Dwight Warren Ryther

Commanding Officer 22nd Infantry

1923 - 1925

 

 

Dwight W. Ryther was born in New York on May 24, 1869.
On June 16, 1887 he entered the US Military Academy and left on January 15, 1889
without graduating. He enlisted as a Private in Company C of the 6th Infantry on October 5, 1892,
and served in that organization until November 10, 1895. During that time he was promoted
to Corporal and then Quartermaster Sergeant. On November 6, 1895 he was given a commission
as a 2nd Lieutenant of the 2nd Infantry, which he accepted on November 11 of that year.
On December 2 of the same year he transferred back to the 6th Infantry.

He was with the 6th Infantry during the assault on San Juan Hill in the Spanish American War,
taking over command of his Company when its Commander was wounded. Interestingly,
the 6th Infantry was led at that time by Lieutenant Colonel Harry Egbert, who would be promoted
to Colonel and take command of the 22nd Infantry the following day.

 

The following is the report of 2nd Lieutenant D.W. Ryther, of the action in which he assumed command of
Company C 6th Infantry, during the assault on San Juan hill, in Cuba 1898.

from the Annual Reports to the Secretary of War 1899:



 

 

On August 11, 1898 Ryther was promoted to 1st Lieutenant, and on January 1, 1899 he was
assigned to the 4th Infantry, staying with that unit until transferring back to the 6th Infantry
on June 19, 1899. On April 1, 1901 he was promoted to Captain of the 7th Infantry,
transferring back to the 6th Infantry on October 29 of that same year.

 

Above: Ryther as a Captain in the 6th Infantry at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1904

Photo from the Army and Navy Register August 6, 1904

 

 

 

Ryther stayed with the 6th Infantry and was involved in the fighting at the Battle of Bud Dajo in 1906.

The following is from the Cleburne New Era newspaper, May 5, 1906.
It is a letter written to the father of one of the Soldiers that Ryther commanded,
when he was a Captain and Commanding Officer of Company K 6th Infantry
in the Philippines during the battle of Bud Dajo.

The following letter was written to Prof. L.H. Jackson of Edwardsville, whose son is serving in the regular U.S. Army
in the Philippines, by Capt. D.W. Ryther, Commander Co. K, Sixth Infantry. We take pleasure in reproducing the
letter in full as it bears the official stamp of daring and meritorious conduct on the part of young Jackson
who is one of the many American boys in the far off Philippines who are giving their best days and strength for the
honor of the American flag and the protection of our interests in the Orient. Their loyalty to the American flag
does not involve the question of the rightfulness of the government's Philippine policy, it shows that they are
filling the places of true American soldiers. The letter reads as follows:


Zamboauga, Mindanas, P.I. March 18, 1906
Prof. L.H. Jackson, Edwardsville, Ala.

My dear sir, Your son has asked me to write you for him as he will not be able to do so for a few weeks yet.
I know that you will be glad to hear what I have to tell you of him, and later he can write more fully to you. He has
been through what is probably the fiercest engagment that American troops have ever had in these islands,
and while he has both hands temporarily disabled, the doctors tell me that he is doing finely and that before long be back in
the company for duty.

We were taking the fortifications on Mt. Dajo, on the island of Jolo and had climbed to the top of the mountain.
At the head of the trail was a cotta or stockade with a trench behind it. Your son was with some others right up
against the stockade and climbed upon it to fire into the trench behind. He got a bullet through the right hand and fell back,
saying "I am shot" but trying to work his trigger finger, found he could do so, saying "But I can
still work my right finger, I think I'll get up and try it again", and did so and was scarcely on the stockage
a second time when he got a bullet through the left arm, near the elbow. It was one of the bravest things I ever saw and
I am glad to have such a man in my company. He had done some good shooting before that.
I am recommending him for a certificate of merit which would bring him a slight increase of pay so long
as he remains in the service, besides being a recognition by the war department of which any man may justly
be proud. He may not get it but he deserves it and I am doing what I can to get it for him. He is the only man
of my company whom I am recommending for it. Perhaps you may be glad to hear that since I have been in command of the
company I have noticed his behavior and have had him made a corporal. He impresses me as a noble, self respecting soldier.
I am well aware that too many people who are not acquainted with the army as it is today seem to think
that it is mostly composed of worthless men who are fit for nothing else; this is not the case, however,
as we find a great number of fine young men in the ranks.

