Colonel William H. Raynor

Colonel William H. Raynor volunteered at the outbreak of the Civil War and joined the First Ohio Regiment. While fighting at the first battle of Bull Run he was taken prisoner and sent to Libbey Prison in Richmond, Virginia. He escaped and after 17 days reached safety. The story goes that while he was trying to reach Union lines, after escaping from prison, a Southern soldier spotted him and was going to shoot Raynor but when he saw his Masonic pin allowed the escapee to pass by. When he reached home he organized the 56th Ohio Regiment and was made colonel. He was later wounded at the Red River Landing just below Vicksburg on the Mississippi and was decorated for bravery.

At Red River Colonel Raynor gave the command for his men to disembark from the boats. The men on the lower decks did not hear his order and he did not realize that most of his regiment were still on the boat until he was at the top of the hill. He ordered his aide to go back alone to get the remaining troops but because his aide was afraid Raynor went himself and subsequently was shot in the leg. Following the war, Colonel Raynor became a Brigadier General in the veterans' organization Grand Army of the Republic. ("Needs of Veterans or Their Widows Occupy the Attention of Kate Raynor," Toledo Times, 26 July 1937).

Colonel Raynor's daughter, Kate G. Raynor, devoted her life to Toledo's patriotic organizations. She was born in West Liberty, Ohio, but lived in Toledo over sixty years. Kate Raynor, like her father, was very involved in the Grand Army of the Republic. She first served as President of the Women's Relief Corps (W.R.C.) of the G.A.R. In 1930, Kate became national President of the WRC. She was national president of the G.A.R.s Auxillary to the Sons of Union Veterans. She was also active in the Soldiers' and Sailors' Relief Commission. In about 1928 she was chosen to serve as its secretary. ("Kate G. Raynor," Toledo Blade, 11 September 1951). The Commission collected county funds which it then distributed to veterans of wars. Part of the money gathered was given to organizations such as the American Legion, American Red Cross, Disabled War Veterans and Veterans' of Foreign Wars.

Kate Raynor served in other organizations including the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Forsyth Relief Corps. A Toledo Times article of 26 July 1937, quoted her belief that America had never been prepared for war. She compared a country with an inadequate defense to a man who will not leave his home without locking the doors.("Needs of Veterans.") Kate Raynor died on September 10, 1951 after an illness of eight years.("Kate G. Reynor.")

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