EZRA GOODYEAR was born in February, 1847 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the second child of four to the first marriage of Benjamin Curtis Goodyear. His mother, Catherine Stoner, died when he was only four and a half years old, and he, along with his siblings, were raised by Benjamin's second wife, Catherine Ramp.
His own description of his appearance was that his face was "full of freckles," his hair black and his eyes brown.
It is not known why he left home, but in July of 1863 near Harrisburg he joined a group of soldiers of the 8th Illinois Cavalry returning from Gettysburg with the body of General Farnsworth. He rode with them to Alexandria, Virginia, was put into uniform, and sworn in at Culpeper, Virginia on July 18, 1863. The officer who swore him in asked his age and he said he was 18, for fear they would not accept him. He was actually only 16 years and six months old.
Enlisted as a Private on July 18, 1863
Joined Company K, 8th Illinois Cavalry Regiment on August 17, 1863.
Fought on September 13, 1863 at Culpeper, VA.
Fought on October 11, 1863 at Morton's Ford, VA.
Fought on October 15, 1863 at Near Manassas Junction, VA.
Fought on October 15, 1863 at Near Manassas, VA.
Fought on October 17, 1863 at Hazel River, VA.
Fought on November 5, 1863 at Culpeper, VA.
Fought on November 8, 1863 at Culpeper, VA.
Fought on July 7, 1864 at Monocacy, MD.
Fought on July 8, 1864 at Frederick, MD.
Fought on July 9, 1864 at Monocacy Junction, MD.
Fought on July 9, 1864 at Monocacy, MD.
Fought on July 11, 1864 at Fort Stevens, DC.
Fought on July 18, 1864 at Cockeysville, MD.
Fought on July 30 1864 at Monocacy, MD.
Fought on October 9, 1864 at Piedmont, VA.
Fought on October 10, 1864 at Near Reedtown, VA.
Fought on October 10, 1864 at Reedtown, VA.
Fought on October 11, 1864 at White Plains, VA.
Fought on November 11, 1864 at Manassas Junction, VA.
Ezra was never wounded in any of these engagements.
The 8th Illinois was mustered out on July 17, 1865, at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, MO, and he returned for a time to Plainfield, Illinois, then eventually back to Carlisle.
He married Anne Hays, Great Granddaughter of Mary "Molly Pitcher" Ludwig Hays.
Ezra died on March 7, 1904 in Manayunk, Philadelphia, PA, and is buried in Westminster Cemetery, Bala, Pa.