Pension File of
age 36 at enlistment
5 ft, 7 inches
blue eyes, gray hair
place of birth: Ireland
Enrolled June 5, 1861, company G, 12th Regiment. Honorably discharged at Columbus, OH July 11, 1864.
Enrolled in Col E 11 OVI 6 Sept. 1864, discharged 11 June 1865.
Married to Eunice Brown. She was previously married. maiden name Bartlemay.
William Ryan not previously married.
They had three children: Ellen, b. 1853; Catherine A. b. 1855; Lewis E. b. 1857.
Married Eunice Brown in Dayton, OH 27 July, 1851 by Rev. David Winters. Soldier had not been previously married, she had been previously married to Henry Brown who died in New Boston, Indiana in 1849, date not known. cholera epidemic.
Witnesses who wrote letters supporting William Ryan's pension claim:
Joseph Hilt--Says William was a good soldier
Abrabham Bowman (William's son in law)
Margaret O'Maly--had known soldier for 66 years prior to his death. (A relation?)
Jabez J. Antrim--physician. States William was from "soon after the war on up to 1875 at times rather dissipated from the use of liquor, his periods of dissipation lasting from 3-4 days to a week, during which times he would be more or less exposed."
Joel Sharrits (William's brother in law--he married William's wife's sister, Susan)
Joseph Van Tilburgh
Case of William Ryan, Dayton OH January 10th, 1887
I have the honor to return papers in the above designated claim for pension with my report thereon.
This claim was submitted to the Special Examination Division to determine merits. I served the usual two day notice on claimant, who desired that the examination proceed at once, which was accordingly don. the claimant was with me in person at the taking of all the depositions except that of Capt. Joseph Hilt, of Middletown, Ohio, in which instance claimant declined to attend. Claimant expressed himself well pleased with the manner, fairness, and conducet in this special examination, and waives further examination unless such should be at Germantown, Montgomery County, Ohio.
This claimant is 71 years old, very talkative, is ignorant and has poor memory, particularly on dates....
George C. Stettler is a man of much intelligence, perserved a diary of events during the War, and while he at times is somewhat disipated, yet his reputation for truth is good, and his manner, contuckt and means of knowledge of matters testified to convinced me that he told me the truth, for he was very careful with his statements. The other witnesses, all stated well, and their reputations for truth are good.
In this case, I think the evidence shows that claimant was sound at enlistment, and lame or weak back in September and October, 1861, while in line of duty, that said lame or weak back has continued since that time, and to a pensionable degree since June 11, 1865....
And I am, Very Respectfully,
Word of William Ryan as told to examiner:
My name is William Ryan, age 71 years, occupation laborer, am now an inmate of Soldiers Home, for D.V.S., Montgomery County Ohio, Post office National Military Home, Montgomery County, Ohio.
I served in Co. G, 12th O.V.I. Enlisted at Germantown, Montgomery County, Ohio, in 1861 and was discharged at the expiration of my service at Columbus Ohio. I next enlisted in Co. E, 11th O.V.I. a short time after my first discharge and served about one year and was discharged on the expiration of my term of service, after the close of the War, at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, OH.
I was born in Limmerick County, Ireland, November 15, 1815, and came to Whitehall, New York, soon after. I became 25 years old and remained there one year. I then went to Litchfield Connecticut and staid there about 9 months. then I came to Miamisburg, Montgomery County, Ohio, married, and lived there 17 years. Then I moved to Germantown, Montgomery County, Ohio, which was there for four years before the War, where I have lived ever since, except my stopping here. I came here to this Soldiers Home just 4 years ago today.
While in Miamisburg I worked on the C.H. and D. RR with several persons whose whereabouts I cannot tell at this time. I had but little doctoring done in those days, but sometimes got medicine Dr. Joseph Weaver, Miamisburg. I lived a short time in that part called Bridgeport and the rest of the time in the Western part of Miamisburg, Montgomery County, Ohio.
After I moved to Germantown, I worked as a laborer for Dow, Antonis, who is now dead, for Henry Huffman, who is also dead, his widow, now lives and her son Huffman keeps a grocery store on north side of 3rd St, west of D.V.H. RR, for Jacob Anthimen (?) now of Germantown, for Fred Swansley, now dead.
