John Francis Boyle

John Francis Boyle

Spanish-American War
Company M, 2nd Regiment, North Carolina Volunteer Infantry

John was an only child of Bridget and John Boyle.  His father was a soldier in the Civil War serving the Union from Rhode Island.  John Francis was something of a wanderer and when the opportunity to serve his nation appeared, he was in North Carolina and volunteered as a soldier in the War with Spain.  As wars go, this was an almost fleeting event lasting less than four months and the extent of Johns service was in training at St Simons Island, Georgia where he was injured by a tree stump which he and other soldiers were excavating.  The stump struck him in the chest and he was sent to the infirmary after coughing up blood.  Whether before or during the infirmary visit, we can’t say, but it is clear from later records that John contracted tuberculosis while in service.  His son, Howard Francis Boyle, said that his father had complications occasionally throughout the remainder of his life. Nevertheless, John would live to the age of 83 but before he left us, he would express his desire to serve his nation one last time.  As a testament to the veracity of patriotism felt by so many Americans during World War II, John sent a letter to War Department offering his service.  His response was a polite decline and a promise to call upon him if the need should arise.

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