1831 November 17: appointed Midshipman/U.S. Navy. In his post he travels extensively. 1836-1837: attended naval school, Norfolk, VA 1837 June 15: became a passed Midshipman. 1838: worked at the U.S. Navy's Depot of Charts & Instruments in Washington, D.C. This office is a pre-cursor to the U.S. Naval Observatory. 1838-1842: served as an officer on the U.S. Exploring Expedition (a.k.a. the Wilkes Expedition.) 1841 September: received commission as Lieutenant. 1842 August 16: married Rebecca Krug in Lancaster, PA 1852-1861: resided in Kauai and Honolulu, Hawaii during leave of absence from Navy; placed on Reserve list. 1855 September 24: placed on reserved list due to ill health. 1857 February 23: appointed Naval Store Keeper at Honolulu. 1862 June 9: appointed Commander of U.S.S. Vermont, South Atlantic Blockading Station, Port Royal, South Carolina. 1866 July 25: promoted to Captain. Stationed on the U.S.S. Lackawanna to Hawaii. 1867: took possession of Midway Island for the U.S. 1870: appointed Commodore. 1870-1875: appointed Chief of the Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting. 1873 and 1874: served as Acting Secretary of the Navy (two occasions). 1873 December 12: appointed Rear Admiral. 1875: appointed Commander of the naval forces bases at the "Asiatic Station" (Japan, China, Siam), Flagship U.S.S. Tennessee. 1877 December 10: placed on Retired List. 1879 November 5: died in Washington, D.C.
Additional Resources for William Reynolds
Cleaver, Anne Hoffman and E. Jeffrey Stann, Ed. Voyage to the Southern Ocean: The Letters of Lieutenant William Reynolds from the U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1988. Published correspondence of William Reynolds to his family while a member of the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842.
Dick, Steven J. Sky and Ocean Joined: The U.S. Naval Observatory 1830-2000. New York: Cambridge U.P., 2002. In 1838 William Reynolds (1815-1879) served at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, DC.
Rosengarten, J.G. William Reynolds, rear-admiral U. S. N. John Fulton Reynolds, major-general U. S. V., colonel Fifth U. S. infantry. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1880. Nineteenth century abbreviated biography of William and John Fulton Reynolds.
Viola, Herman J. and Carolyn Margolis, Ed. Magnificent Voyagers: The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1985. Catalog published by the Smithsonian to accompany an exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History honoring the U.S. Exploring Expedition.