William Edy was born in 1799 and was working as a blacksmith in Erie county, Pennsylvania, at the time of the Civil War. After his first wife, Mary Clara Morton, died in the 1850’s, he took Phebe Boa Lafferty, the widow of Herman Whipple to be his second wife. In the fall of 1862, William enlisted (at the age of 63) in Co. I, 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry. He was made a wagoner in the regiment and saw limited active duty. He sought a medical discharge when his health began to fail during the winter of 1862-63 and was discharged in May 1863.