George Runyan was born on April 3, 1837, in Seneca County, New York, the son of George Barton (1815-1883) and Matilda (Huff, 1815).
George’s parents were married in 1835, probably in Ovid, New York, where Matilda had been born and eventually settled in Ovid. George left New York and eventually settled in Michigan. He (or perhaps his father) may have been the same George B. Runyan living in Gaines, Genesee County in 1860 and working as a tailor in Gaines in 1863.
In any case, George stood 5’10” with black eyes, black hair and a dark complexion and was a 26-year-old carpenter possibly living in Gaines, Genesee County or Corunna, Shiawassee County when he enlisted in Unassigned on January 1, 1864, at either Gaines or Corunna for 3 years, and was mustered on January 4 at Corunna.
Although there is no further record (he is not found in either the Regimental descriptive rolls or in the 1905 Regimental history of the Third Michigan infantry) it appears that he enlisted in Company H, Fifth Michigan infantry on January 1, 1864, at Gaines for 3 years, and was mustered on January 6. He is listed in the 1905 Fifth Michigan Regimental history.
George was wounded on June 18, 1864, probably near Petersburg, Virginia, and was absent wounded through November but eventually returned to duty, and was reported as Quartermaster Sergeant on June 10, 1865. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.
After the war George returned to Gaines, Genesee County.
He was married to Michigan native Emma (b. 1849), and by 1870 he was working as a grocer and living with his wife next door to his parents (his father worked as a mail express agent) in Gaines, Genesee County.
George died on April 7, 1872, of a “spinal complaint” (possibly spinal meningitis) in Gaines and he was buried in Oakwood cemetery, Gaines. His sister Sarah died of spinal meningitis in December of that same year.
His widow applied for and received a pension (no. 348061).