursue the enemy on the main road through Boonesboro'. General Franklin was ordered to move into Pleasant Valley, and occupy Rohrersville. General Burnside with the Ninth Corps, now under command of General Cox who had succeeded General Reno, and General Sykes's division, was directed to march by the old Sharpsburg road. But little occurred during the day, except a severe skirmish with the enemy's cavalry in the village of Boonesboro', which resulted in killing and wounding a number and capturing two guns and two hundred and
*General McClellan in his first dispatch transmitting intelligence of this battle made no inention whatever of General Burnside.