Prob. Died Young, Or How Pat Ryan Lost His Eye (As a Union Soldier) (7)

Ryan, Patrick, Invalid Declaration, Union Pension File, 20 April 1892
Patrick Ryan, Declaration for Invalid’s Pension, Civil War Pension Files of Patrick Ryan and Widow Delilah Rinehart Ryan (Invalid’s Pension, South Division, #1107789, Widow’s Pension #586121)

More tying up loose ends from the Civil War pension files of my grandmother’s uncle Patrick Ryan and his wife Delilah Rinehart (if you’re just now seeing this series of posting, this is #7 in the series; you may want to click and read the preceding postings for background):

Fascinating Medical Notes

The meticulous documentation of the injuries Pat Ryan sustained in the accident near the end of October 1865, in which he lost his eye and injured his left hand and arm, is remarkable. As I’ve previously noted, he filed his pension application on 20 April 1892 as an invalid application (see above for a scan of this document), so it’s understandable that the federal pension authorities would want accurate documentation of his injuries. Though it’s not clear to me why a veteran who was not wounded in the line of duty, but, as in Pat’s case, after the Civil War had actually ended, qualified for an invalid’s pension . . . .

The insistence on precise medical documentation continued beyond Pat’s death on 18 October 1893 — a death documented in some detail in the file. When his widow Delilah filed her widow’s claim on 17 November 1893, she was required — all over again — to document her deceased husband’s injuries, how they happened, how they disabled him. I mention all of this because, even if you’re not interested in the details of this particular case, you’ll know that, in the case of your own relatives or ancestors whose lives you’re documenting, you may encounter such detailed medical information in their pension files.

Pat’s initial declaration on 20 April 1892, as he filed for his pension, states that he was 46 years old, a resident of Grant County whose mailing address was Redfield in Jefferson County (four miles from his home at Orion), and that he had enlisted in Co. K, 3rd Arkansas Cavalry on 8 November 1863 (this was at Little Rock, we know from his service papers), and was discharged at Lewisburg (fifty miles west of Little Rock) on 30 June 1865.[1] The declaration states that he suffered from general debility, loss of his right eye, rheumatism in his back and legs, and a wound on his left wrist. Pat signed his declaration by mark. Signing as witnesses were J.M. Reynolds and A.J. Nelson, both indicating that they lived at Redfield and had known Pat Ryan for 19 and 20 years respectively. As I’ve previously noted (see the link at the head of this section of this posting), the family of Dr. Joseph Marion Reynolds (1847-1923) connected to Pat Ryan’s family by marriage when, in 1906, his nephew Lewis Abel Reynolds (1872-1952) married Pat’s niece Frances Isadora Batchelor (1877-1940).

After Pat filed his declaration in April 1892, the Department of Interior Bureau of Pensions responded on 8 June 1892, noting that evidence had not been provided about the loss of the right eye and the injury to the left wrist. The Department directed Dr. F.L. French, secretary of the examining board in Little Rock, to perform an examination. This examination was done on 22 June 1892 in Little Rock.

Meanwhile, two days prior to that examination, on 20 June 1892, Francis M. Murdock and David R. Croy, neighbors of Pat at Orion, filed affidavits stating that they knew that Patrick Ryan had lost an eye and suffered from rheumatism of both legs that caused him at times to be unable to do manual labor. As I noted previously (again, see the link at the head of this section of this posting), Francis Marion Murdock (1853-abt. Dec. 1892) married Pat and Delilah Ryan’s niece Missouri Curtis (1863-abt. Dec. 1892), daughter of Delilah’s sister Sarah Adaline Rinehart and her husband Solomon Curtis. Pat and Lilah raised Missouri following her parents’ death.

When Delilah filed her widow’s pension claim on 17 November 1893, she stated that she and Patrick Ryan married 9 December 1869 at the “Murdock place.” As I’ve also told you previously, the Ryan family connected to the Murdock family in yet another way by the marriage of Pat and Delilah Ryan’s niece Alice Catherine Batchelor (1875-1936) to Thomas Marion Murdock (1876-1955), and of their nephew Moses Valentine Batchelor (1881-1949) to Thomas’s sister Mary Murdock (1885-1927). The two couples had a double wedding at the Orion church on 23 September 1900.

Thomas and Mary Murdock were children of Joseph Clemon (or Clemons) Murdock (1845-1890) and Louisa F. Glisten (1856-1890/1900). Family records state that Joseph and Louisa married in Pulaski County, Arkansas, on 20 April 1872. I don’t find this record, and suspect that the marriage may actually have been in Grant County, and that the  record is not extant, due to the fire in March 1877 that destroyed early Grant County records.

