Bringing the letters of George Ryan to press has been a labor of love for me. George was my ancestor, and when I was a kid, stories of George lingered in our house.
I heard the one about George's class ring. I heard about his doomed charge across a bloody Virginia cornfield. I heard the phrase "George was a colonel" more times than I can count.
But the details of George's life often passed me by. I was a kid, after all, with lots of other stuff to do! Still, a simple message did get through. George was a young man who should not be forgotten.
This book would not have been possible without the painstaking work of cousin Jerry Goebel, who spent 20 years transcribing over a thousand Ryan family documents (The Ryan Papers) including all of George's letters.
Special thanks also to Ann Havemeyer, curator of the Norfolk Historical Society. Ann read The Ryan Papers and immediately understood their significance for the small village of Norfolk, Connecticut. Her talent for all things history served me well, and gave my family a new understanding of our own glorious past.
Inside the Ryan Papers: George Ryan
- Edited by Susan Betts