William Henry Rayhue

William Henry Rayhue

Woodstock, Windsor County, Vermont, USA
Death 17 Aug 1900 (aged 58–59)
Rutland County, Vermont, USA
Burial Rutland, Rutland County, Vermont, USA
Memorial ID 131456117 · View Source
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William enlisted in the Vermont Voluntary Infantry Aug. 26, 1861 at age 19. He reenlisted Dec. 15, 1863. He was a private in the 4th Regiment Company D. He was wounded April 12 1864. I am still researching his part in the Civil War. He deserted Sept. 13, 1864. In 1897, he applied for a Pension as an invalid of the War. He was denied a military headstone in 1957, this seems rather harsh due to 3 years of service and being wounded. His brother Thomas C. also enlisted at the same time, was wounded and received disabled status after less then a years service.

William was wounded during what is considered the most ferocious battle of the Civil War, The Bloody Angle of Spotsylvania, VA. The 4th Vermont, was right in the thick of a 20 hour hand to hand combat in a raging storm. The "Angle" was a reversed "U" formation of trenches dug by the Confederates and reinforced with wood blinds. There were 18,000 Union soldiers injured and over 2,700 killed. Trenches ran red with bloody water as the dead were piled 4 to five high. The 4th lost 418 soldiers or 24.73 % of its fighting ranks. Bodies lay jellied in amongst shards of wood, as a whole forest was destroyed by musket and cannon fire. Imagine laying wounded in amongst the dead, waiting for the fighting to end and hoping you didn't become one of them! It is no wonder that after healing, five months later William deserted.

William deserted 17 days before his muster out date and has been denied a military headstone. It would seem that after 3 years of fighting for his country and being wounded in the worst battle of the Civil War means nothing in the eyes of our government. If only the Traumatic Stress Honorable Discharge applied during his time at war.

William died in 1900, in Rutland of appendicitis.

From the Rutland Daily Herald, August 18, 1900:
William H. Rayhue died at his home at No. 93 Willow street yesterday morning at 2.30 o'clock. He was 59 years of age and had been ill with appendicitis six days. Besides a wife, he is survived by a brother Fred, of Hartland, a nephew, Lewis, of Bridgewater, and a son, William, and two small children, of this city. The funeral will be held at the house tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock.

From the Rutland Daily Herald, August 20, 1900:
The funeral of William H. Rayhue, who died Friday, was held at the house on Willow street yesterday afternoon at 2'o'clock, Rev. John Duffield officiating. The bearers were Zias Lassor, Isadore Santwire, Thomas Welch and Hudson Burns. The burial was in Evergreen Cemetery.

Thanks to Jennifer Snoots investigation, William has been found in an unmarked grave in the Soldier's Plot in Evergreen Cemetery per the Cemetery records.

  • Created by: Marilyn Cavanaugh
  • Added: 15 Jun 2014
  • Find a Grave Memorial 131456117
  • Marilyn Cavanaugh
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Henry Rayhue (1841–17 Aug 1900), Find a Grave Memorial no. 131456117, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Rutland, Rutland County, Vermont, USA ; Maintained by Marilyn Cavanaugh (contributor 47704264) .