Joseph came to Arkansas following the Civil War, having served as a Union soldier in Company D of the 6th Indiana Cavalry.[2] He’s found on the 1860 federal census in Chattooga County, Georgia, in the household of his parents Jeptha Daniel and Catherine Nelson Murdock.[3] He had first joined Captain H.A. Gartrell’s company of Georgia Cavalry, a Confederate unit, in Rome, Floyd County, Georgia, on 25 April 1864; his service papers give his name as Joseph W.C. Murdock, and his age as 25, though other documents including the 1860 census have him born about 1845; if the latter is correct, he would have been 19 when he enlisted.[4] Chattooga is contiguous to Floyd.

Joseph’s service packet in Gartrell’s unit says he deserted at Columbus, Mississippi, on 31 May 1864. It contains slips showing him on a list of deserters from the Confederate Army, and note that he took the oath of allegiance. His original oath is extant: it shows that on 26 September 1864 in Louisville, Kentucky, he signed an oath of allegiance to the U.S. government, giving his residence as Floyd County, Georgia.[5] On 30 September 1890, Joseph’s widow Louisa filed a pension application in Grant County, Arkansas, for his Union service.[6]

I have not been able to determine how the family of Joseph Clemon Murdock connects to that of Francis Marion Murdock. It’s clear to me that the two Murdock families, which settled near each other in Grant County, Arkansas, are closely related to each other — but precisely how they’re related, I haven’t been able to discover. Francis Marion Murdock is found in the household of his widowed mother Elizabeth in Simpson township in Grant County on both the 1870 and 1880 federal census. Both censuses show him born about 1853-4 in Georgia, and his mother Elizabeth born about 1832-3 in South Carolina.[7] A Benjamin N. Murdock patented land in Jefferson (later Grant) County, Arkansas, on 2 July 1860 in the vicinity of land patented at what would become the Orion community by Robert Allen Sumrall (1831-1900), who married Pat Ryan’s sister Margaret Ryan (1838-1862).[8] What is Benjamin’s connection (if any) to Elizabeth and to the family of Joseph Clemon Murdock?

Back to the pension file: on the same day that Francis M. Murdock and David R. Croy gave neighbors’ affidavits supporting Pat’s pension claim, Dr. Reynolds filed physician’s testimony stating that he had known Patrick Ryan 18 years and that Pat had rheumatism in both legs and kidney problems due to a hematoma a year ago, as well as subacute inflammation of the stomach. He had also lost his right eye.

Two days later on 22 June 1892, Dr. F.L. French of Little Rock filed a certificate of examination, showing that he had examined Pat Ryan along with Drs. E.D. Ayres and E.R. Dibrell. The finding of the three doctors: Pat Ryan had lost his right eye and had rheumatism in his back and legs; his left wrist was wounded, and he exhibited general debility, though he was well nourished. He was 5’5” and weighed 143 pounds. His left wrist showed a scar where there appeared to have been tendon damage that had healed. The examiners recommended an invalid’s pension due to the loss of the eye and the wound to the wrist.

Ryan, Patrick Union Pension File, Medical Examining Board
Patrick Ryan, Report of Medical Examining Board, Civil War Pension Files of Patrick Ryan and Widow Delilah Rinehart Ryan (Invalid’s Pension, South Division, #1107789, Widow’s Pension #586121)

Ryan, Patrick Union Pension File, Medical Examining Board 2
And then, all over again after Pat died and Delilah had filed her widow’s pension, on 15 January 1894, the Department of Interior Bureau of Pensions ordered another military and medical history in support of the widow’s claim. It was at this point, that as I’ve previously indicated, the government office also raised questions about the capacity in which T.L. Cole, who had solemnized Pat and Delilah’s marriage on 9 December 1896, was acting: was he a minister of the gospel, a justice, etc.? And on 29 April 1895, the Department put up another obstacle: Delilah should declare under oath the value of her property and income from all sources.

At the same time, the Department demanded that two credible witnesses testify as to the loss of the right eye and injury to the wrist. There should also be medical testimony that the claimant was disabled and unable to perform manual labor from 25 April 1892, when the claim was filed, to 22 June 1892, when the medical exam occurred. On the same date, the Department stated that it needed testimony to confirm the soldier’s service.

Pat’s sister Catherine Ryan Batchelor (1849-1910) provided testimony about her brother’s injuries on 25 May 1895, giving affidavit at the office of W.C. Davis in the town of Redfield and stating that she was 45 years old and lived at Orion. She provided the same account her brother had given in April 1892 about how he had been injured striking fire at their parents’ house in late October 1865.

