Jessica Lynch, P.O.W.

'Iraqi Freedom'

Compiled by Linda Fluharty
© May 2003


Pfc. Jessica Lynch, U.S. Army

     Pfc. JESSICA LYNCH, 19, 507th Maintenance Company, U.S. Army, was missing after an Iraqi ambush at Nasiriya on March 23, 2003.   She was rescued April 2, 2003, by U.S. troops from Saddam Hospital in Nasiriya.

     This was the first successful rescue of a P.O.W. since World War II.   U.S. supporters from around the world have rejoiced in Jessica's return from enemy hands.

     We can only imagine the horrors of Jessica's ordeal while in captivity but we know that she is a strong and courageous young woman - - a true heroine, by any standards.   And while the whole nation feels proud of Jessica, we native West Virginians know she is one of our own.   She has very deep roots in West Virginia and has an abundance of ancestors who preceeded her in serving to defend and protect our country.

     A cursory look at Jessica's paternal genealogy (provided by Thelma Wells West) quickly led to the names of a few of her ancestors who had served in wars.   One was a Revolutionary War Patriot.   The other two, father and son, served in the Civil War, in the 7th West Virginia Infantry.   This regiment was commonly known as the "Bloody Seventh" because of its many fierce and bloody battles.   The father was wounded at Cold Harbour.   The son was shot and wounded at the battle of Antietam and then fought at Gettysburg.   Later, he was taken prisoner at the Battle of the Wilderness.   He was a Prisoner of War in camps at Richmond, Florence and Andersonville.

     Jessica is the daughter of Gregory and Deadra Lynch, residents of Palestine, West Virginia.   The following is one aspect of Jessica's paternal lineage, followed by information about just a few of her military ancestors.

Moses Williamson, Sr. & Jane Mills
Thomas D. Williamson, Sr. & Elizabeth Anderson
Thomas D. Williamson, Jr. & Frances "Fanny" Beatty
Nancy Porter Williamson & Andrew Smith
Frances "Fanny" Jane Smith & Francis M. Lynch, s/o Joseph P. Lynch
Joseph Allen Lynch & Lavinia Lockhart
Carl Lynch, Sr.
Carl Lynch, Jr. & Wyonema
Gregory Lynch, Sr. & Deadra


Revolutionary War

(Jessica's gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-gr-great grandfather)

D.A.R. Lineage Book, Vol. 160, page 104:   MOSES WILLIAMSON, b. 1723, MD, d. 1792, Ohio County, VA/WV, m. 1744, Jane Mills, b. 1726, d. 1797.   A private in the Virginia militia and a signer of the Oath of Allegiance.

     The current D.A.R. Patriot Index reflects that Moses was born in Ireland, not Maryland.

For more information, visit descendant Anita Palmer's website,
Our Williamson Family.


Companies "C" & "K" 7th W.Va. Infantry, Civil War

(Jessica's gr-gr-gr-great grandfather)

Soldier's Pension Record, National Archives

Application #93705; Certificate #157528

Claim of Officer or Soldier for Invalid Pension
16 September 1865

The State of West Virginia, County of Tyler ss.}
     On this Sixteenth day of September A.D. 1865 personally appeared before me Christian Engle, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Record within and for said County, JOSEPH P. LYNCH, aged FIFTY-FIVE years, a resident of LINCOLN TOWNSHIP in the County of TYLER and State of WEST VIRGINIA, who being first duly sworn according to law declares that he is the identical Joseph P. Lynch who enlisted in the service of the United States at Sistersville in the County of Tyler and State of Virginia on the FIFTEENTH day of OCTOBER in the year 1861 as a Private in Company K commanded by Captain Jonathan Moore in the Seventh Regiment of Virginia Volunteer Infantry commanded by Lieut. Col. John Kelley in the war of 1861 and was honorably discharged on the First day of July 1865 as will appear by his certificate of Discharge herewith presented. That while in the service aforesaid and in the line of his duty, when engaged with the rebels, in battle, at COLD HARBOUR VIRGINIA, on the 28th day of May 1864 he received a gunshot wound in the ankle & on the 3rd day of June 1864 at same place he received another wound, in the upper part of the os sacrum by which he was materially injured.