The mail is very irregular so it may be some time before you hear again from your son.
He seems to be getting along very well, though it will be three or four weeks probably before he can do any writing.
He is having good care and needs nothing except patience now. There are trained nurses looking out for
him and the other wounded ones.

Very respectfully, D.W. Ryther, Capt, 6 Infantry, Comd'g. Co. K


Cleburne County Al Archives News.....Newspaper Notices for MAY 1906 May 1906

 

 

 

On April 19, 1914 Ryther became unassigned, and on July 1, 1916 he was promoted to Major.
On August 5, 1917 he was promoted to Colonel of Infantry in the National Army, a position
which he accepted on August 16 of that year. He was assigned to the 87th Division at Camp Pike,
Little Rock, Arkansas where he commanded the 348th Infantry Regiment of the 174th Infantry Brigade
as the Division was being formed. (The 1st Battalion website could not confirm whether Ryther went
with the Division overseas to France in 1918.)

He was honorably discharged from the National Army on August 31, 1919 and reverted back
to his rank of major in the Regular Army.

On December 24, 1919 he received a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel.

The Army List and Directory for February 1, 1920 shows Ryther on duty
at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

On July 1, 1920 he was promoted to Colonel. On that date he was detached and was detailed to R.O.T.C.
at the University of Georgia at Athens, Georgia where he was a Professor of Military Science and tactics.

Also in 1920 he graduated from the Army's School of the Line.

His name was placed on the General Staff Corps eligible list.

It is unknown to the website at this time, exactly when Ryther assumed command of the 22nd Infantry,
but he was most certainly its commander during 1923-1925. The Army List and Directory for November 1923
shows Ryther in command of the 22nd Infantry as part of the 4th Division at Fort McPherson, Georgia.
The Army List and Directory for July 1, 1924 shows Ryther in command of the 22nd Infantry as part of the
4th Division at Camp McClellan, Alabama, less Company B which was at Fort McPherson. The Army
List and Directory for January 1, 1925 shows Ryther in command of the 22nd Infantry as part of the
4th Division at Fort McPherson less Company C which was at Camp McClellan.

Records from Fort McPherson indicate Ryther was in command of the Post January 1, 1924 to
October 31, 1925, somewhat confusing the information found in the above Army List and Directory.

 

Dwight W. Ryther's signature as Commanding Officer 22nd Infantry on a graduation certificate
from the Citizens' Military Training Camp at Camp McClellan, Alabama dated August 1, 1924.

Webmaster's collection

 

     

Colonel Dwight W. Ryther

Commanding Officer

22nd Infantry

Fort McClellan, Alabama

1924

Photo from The Cimitran

Webmaster's collection

 

 

Ryther reported for duty with the 89th Division of the Organized Reserves on January 31, 1926
in Seventh Corps Area at Omaha, Nebraska. He remained with the Division at least through July 1, 1930.

The Army List and Directory for April 1, 1931 through January 1, 1933 shows Ryther in command of the
7th Infantry Regiment as part of the 3rd Division at Vancouver Barracks, Washington.

Dwight W. Ryther retired from the Army on May 31, 1933.

He was a member of the Military Order of the Carabao.

During his service Ryther received two Citations from the War Department, which were later changed to
Silver Star Citations, and then later to Silver Star Medals.

The 1st citation was:

"For gallantry in action against Spanish forces at Santiago, Cuba, July 1, 1898."

The 2nd citation was:

"For gallantry in action against hostile Moros at Bud Dajo, Island of Jolo P.I., March 5 to 6, 1906."

 

 

Dwight W. Ryther's decorations

 

 

 

Dwight W. Ryther died September 8, 1936 at Buffalo, New York

 

Burial:
North Evans Cemetery
North Evans
Erie County
New York, USA

 

Grave marker for D.W Ryther

Photo by RHam from the Find A Grave website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top photo of Dwight W. Ryther from:

The Doughboy 1923 Published by the Classes of 1923, The Infantry School,
U.S. Army, Fort Benning, GA 1923

 

 

 

 

 

 


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