My family physician was Dr. Anthrine, now of 219 Wayne St., Dayton Ohio.
I was a sound and able bodied man when I enlisted in the service of the United States, and had never before that time had any sickness except smallpox when I was very young, and a year a time or two. Never had any rheumatism before the War. I have not been in the military or naval service of the United States since my last discharge in about June 1865.
*my note, a page or so talking about how he contracted Rheumatism in West Virginia, Kanawah Valley, General Rosencrantz ordered General Benham to command them "in the attempt to defeat and capture, if possible, general Floyd and Wise the confederates then east of them in the Mountains, do not know which mountains, under command of General Benham, we chased said rebel forces for three days to the North, and finally they burned the bridge back of the mountains and we could not catch them. We then, near some larger mountains, I do not know the names, prepared to stay all night, procured some straw with which to make a bed, and lay there that night, but it rained all night, thundered and lightninged, and rainded and made me very very wet, and I had to squeeze the water out of my clothes the next morning, and put them on agian. We then started back to Kanawa Valley, West Virginia, and while on my way back I felt keen pains in by back, which the Dr. Graham, the head doctor of the regiment, said was rheumatism. I would not go to hospital. I got medicine for rheumatism but would not go to hospital. I never got well of rheumatic pains.....
When I returned from the War I became engaged with my family in raising tobacco, at Germantown, Montgomery County, Ohio, and I could make only about a half a hand. This continued for about16 years, then I sold the property three for $200.00, and lived on that for 2 years, and then came here which was four years ago. "
The interview proceeds to Questions and Answers:
Q.: Were you not under sentence of General Court Martial from about October 22, 1862, to confinement at hard labor during the remainder of your term of service and loss of all pay to that time?
A. Yes. But when General Burnside came, I was released. I was confined 2 or three weeks, after which I went back to the regiment and served with the regiment all the rest of the time, and received all my pay and was not docked one copper. At the second Battle of Bull run I was very sick--vomited and had no appetite and was not able for duty.
Q. State whether or not you were absent under sentence of General Court Martial from October 22, 1862-September 1863.
A. I was at Camp Dennison, Ohio, for a while after the court martial in about October 1862, but I cannot tell just how long I stayed there, think it may have been about three months after my sentence that General Burnsides came along and had me released.
Q. Now you state that you contracted rheumatism in West Virginia i October or Nov. 1862, and agian under the sentence of general court martial you say you remained for probably three months ...How do you explain this descrepency?
A. I know that I had my court martial just after the battle of Antitam and that I got my rheumatism when General Rosencrantz sent General Benham with us after Generals Floyd and Wise, the rebel generals, is all the explanation I can make.
Q. State why you were court martialed.
A. I had a fight with an Irishman named Pat Berry, because he was bragging on Southern Men and I was bragging on Northern Men. He struck me five times and I struck him o;n the arm with a tobacco knife, wounding him slightly on the arm.
Another page and a half of questions and answers.
William Ryan died July 31, 1907, at his son's residence, Lewis E. Ryan, 1718 W. First St., Dayton, Ohio. Eunice then filed for a widow's pension.
January 16, 1908, Eunice Ryan, age 80.
I first married Henry Brown who died in Boston, Wayne County, Indiana in 1849. There is no record of his death, and the physician wo treated Brown is dead. I afterwards married William Ryan and was not married to any other person.
Eunice was born March 6, 1824, Montgomery County, OH
Witness for Eunice: John J. Rife, Wayne County, Indiana
" I know some thing of one Henry Brown who died with cholera in Boston, Wayne County, Indiana in June or July 1849. He died in the second story of the home situated on the corner of Main and Saline(?) streets. A short time before his death Isaac Sianey (?), now deceased, went to the pump in the door yard. the handle ? and he heard some one holler in the house. He went in and found Henry Brown sick with cholera and he begged him for some water. Mr. Sianey brought him a pitcher of water set it beside the bed. He returned in a day or so and found Mr. Brown dead. During the epidemic of cholera here in 1849 it was no uncommon thing for relations to bury the dead as I know of more than one occasion where brothers buried brothers , some buried fathers, and so on. Henry Brown had brothers, named Joseph, William, and Isaac."
Submitted by: Lisa Hoffman
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