     That since leaving the service he has resided in the County of Tyler in the State of West Virginia and his occupation has been a Farmer. He makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the Invalid Pension Roll of the United States on account of the disability above stated. And his Post Office Address is Pursley, Tyler County, West Virginia.

Joseph P. Lynch

Witnesses: John E. Cunningham & Benjamin Sutton


Adjutant General's Office
Washington, D.C., July 6th, 1877

     I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter in PENSION CLAIM No. 93.705, requesting a "Statement of Service."
     The following information has been obtained from the files of this Office, and is respectfully furnished in reply to your inquiry:
     It appears from the Rolls on file in this Office that JOSEPH P. LYNCH was enrolled ... and mustered into service as a PRIVATE on the 16th day of OCTOBER, 1861, at SISTERSVILLE, in Co. "K", 7th Regiment of WEST VIRGINIA Volunteers, to serve 3 years, or during the war. On the Muster Roll of Co. "K" of that Regiment for the months of July & August, 1863, he is reported present. Transf'd to Co. "C" on consolidation of Regt. Sept. 7, 1863.
     Roll of Co "C" Sept and Oct 1863. Present.     Four months muster ending April 30, 1864. Present.      Re-enlisted as a Vet. Vol. Jan. 4, 1864.     May and June 1864. Absent. Wounded June 3, 1864 (The Co. was in action at Cold Harbor June 1-6, 1864)     Similar report for July and Aug. 1864.     Sept and Oct 1864. Present.     So reported to April 30, 1865.     Muster out Roll of Co. dated July 1, 1865 reports him a CORP'L, honorably mustered out with Co.
     Return for May 1864 does not report absence or disability. (The Regt. was in action at Tolopotomy, Va. May 29-31). Co. and Regt'l Books and records of command in which regiment served in May and June 1864 do not furnish any additional information.

G.(?) W. Benjamin
Commissioner of Pensions
Department of the Interior


Affidavit of Albin Tippins

State of West Virginia
County of Tyler

ALBIN TIPPINS whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who, being by me first duly sworn, according to law, do depose and say

That on or about the third day of June 1864 while the regiment was behind there breast works at Coal Harbor Mr. Joseph P. Lynch was getting his breakfast and a musket ball hit him on the cartridge box going through the box and disableing him so he had to be carried to the Hospital. I was one of the Stretcher bearers at that time and assisted in carrying him to the Hospital. I never saw him after that untill we got our discharges and at home and he was always lame in the hip after that wound

and he further says that his knowledge of the above facts is obtained from the following source, viz: That I belonged to the same Regiment & Co. and at that time was stretcher bearer and he has no interest nor concerned in the prosecution of his case.

Albin Tippins


War Department
Surgeon General's Office,
Record and Pension Division,
Washington, D. C., Oct. 17, 1878

(Transcript from Records)

     It appears from the records filed in this Office, that Priv. Thos. P. Lynch, Co. C, 7th (W)Va. Vols., rec'd a gunshot contusion of lumbar region in action at Cold Harbor, Va., June 3-6, '64. - Priv. Joseph P. Lynch, Co. C., 7th (W)Va. Vols., was admitted to Harewood G.H., D.C., June 8, '64, with Contusion of back, wounded at Cold Harbor, June 3, '64, transfd June 17, '64. Was admitted to Haddington G.H. Phila, Pa., June 18, '64, with G.S.W. contusion of back, and returned to duty July 10, '64. - The Regt'l records are not on file.

By order of the Surgeon General:

J. J. Woodward
Surgeon, U.S. Army.

Vol. 46
No 2461


Examining Surgeon's Certificate

In Case of an Original Applicant.
No. of Application, 93.705

State - ILL, County of KNOX
Post office: Galesburg - Dec. 24, 1878

Applicant's Service - I hereby certify, That I have carefully examined JOSEPH P. LYNCH, late a Pri Co K, 7 Regt, W/Va. Vols in the service of the Unites States, who is an applicant for an invalid pension by reason of alleged disability resulting from G. S. Wound Back.

