William Reynolds (naval officer)
December 10, 1815|
|Died||November 5, 1879
|Place of burial||Lancaster Cemetery|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1831–1877|
|Battles/wars||American Civil War|
|Relations||John F. Reynolds (brother)|
William Reynolds (December 10, 1815 – November 5, 1879) was a rear admiral in the United States Navy who served during the American Civil War. His younger brother (by five years) was United States Army general John F. Reynolds.
Reynolds was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and joined the Navy in 1831. His first assignment was to the Boxer, in which he toured Africa, Brazil and the Malay archipelago. In 1837, he was promoted to passed midshipman and to lieutenant in 1841. From 1838 to 1842, he served with the U.S. Exploring Expedition, and was among the first to sight the Antarctic mainland. In 1842, he was assigned to the Cumberland.
In 1862, he was promoted to commander and given his first ship, the Vermont, a receiving ship at Port Royal, South Carolina. (When that ship was replaced by the New Hampshire, he was transferred to command it.) He was subsequently given command of the depot there.
In 1865, Reynolds was promoted to captain and given command of the screw sloop Lackawanna after the American Civil War, assigned to the Pacific. In 1867, he was the officer to formally claim the Midway Atoll for the United States, after its discovery by a sealing ship in 1859. In 1870, he was made a commodore and was made the Chief of the Bureau of Equipment. In 1873, he was promoted to rear admiral and given command of the Asiatic Squadron from his flagship, the steam frigate Tennessee. Reynolds served as the acting Secretary of the United States Navy in 1874.
In 1877, due to failing health, he retired from active service. Reynolds died in Washington, D.C., on November 5, 1879, and is buried next to his younger brother, John F. Reynolds, in the cemetery in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
- Rear-Admiral Reynolds. The New York Times. New York, N.Y.: November 6, 1879. pg. 4, 1 pgs
- William Reynolds; Nathaniel Philbrick (2004). The Private Journal of William Reynolds : United States Exploring Expedition, 1838–1842. Penguin Classics. ISBN 978-0-14-303905-1.
- "William Reynolds". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
- Reynolds Family Papers Digital Collection : Franklin & Marshall College
Robert F. R. Lewis
|Commander, Asiatic Squadron
16 August 1875–12 August 1877