A Guide to the J. W. Ryland Diary, 1863-1865 Ryland, J. W. Diary Ms2019-011

A Guide to the J. W. Ryland Diary, 1863-1865

A Collection in
Special Collections and University Archives
Collection Number Ms2019-011


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Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
USA
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

2019 (CC0 1.0)

Processed by: AnnRea Fowler, Student Assistant and Kira A. Dietz, Archivist, Special Collections and University Archives

Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Ms2019-011
Title
J. W. Ryland Diary, 1863-1865
Physical Characteristics
0.2 Cubic Feet 1 box
Creator
Ryland, John W. (John William), 1837-1905 (34th Infantry, Virginia Regiment)
Language of Materials
The materials in this collection are in English.
Abstract
The J. W. Ryland Diary consists of a single Civil War diary kept by J. W. Ryland between September 1863-1865. In his diary, Ryland records activities from September 1863 – January 1866. His entries include the topics of the creation of the Confederate States of America, rail cars, and battles such as the Siege of Charleston, SC, the Siege of Petersburg, the Battle of Sailor's Creek, the surrender at Appomattox Court House, and the weary Confederate trek home following April 9, 1865.

Administrative Information

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the J. W. Ryland Diary must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Alternate Form Available

This diary has previously been transcribed. The transcription is available online, along with extensive notes created by descendant Stuart V. Price.

Special Collections and University Archives has digitized the diary and the transcript. The collection is available online.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: J. W. Ryland Diary, Ms2019-011, Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The J. W. Ryland Diary was donated to Special Collections in 2018.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the J. W. Ryland Diary was completed in February 2019.


Biographical Note

John William Ryland was born on October 19, 1836 in King and Queen County, VA. He was the first of three children born to Joseph and Priscilla Bagby Ryland. He attended Richmond College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1858. Robert Ryland, John's uncle, served as the school's first president from 1840-1866. John worked as a farmer and colporteur until he was 24 and talk of war came to King and Queen County.

On May 29, 1861, he joined the Army of the Confederate States of America and was placed in Company K, 34th Virginia Infantry. Ryland was promoted from Corporeal to Sergeant on July 18, 1861, and he was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines in May 1862. He recovered at the Richmond College Hospital and returned to his regiment in July 1862. In 1865, Sergeant Ryland follows General Robert E. Lee toward Sailor's Creek in Amelia County, and on to Appomattox for the South's final effort.

Following the Civil War, John became a minister of Gospel. He served at the Baptist Church in Bruington, VA, and Hermitage Baptist Church in Church View, VA for 32 years. He married Lucy Fleet (Roane) Bagby on July 24, 1866 and later they had two sons. He passed away on March 26, 1905.

Scope and Content

The J. W. Ryland Diary consists of a single Civil War diary kept by J. W. Ryland between September 1863-1865. In his diary, Ryland records activities from September 1863 – January 1866. His entries include the topics of the creation of the Confederate States of America, rail cars, and battles such as the Siege of Charleston, SC, the Siege of Petersburg, the Battle of Sailor's Creek, the surrender at Appomattox Court House, and the weary Confederate trek home following April 9, 1865. Other entries explain how he has taken it upon his own shoulders to enhance the spiritual life of his fellow soldiers. Although the Confederate States of America surrendered on April 9, 1865, Ryland continued to write about his support for them. In a diary entry dated 1865, Ryland says "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) in the presence of Almighty God that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

There are newspaper clippings attached to the inside of the front and back covers. These clippings include a woman writing to her sisters about not being too eager over the men coming back from war, a report of a French chemist's discovery, a poem entitled "The Young Widow" and a printing of "General Orders No. 30 217."


Contents List

    Subjects:

  • Civil War
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Diaries
  • Genre and Form Terms:

  • Diaries

Rights Statements for Archival Description

The guide to the J. W. Ryland Diary by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).

Contents List

Box-Folder 1
1
Diary, 1863-1865
Box-Folder 1
2
Transcript of Diary, n.d.

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Ryland, John W. (John William), 1837-1905 (34th Infantry, Virginia Regiment)