Degree of Disability - In my opinion the said Joseph P. Lynch is 1/2 total incapacitated for obtaining his subsistence by manual labor from the cause above stated.

Origin - Judging from his present condition, and from the evidence before me, it is my belief that the said disability did originate in the service aforesaid in the line of duty.

Probable Duration - The disability is PERMANENT.

Particular description - A more particular description of the applicant's condition is subjoined:
     Height, 5, 6 1/2; weight, 130; complexion, dark; age, 68; pulse, 75; respiration, 17.
G.S.W. of back & hip. The ball first grazed the back or crest of Ilium. A small cicatrix is all there is to be seen. Complains of dull heavey pain aching at night; numbness of left leg. No visable disability but he says he can't walk on account of pain. He is an honest appearing old Gentleman and very poor, I am informed. Disability .... is 1/2 of Total or $4.00 a month.

Geo. W. Foote
Examining Surgeon


Declaration for Original Invalid Pension

State of Illinois
County of Warren

     On this 8th day of June, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and eighty personally appeared before me, Clerk County Court, a court of record within and for the County and State aforesaid, JOSEPH P. LYNCH, aged 71 years, a resident of MONMOUTH, County of WARREN, State of ILLINOIS, who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical Joseph P. Lynch who entered service under the name of Joseph Lynch, on or about October 1861 as Private in company K of the 7" regiment of Va. Vols. commanded by Capt. Johnathan Morr and was discharged at Wheeling, Va., on or about the 8" day of July 1865, by reason of Close of War; that his personal description is as follows: Age, 71 years; height, 5 feet 9 1/2 inches; complexion, Dark; hair, Black; eyes, Blue. That while a member of the organization aforesaid, in the service and in the line of duty at COL HARBOR, in the State of VIRGINIA, on or about June 1864, he RECEIVED A GUN SHOT WOUND OF HIS RIGHT HIP.

That he was treated in hospitals as follows: At Hospital Philadelphia, Penn, June 1864.

That he has not been employed in the military or naval service otherwise than as stated above.

That since the 8" day of July, A.D. 1865, he has not been employed in the military or naval service of the United States. That since leaving the service this applicant has resided in the Town of Burlington, Iowa, and in the State of West Virginia and his occupation has been that of a FARMER. That prior to his entry into the service above named he was a man of good, sound, physical health, being when enrolled a FARMER.

That he is now in part disabled from obtaining his subsistence by manual labor by reason of his injuries above described, received in the service of the United States; and he therefore makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the invalid pension roll of the United States.

(Attorney appointed: Geo. W. Lemon of Washington, DC)

Joseph P. Lynch (Claimant's signature)

Witnesses: F. R. Lincoln & A. P. Hutchinson


Declaration for Original Pension of a Widow

Application #366278; Certificate #385508

State of Illinois
County of Warren

     On this 4 day of January, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and Eighty eight personally appeared before me Clerk of the County Court the same being a court of record within and for the county and State aforesaid, MARY F. LYNCH aged 63 years, who, being duly sworn according to law, makes the following declaration in order to obtain the pension provided by Acts of Congress granting pensions to widows: That she is the widow of JOSEPH P. LYNCH who enlisted under the name of JOSEPH P. LYNCH at Tyler Co. W.Va., on the fall, AD 1861 in Co K 7" Regt West Virginia Vols. in the war of 1861 & 65, who was discharged in spring of 1865.
That JOSEPH P. LYNCH DEPARTED THIS LIFE on the 15 day of AUGUST, AD 1887, who bore at the time of his discharge the rank of Private, in the service aforesaid; that she was married under the name of MARY F. MESSER to said JOSEPH P. LYNCH on the 3" day of DEC, AD 1840, by James Cunningham, Esq at ALLEGHENY CO. PA, there being no legal barrier to such marriage; that he had been previously married HIS *FIRST WIFE DIED IN 1838
That she has to the present date remained his widow: that the following are the names and dates of birth of all his legitimate children yet surviving who were under sixteen years of age at the father's death, to-wit:


MY HUSBAND HAS BEEN DRAWING A PENSION UNDER CERTIFICATE NO 157528. HE DEPARTED THIS LIFE AUG 15, 87 and she thereby appoints Daniel D. Parry her attorney...... and her Post Office address is Monmouth, Warren Co Illinois.