On the same day, Catherine’s husband George R. Batchelor (1845-1907) gave a similar affidavit in Redfield before W.C. Davis. Both Catherine and George signed by mark, though Catherine could read and write. I know this, because, as I was growing up, I read letters she had sent to her granddaughter Anna L. Glisten, a daughter of George and Catherine’s daughter Delilah Jane Batchelor (1873-1935), who married Walter Leonidas Glisten (1869-1896). Walter was a half-brother to Louisa F. Glisten who married Joseph Clemon Murdock. His parents were Pleasant A. Glisten and Mary E. Walker, who married 3 September 1865 in Jefferson County, Arkansas.[9] Pleasant Glisten had first married Rebecca Hester on 12 November 1843 in Saline County, and she was Louisa’s mother.

Though Catherine was literate, her husband George was not. This was something that caused great chagrin to their daughter Hattie Batchelor Simpson, my grandmother. When she spoke of her father’s inability to read or write, she often did so with tears in her eyes. She understood, from what had been handed down to her, that her father’s father Moses B. Batchelor (1808-1883) was a hard taskmaster, and did not allow his six sons any time apart from their farm duties, other than to attend family funerals or funerals of neighbors who had died. His insistence on seeing his sons work ceaselesly only increased when their mother Minerva Monk Batchelor (1812-1860) died in 1860.

The upshot was that the sons never received schooling, though Moses himself was a literate man, and had a brother, Wilson R. Bachelor, who was a well-educated man who became a doctor after having taught school in Hardin County, Tennessee. It should also be noted that free public schools had not yet been established in Arkansas at the period in which these Batchelor sons were coming of age and helping their father to carve a farm out of virgin land in the Fenter township of Hot Spring (later Grant) County, Arkansas, from 1848 forward.

After George R. Batchelor and Catherine Ryan Batchelor had given their statements, pensions officials asked (as they did with all witnesses represented in the file) if the couple were reliable witnesses. On 7 May 1895, the Orion postmaster James Harrison Reynolds (1849-1939), whose son Lewis would marry George and Catherine’s daughter Fannie, provided a statement that the couple were “perfectly reliable and stand well in the community.” He added that he had known them for eighteen years and knew whereof he spoke. Harrison Reynolds was a brother of Dr. Joseph Marion Reynolds.

Joseph Marion Reynolds Affidavit
James Harrison Reynolds’ Affidavit Re: George and Catherine Ryan Batchelor, Civil War Pension Files of Patrick Ryan and Widow Delilah Rinehart Ryan (Invalid’s Pension, South Division, #1107789, Widow’s Pension #586121)

A note about Joseph M. Reynolds: as his biography in Goodspeed’s Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Pulaski, Jefferson, Lonoke, Faulkner, Grant, Saline, Perry, Garland and Hot Spring Counties, Arkansas indicates, he was the son of M.B. (Moses Barnes) Reynolds and Lurilda Thompson, who married in 1843. Joseph M. Reynolds was raised in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and graduated from medical school in Louisville.[10] He began medical practice in Louisville in 1865 after having served as a Union soldier in the 49th Regiment of Kentucky Infantry during the Civil War. In 1865, he moved to Illinois, where he married Virginia Caroline Dickey, daughter of Rev. David and Nancy Dickey, on 17 March 1872. Soon after the couple’s marriage, they moved to Arkansas, where Joseph M. Reynolds first settled at Wrightsville in Pulaski County; Joseph laid the town out in 1873.

Joseph Marion Reynolds
Joseph Marion Reynolds and Grandson Monroe Reynolds

The fact that Joseph M. Reynolds was in Louisville, Kentucky, at the same time Joseph Clemon Murdock was there swearing his oath of allegiance and enlisting in an Indiana unit of the Union Army makes me wonder if the two men knew each other prior to the move of both to the same location in central Arkansas following the Civil War. Joseph’s brother Harrison Reynolds married Mildred Ann Abel (1851-1944) in Orange County, Indiana, on 21 December 1871,[11] and his son Lewis Abel Reynolds, who married Pat Ryan’s niece Fannie Batchelor, was born in that county on 21 June 1872 before the family moved to Arkansas in the next year.

Information About  Pat Ryan’s Death

In addition to the detailed information about Pat Ryan’s medical status the combined pension files contain, there’s equally detailed information about the circumstances of his death. On both 6 January 1894 and 29 January 1894, his brother-in-law George Batchelor gave affidavits at Redfield before L.T. Sallee stating that he was present when Pat Ryan died on 18 October 1893, and attended his funeral. The 29 January affidavit also states that George had known Delilah Rinehart Ryan since 1858. The first affidavit is witnessed by Dr. J.M. Reynolds and G.D. Weaver, the second by Lewis M. Patterson and L.T. Sallee. Lewis M. Patterson was pastor of the Orion Baptist Church.

