|Publish date 1924.|
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Death: Dec. 25, 1924.
Wife: Minnie J. Forkner Runyan, ( 1849-1930?)
Married January 15, 1880.
Children: James Runyan.
Burial: Oakwood Cemetery. Warsaw, Kosciusko County, Indiana.
Note. The following came from The History of Kosciusko County Indiana, Volume 1.
This book can be found and read on line. There is a lot more on him in this Volume.
John N. Runyan, a native of Warsaw, and identified with both the Twelfth and the Seventy-fourth regiments, was one of the young- est officers ever called to the performance of important duties in the Union army. When in his sixteenth year he could hold himself in leash no longer, he found that he was too short in stature to reach military requirements, but thick soles and well stuffed boots overcame that drawback, and in December, 1861, he was finally accepted as a recruit for Company E, Twelfth Indiana Infantry. His was one of the short-term regiments and he was mustered out without seeing active service, in May, 1862.
But Private Runyan had been baptized and now his overpowering ambition was to be a real soldier; so upon his return to Warsaw he took an active part in recruiting Company A of the Seventy-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and in July, 1862, then only in his seventeenth year, -was mustered in as sergeant. The regiment became part of the Fourteenth Army Corps, under Thomas. He was promoted second lieutenant in April, 1863, and at the battle of Chattanooga in the following November, the captain and first lieutenant of Company A having been badly wounded early in the action, the command devolved upon Lieutenant Runyan. From every authentic account he was fully equal to the occasion. Twenty-five of his forty four men were pierced by enemy bullets, and he was also struck by a spent ball, but remained at his post. The result of this remarkable and steady bravery in one who was still a mere youth was promotion to the grade of first lieutenant, in December following the battle of Chattanooga.
Lieutenant Runyan was also in the front line at Mission Ridge, but during the winter of 1863-64 was sent home as a recruiting officer. His record and his enthusiastic personality were both calculated to further that work, and in April he returned to his regiment with strengthened reputation, in time to participate in the Atlanta cam- paign. His prominence in carrying the outposts of the Confederate troops at the base of Kenesaw Mountain has already been described. The wound there received which terminated his militarj' career healed superficially and, under the tender ministrations of a tender and admiring father, he was able to return to his home within thirty days of his misfortune. When able to do so, he proceeded to Cincinnati to obtain his honorable discharge.
Lieutenant Runyan entered the Fort "Wayne College for a short course of study, but his wound commenced to assert itself to such a degree that he abandoned, for the time, his legal ambitions, and through the influence and exertions of his father, Peter L. Runyan, secured the appointment of the Warsaw postmastership. The father, so prominent in county and state affairs and one of the most able and popular of the pioneers, had held that office through the entire period of the Civil war, and the son continued in the office for many years thereafter.
But the wound received at Kenesaw Mountain persistently pained him, and it became evident that the amputation had been improperly performed, or that the hospital treatment had been faulty. After careful consultation, it was decided that a re-amputation was neces- sary. This was performed and undoubtedly saved him long years of suffering, if not prolonged his life. He afterward resumed the study of the law ; practiced his profession for some time ; and was also interested in the Warsaw Woolen mills, the Opera House and other local enterprises.
One day while thus seated the ligature sluffed off the artery and the blood spurted all over bed and wall. The lady gave a war whoop, I gave a yell and soon the room was full of people. Quick action with a tourniquet stopped the flow of blood and my life was saved. A few days after my father arranged to take me home which was done, by placing me on a cot, hiring men to carry same to and from trains and transporting me in an express car.
In 1905 I visited Nashville and I hunted up Captain Driv- er's daughter, finding the Captain and his wife had both died. I visited his old homestead, which stood exactly as it had during the war. I stood in the same room where my life had so nearly ebbed away forty years before. I saw with my mind's eye the past go by. I called to mind the suffering I had gone through, the weary couch that supported me. I felt the sutuers tearing in my wound and the laps lying open as they did while going over the corduroy road from Field Hospital to Athens. 1 saw the ghastly face of a comrade who died at my side in the ambulance while going over that terrible road. I heard the spade digging his grave but a few feet from the road side and knew some mother's darling was being laid in a grave that no loving hand could ever bedeck with sweet flowers. I remem- bered how in the hospital at Chattanooga a lady unknown to me came to my cot and kneeling pleaded in prayer with "Our Father in Heaven" to spare my young life and permit me to return to loved ones at home. God bless that lady wherever she be for I often think that her prayer with those of my mother and father and sisters must have reached the Throne.