Reno, Jesse Lee was born on June 20, 1823 in Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia). Son of Louis and Rebecca (Quinby) Reno.
Graduated from the United States Military Academy, 1846.
Brevetted Second lieutenant of ordnance United States Army, 1846. Brevetted for gallant and meritorious conduct at Cerro Gordo in Mexican War. Brevetted captain for actions at Chapultepec.
Assistant professor mathematics United States Military Academy, 1849. Secretary board on heavy artillery technique, 1849-1850. Assistant to ordnance board Washington (District of Columbia) Arsenal, 1851-1852.
On border and coast surveys, 1853-1854. In command of arsenal, Mount Vernon, Alabama, 1859-1861, Leavenworth, Kansas until fall 1861. Commissioned First lieutenant, 1853, captain, 1860.
Brigadier general United States Volunteers, 1861, commanded brigade in General Ambrose Burnside’s expedition to North Carolina. Commanded division in Department of North Carolina, 1862, took part in movement to Newport News, Virginia, and the Rappahannock. Commissioned major general, 1862.
Commanded IX Corps of Burnside’s right wing in August campaign in Virginia and took part in Battle of Manassas, August 1862. Served at Battle of Chantilly, September 1862. Reno (Nevada) named in his honor.