Mary F. Lynch (Claimant'signature)

Witnesses: W. H. Taylor & Adda Taylor

*Note: In an affidavit, James Ferrell, of Elk City, Kansas, who had known Joseph since boyhood, in Allegheny County, Pa., gave the name of Joseph's first wife as POLLY NICKLE.

Mary F. Lynch stated that her husband, Joseph, had married his first wife, MARY NICHOLS, in 1833. She stated that Mary Nichols died in 1838.


     According to his Death Record, at the time of his death on August 15, 1887 in Cold Brook Twp., Warren, Illinois, Joseph P. Lynch, born in Penna., was 78 years, 3 months, 19 days. He had lived in Illinois for 11 years and his occupation was listed as Carpenter. He died of complications of Chronic Cystitis and Consumption and was buried at Ogden's Cemetery on August 16th, 1887. His widow died June 13, 1907.


Companies "C" & "K" 7th W.Va. Infantry, Civil War

(Jessica's gr-gr-great grandfather)


Soldier's Pension Record, National Archives

Application #185092; Certificate #134004

Marriage License

West Virginia,
County of Tyler, to-wit:
          To any Person Licensed to Celebrate Marriages:
     You are hereby authorized to join together in the Holy State of matrimony, according to the rites and ceremonies of your Church, or religious denomination, and the laws of the State of West Virginia, Francis M. Lynch and Frances Jane Smith.
     Given under my hand, as Recorder of said County, this 16th day of March 1867.

E. T. Nicklin, Recorder

Certificate to Obtain a Marriage License.

Time of Marriage, March 17th 1867.
Place of Marriage, Residence Andrew Smith.
Full Names of Parties Married, Francis M. Lynch & Frances Jane Smith.
Age of Husband, 24 years.
Age of Wife, 16 years.
Condition of husband, (widowed or single,) Single.
Condition of wife, (widowed or single,) Single.
Place of Husband's Birth, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
Place of Wife's birth, Tyler County, West Virginia.
Place of Husband's Residence, Tyler County, West Virginia.
Place of Wife's Residence, Tyler County, West Virginia.
Names of Husband's Parents, Joseph P. & Mary F. Lynch.
Names of Wife's Parents, Andrew & Nancy Smith.
Occupation of Husband, Farming.

     Given under my hand, this 16th day of March 1867.

E. T. Nicklin, Recorder

Minister's Return of Marriage.

     I certify, that on the the Seventeeth day of March 1867, at Residence of Andrew Smith I united in Marriage the above named and described parties, under authority of the annexed License.

J. T. Hickman, Minister.

State of West Virginia, County of Tyler, to-wit:
     I, J. E. Smith, Clerk of the County Court of Tyler County, State aforesaid, do certify that the foregoing is a true copy of the Marriage License of Francis M. Lynch and Frances Jane Smith, together with the Minister's Return or Endorsement thereon, as the same appears duly on file in the Clerk's Office aforesaid.
     Given under my hand and the seal of said County Court, this the 29th day of March, 1929.

J. E. Smith, Clerk.


Department of the Interior
Bureau of Pensions
Washington, D.C., January 15, 1898.

     In forwarding to the pension agent the executed voucher for your next quarterly payment please favor me by returning this circular to him with replies to the questions enumerated below.

Very respectfully,
H. Clay Evans, Commissioner

Frances J. Lynch
Reedy Ripple
West Va.

First. Are you married? If so, please state your wife's full name and her maiden name.
Answer. Frances J. Lynch - Frances J. Smith.

Second. When, where, and by whom were you married?
Answer. March 17th 1866 Tyler Co W.Va. Rev T. J. Hickman.

