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General Alexander Welch Reynolds (April 26, 1816-May 26, 1876) was born in Lewisburg. He served in the armies of the United States, the Confederate States, and in Egypt. He was a grandson of Frances Hunter Lawrence Arbuckle Welch (second wife of Captain Matthew Arbuckle, who served at the Battle of Point Pleasant) and Alexander Welch, pioneer surveyor.

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1838, Reynolds served as an officer in the army in the Seminole War, the Mexican War, and in the west. At the outbreak of the Civil War he entered the Confederate army as a colonel. With considerable combat experience, including command of the 50th Regiment of Virginia Infantry at the Battle of Carnifex Ferry (after which he was known as ‘‘Old Gauley’’ for the river on whose banks the battle was fought), he rose to the rank of brigadier general.

After the war, on the recommendation of fellow West Virginian and Confederate general, John McCausland, Reynolds accepted a commission as colonel in the forces of the khedive of Egypt, the ruler of Egypt under the Ottoman Empire. Reynolds served in Egypt in various posts, including adjutant general, from 1870 until his death. Although there is a memorial to him in the Old Stone Presbyterian Church cemetery in Lewisburg, General Reynolds was buried in Egypt.

This Article was written by Joseph Crosby Jefferds Jr.

Last Revised on December 08, 2015


Jordan, Weymouth T. Jr., et al. Soldier of Misfortune: Alexander Welch Reynolds of the U.S., Confederate and Egyptian Armies. Lewisburg: Greenbrier Historical Society, 2001.

Cite This Article

Jefferds Jr., Joseph Crosby "Alexander Welch Reynolds." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 08 December 2015. Web. 22 June 2024.


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