Dwight Warren Ryther
Commanding Officer 22nd Infantry
1924 - 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 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 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 just a short time later.
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.
Ryther stayed with the 6th
Infantry and was involved in the fighting at the Battle of Bud
Dajo in 1906.
On April 19, 1914 he became unassigned, and on July 1, 1916 he as 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 honorably discharged from the National Army
on August 31, 1919.
On December 24, 1919 he received
a promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, and on July 1, 1920
he was promoted to Colonel. Also in 1920 he graduated from the Army's School of the Line.
It is unknown to the website at
this time when Ryther assumed command of the 22nd Infantry,
but he was most certainly its commander during 1924-1925, supervising the Regiment's activities
at the CMTC training camp at Camp McClellan. From the period of January 1, 1924 to
October 31, 1925, Ryther was officially the Commander of Fort McPherson, the permanent
duty station of the 22nd Infantry at that time.
During his service Ryther
received two Citations from the War Department, which were later
Silver Star Citations.
The following is the report of 2nd
Lieutenant D.W. Ryther, of the action in which he assumed command
Company C 6th Infantry, during the assault on San Juan hill, in Cuba 1898.
from the Annual Reports to the Secretary of War:
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 AlArchives News.....Newspaper Notices for MAY 1906 May 1906
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