Third. What record of marriage exists?
Answer. Recorded at Middlebourne C.H. W.Va. (Tyler County)

Fourth? Were you previously married? ....
Answer. (Blank)

Fifth. Have you any children living? If so, please state their names and the dates of their birth.
Answer. Nancy C. Feb the 3rd 1867; Andrew J. April 22nd 1868; Joseph A., May the 19th 1871; Mary A. March the 6th 1873; Julia E. April the 12th 1876; Martin B. Oct the 30 1878; John H. Oct the 11th 1881; Ira S. Dec the 24th 1883; Charles E. July the 16th 1886.

Frances M. Lynch
Date of reply, July the 3rd, 1898.


Affidavit of Francis M. Lynch
14 July 1910

State of West Virginia, County of Wirt, to-wit:
     In the matter of the increase pension claim of Francis M. Lynch, late of Co. "K", 7th West Va. Vol. Inf. Civil War, Certificate No. 134.004.
     On this the 14 day of July 1910, personally appeared before me, a Notary Public for and within the aforesaid county, in said state, FRANCIS M. LYNCH, who being duly sworn according to law deposes and says:
     That I am the claimant in the above entitled claim for increase of pension.
Affiant says, that the following is a full and true statement, showing when, where, and the circumstances under which he contracted rheumatism, rupture, disease of heart and scurvy, to the best of his recollection; and also to the best of his recollection the medical treatments he has received for said disabilitys since his discharge from said services to the year 1905, as well as to the present time.
     Affiant says, that he received a gun-shot wound of right thigh, coming out at a point on the left hip, at the battle of Antietam, Md. in September 1862, which has resulted in rupture of the right side and from which he is still suffering.
     Affiant says, that at about the time he was recovering from said gunshot wound, rheumatism appeared, and he says, that he has continuously suffered with rheumatism from that time to the present, and still suffers with the same, and he says further, that he believes the said rheumatism affected his heart.
     Affiant further says, that at the battle of Gettysburg, Pa. in July, 1863 his hearing was much injured by the incessant fire of cannons for a long time - affiant being at the time assisting in supporting a battery, then firing on the enemy, and he further says, that the injury to his hearing so incurred, in connection with the disease of catarrh of the head, hereinafter stated, has very much affected his hearing in the left ear, and says, that he is still affected with deafness of the left ear.
     Affiant further says, that at the battle of the Wilderness, in May 1864, he was taken prisoner of war by the enemy, and was confined in their prisons at Richmond, Va., Florence, S.C., and Andersonville, Ga., and he says that while so confined at Andersonville, Ga., in 1864, he contracted the disease of scurvy, which resulted in the loss of all his teeth, both upper and lower, and has otherwise affected him physically; and he says, that in the same prison in the year 1864 he contracted catarrh of the head which affected his hearing and says that he is still suffering with said catarrh of the head and its results.
     Affiant further says, that the first medical treatment he received for his disabilitys was proscribed for and given to him by one Dr. Williamson, of Sistersville, West Va. who is now long since dead. Said Williamson treated me at once upon my arriving at my home, near Sistersville, West Va. after being discharged from the service, and his treatment of me continued for at least ten years. The said Dr. Williamson being my family physician until I moved away from near Sistersville, West Va.
     I was next treated for my diseases by Dr. Joseph Hunt, at the Post Office of Little, Tyler County, West Va. His treatment of me continued for about two years, the said Dr. Hunt being now also long since dead.
     Affiant further says, that in about the year 1880 he removed from Tyler County, West Va. to Wirt County, West Va. where he still resides, and says that he was the first treated in Wirt County for his diseases by one Dr. R. H. Thaw, of Palestine, West Va., who died some three years ago. Affiant says that Dr. Thaw treated him for four or five years.
     Affiant says, that he was next treated by one Dr. Thomas Welch, of Palestine, West Va. and says, that said Welch treated him about four years, and until he died, which occurred about the year 1893.
     Affiant further says, that the next treatment given him was by Dr. D. H. Barker of Palestine, West Va. who is still his family physician.
     Affiant further says, that Dr. P. W. McClung of Elizabeth, West Va. who is still living, has given him medical treatment for his disabilitys.
     Affiant further says, that the foregoing statements contain all the facts and circumstances touching the incurrance of his present disabilitys as contracted by him in the service of the United States, in the line of duty, together with a full statement of the medical treatment received by him from the time of his discharge from said service to the present time.

