Captain S. E. Reynolds
Captain S. E. Reynolds

Information on this page is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, published in 1880.

CAPTAIN S. E. REYNOLDS. The subject of this sketch is of English origin. His ancestors came to America and settled in Rhode Island previous to the Revolutionary war. The great grandfather of Capt. S. E. Rcynolds, Wm. W. Reynolds, was a native of Westerly, R. I., and came to Petersburg in the year 1780. He was a very enterprising man, of strong character, and respected by all. He was supervisor of Petersburg from 1801 to 1803, inclusive, and held many other political positions.

Benjamin Reynolds was the second son of Wm. W. Reynolds, and was born in Westerly, R. I., and came to Petersburg in company with his parents and older brother Thomas. He was a tanner and farmer by occupation, and became well off. He held various town offices, and was regarded as an intelligent and influential man. He married Mary Wait. A family of seven children were reared by them, one of whom was Silas W., who was born in Petersburg, Rensselaer Co., N. Y. Silas W. taught school for some time. He married Deborah, daughter of Thomas Randall, December, 1835, by whom two children were born, viz.: S. E. and Addie. He was a Democrat in politics. He died in April, 1839.

Thomas Randall, son of Joshua and Celia (Reynolds) Randall, was born in Petersburg, about 1790. He was a soldier in the war of 1812. He was a clothier by occupation. He married Polly Stillman, daughter of Asa Stillman and granddaughter of Joseph Stillman, natives of Rhode Island, by whom several children were born, one of whom is Mrs. Deborah Clark, "formerly Randall." In politics a Democrat. He died in 1872, and his wife Jan. 4, l879.

Asa Stillman was a very early settler of Rensselaer County; was supervisor during the years 1801-10; was a farmer and distiller by occupation. He reared a family of six children.

Capt. S. E. Reynolds, son of Silas W., and Deborah (Randall) Reynolds, was born in Petersburg, Rensselaer Co., N. Y., Dcc. 27, l837. He attended the common school until he was fourteen years of age, when he entered De Peyster Academy. He remained there two years, after which he attended Alfred Academy two years. He then entered the junior class of Union College, from which he was graduated in June, l86l. Aug. 13, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company C, Black Horse Cavalry, and was chosen second lieutenant of his company, having headquarters at Troy.

In November they went to Washington, D. C., where they remained in camp until April 1st, when they were mustered out of service. He re-entered the service Sept. 11, 1862, as first lieutenant in the 1st New York Mounted Rifles, and went immediately to the front, at Suffolk, Va., where he was engaged in active duty, and was in several small battles. He was in the seige of Suffolk by Gen. Longstreet. From thence, in the winter of 1864, his regiment went to Williamsburg, Va., and took part in Gen. Butler's raid on Richmond and Gen. Kilpatrick's last raid around Richmond, in which Col. Dahlgreen was so terribly mutilated. They went with Gen. Butler up the James River in the spring of 1864, participating in all the battles of the James, around Petersburg, and at Fort Darling. He was promoted to captain April 26, 1864. In May, 1864, he was provist marshal for Gen.Turner, continuing two months.

June 16, l864, he was engaged with Gens. Turner and Terry cutting the rail road between Petersburg and Richmond, and there met Gen. Lee's advance on Petersburg. Immediately afterward he was attached to the headquarters of the 18th Army Corps with his company, and participated in all the battles of that corps around Petersburg until September, when his company joined their regiment and became connected with Gen. Kurtz's cavalry division. They were engaged on the 29th and 30th of September in Gen. Ord's advance against Richmond, in which Fort Harrison and nearly all the enemy's works in front of Richmond were captured. On the 7th and 14th of October he was engaged in battles in front of Richmond. In the spring of 1865 his regiment was sent by Gen. Grant to cut the Weldon Railroad at Weldon, N. C., for the purpose of preventing Gen. Johnston from uniting with Gen. Lee. His regiment entered Richmond April 12, 1865, Lee having surrendered on the 9th. From this time until December, 1865, Capt. Reynolds had charge of a district comprising the counties of King and Queen, Middlesex and Sussex. March 13, l865, Capt. Reynolds was breveted muajor by President Lincoln for gallant services during the war. He was mustered out of service Nov. 29th, 1865, and returned home. He then studied law, and graduated from the law school at Albany in June, 1867, and for two years following practiced law in Troy. In the fall of 1869 he came to Petersburg and engaged in the manufacture of shirts, which business he continued to follow.

He cast his first two Presidential votes for Lincoln, but has since affiliated with the Democratic party. He held the office of justice of the peace for two terms; was elected supervisor of Petersburg in 1878, and in 1879 was re-elected for two years. He has been very often a delegate to county conventions; is chairman of the Second Assembly District Central Committee; was a delegate to the State convention at Utica, April, 1876, which met to nominate delegates to the National Convention, which met at St. Louis, in 1876, to nominate candidates for the offices of President and Vice President.

He married Fannie Dernberg, and to them three children were born. viz: Walter E., Alfred W., and Maud H.

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