On 7 January 1894, I.L. Rinehart of the Orion community gave affidavit before L.T. Sallee at Redfield, stating that he, too, was with Pat Ryan during his last illness and attended his funeral. This is Isom Alonzo Rinehart (1866-1928), son of Delilah Rinehart Ryan’s brother John C. Rinehart (1845-1920) and wife Nancy Beatrice Ledlow (1842-1911).

On 30 January 1894, Dr. Joseph M. Reynolds gave an affidavit before L.T. Sallee, stating that he was a resident of Redfield and had treated Patrick Ryan in his last illness. The cause of Pat’s death was, according to Joseph Reynolds’ report, swamp fever. “Swamp fever” was a commonly used term for malaria in this period.

One of the old documents I’ve inherited from my grandmother is a Woodmen of the World insurance application her brother Marion Monroe Batchelor (1885-1980) made at Redfield on 17 October 1908. Either my great-uncle never submitted this application to Woodmen of the World, or this is a duplicate copy he filled in and kept for his own records.

Marion Monroe Batchelor, Woodmen of the World Insurance Application

The application states that his father George R. Batchelor died of meningitis on 27 May 1907. Meningitis is a well-known complication of malaria, so I suspect malaria was also the cause of my great-grandfather’s death. The same document states that Monroe’s brother Thomas, who fell dead at the age of 14 on 26 July 1892 as he was working in the fields of his family’s farm, died of malarial fever.

Woodmen of the World Application 1

Woodmen of the World Application 2

A final footnote to this and previous postings: if you obtain a pension document such as this combined pension file and expect the documents in it to provide you information about only your ancestor who filed the pension, you’ll miss valuable information that may be found in abundance in the pension file. That information will often open vistas on entire communities, with their networks of connections. It may lead you to discover that communities you had grown up thinking of as solidly Confederate in their sympathies during the Civil War, because of where those communities are located, were, in fact, enclaves of interconnected Union­-leaning families who may have been drawn to each other and intermarried with each other for that reason.

This is the seventh posting in a nine-part series about this topic. The previous posting in this series is here, and the next posting in the series is here. That posting will end with a link taking you to the next in the series, if you’re interested in following this series to the end.

[1] As Larry Taylor notes, Lewisburg was the site of a skirmish on 12 February 1865, between occupying Union troops under Colonel Abraham Ryan, commander of the 3rd Arkansas Cavalry in which Pat Ryan served, and Confederate forces under Colonel Allen Witt — see “Skirmish at Lewisburg,” Encyclopedia of Arkansas.

[2] NARA M540, Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Indiana; RG 94, Indexes to the Carded Records of Soldiers Who Served in Volunteer Organizations During the Civil War, compiled 1899 – 1927, documenting the period 1861 – 1866.

[3] 1860 federal census, Dirt Town Valley, Chattooga Co., Georgia, p. 653 (dwel. 848/fam. 848, 18 July).

[4] NARA M266, Compiled service records of Confederate soldiers from Georgia units, labeled with each soldier’s name, rank, and unit, with links to revealing documents about each soldier; RG 109, Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Confederate Organizations, compiled 1903 – 1927, documenting the period 1861 – 1865.

[5] NARA M347, Unfiled Papers and Slips Belonging in Confederate Compiled Service Records; RG 109, Papers of and Relating to Military and Civilian Personnel, compiled 1874 – 1899, documenting the period 1861 – 1865.

[6] NARA, General Index to Pension Files 1861-1934, series T288, roll 342; RG 15, Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 1773 – 2007.

[7] 1870 federal census, Simpson twp., Grant Co., Arkansas, p. 234B (dwel. 54/fam. 49, 13 August); 1880 federal census, Simpson twp., Grant Co., Arkansas, p. 232A, ED 100 (dwel. 32/fam. 32, 14 June).

[8][8] Certificate 12214, Little Rock Land Office, BLM GLO.

[9] Jefferson Co., Arkansas, Marriage Bk. VI, p. 11, showing the couple were married at Pine Bluff by Rev. E.L. Crowson, a Methodist Episcopal minister.

[10] Goodspeed’s Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Pulaski, Jefferson, Lonoke, Faulkner, Grant, Saline, Perry, Garland and Hot Spring Counties, Arkansas (Chicago: Goodspeed, 1889), pp. 207-8.

[11] Orange Co., Indiana, Marriage Bk. 6, p. 112.

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