Runyon, Theodore, an American diplomatist; born in Somerville, N.J., Oct. 25, 1822; was graduated at Yale University in 1842. At the outbreak of the Civil War he took command of the 1st Brigade of New Jersey Volunteers, and on April 27, 1861, started for Washington, D.C. On May 6 he reached the national capital, then in a state of great excitement because of an expected invasion by the Confederates with 3,000 men. He promptly took possession of exposed parts of the city and fortified those approaches, especially those at the Long Bridge. When the National army met its first defeat at Bull Run, and was fleeing toward Washington with the Confederates in close pursuit, he closed all approaches, planted cannon, and prevented both the panic-stricken National troops and the Confederates from entering the city. For thus saving the national capital he received the personal thanks of President Lincoln and his cabinet. Soon afterward he resigned from the army and resumed the practice of law. In 1893 he became United States minister to Germany, and in September following was raised to the rank of ambassador. He died in Berlin, Germany, Jan. 27, 1896.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.