Francis M. Lynch

NOTE: Supporting affidavits were given by Isaac and Benjamin Sutton, both of whom served in the 7th Infantry and were POWs with Francis Lynch at Richmond, Florence and Andersonville.


Calendar No., 1465.
59th Congress, 1st Session
Report No. 1479.

March 5, 1906. - Ordered to be printed.

Mr. Scott, from the Committee on Pensions, submitted the following REPORT
[To accompany S.2577]

     The Committee on Pensions, to whom was referred the bill (S.2577) granting an increase of pension to F. M. Lynch, have examined the same and report:
     This bill as amended proposes to increase from $8 to $20 per month the pension of Francis M. Lynch, late of Company K, Seventh Regiment West Virginia Volunteer Infantry. It is shown by the War Department records that claimant enlisted December 18, 1861, as private in Co K, Seventh West Virginia Infantry, to serve three years. He was transferred to Company C, same regiment, in September or October, 1863, and was honorably discharged and mustered out March 28, 1865.
     Prisoner of War records show he was captured at Fredericksburg, Va., May 8, 1864, confined at Richmond, Va., and Andersonville, Ga., until December 10, 1864, when paroled.
     Soldier was shot in the right thigh in battle of Antietam, Md., September 17, 1862. He applied for and obtained pension at the Bureau for gunshot wound of right thigh at $8 per month from discharge. Claims for increase filed October 14, 1901, and August 10, 1904, were rejected October 16, 1903, and October 30, 1905, respectively.
     It appears that the soldier is 63 years of age. When last examined, at Parkersburg, W.Va., June 7, 1905, he was rated $8 for gunshot wound of right thigh, $4 for rupture of right side, $4 for scurvy, $4 for catarrh, $4 for rheumatism, and $10 for heart disease.
     Claimant is poor and needy. Testimony filed with this committee shows that he has no income aside from his present small pension of $8 per month.

     Acting in this case as we have in similar cases your committee recommend an increase of his pension to $20 per month.

     The bill is reported back favorably with a recommendation that is pass when amended as follows:
     In line 6 strike out the initial "F." and insert in lieu thereof the name "Francis."
     Also amend the title so as to read: "A bill granting an increase of pension to Francis M. Lynch."

An Act Granting an increase of Pension to Francis M. Lynch.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to place on the pension roll, subject to the provisions and limitations of the pension laws, the name of Francis M. Lynch, late of Company K, Seventh Regiment West Virginia Volunteer Infantry, and pay him a pension at the rate of twenty dollars per month in lieu of that he is now receiving.
     Approved, April 26, 1906.


Declaration for Widow's Pension
Act of May 1, 1920

State of West Virginia, County of Wirt, ss:
     On this 5" day of April, 1929, before me, the undersigned, personally appeared FRANCES J. LYNCH, who makes the following declaration as an application for pension under the provisions of the act of Congress approved May 1, 1920.
     That she is 78 years of age, that she was born September 3" 1850.
     That she is the widow of Francis M. Lynch, who enlisted January 16", 1862, at Sistersville, Virginia, under the name of F. M. Lynch, in Co. F (K) 7th. W. Va. Infantry as a private and was honorably discharged March 1865, having served ninety days or more, or was discharged for, or died in service of the United States of a disability incurred in the service in the line of duty, during the Civil War, and who DIED MARCH 12" 1929, at Palestine, West Virginia.
     The he also served in - don't know of any other company.
     That she married the said soldier (or sailor) March 17" 1867, under the name of FRANCES JANE SMITH, at Middlebourne, West Virginia by Rev. T. J. Hickman; that she had not been previously married, that he had not been previously married; none.

(No children under 16.)......

Frances J. Lynch
Palestine, West Va. RFD1
Witnesses: H. C. Fought? & Icie Rathbone


     Following his death on March 12, 1929, Francis M. Lynch was buried at Mayberry, Wirt County, W.Va. His wife, Frances Jane, died February 12, 1930.

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