William Victor Rutledge was born on November 23, 1835, and grew up in Monroe, Indiana. On January 4, 1855, he married Matilda Jane House ("Jennie") in Preble, Ohio, and the couple relocated to Iroquois, Indiana, sometime before 1860. They had four daughters: Samantha, Rebecca, Ida, and Talulah. William Rutledge enlisted in the 2nd Indiana Cavalry Regiment, Company D, on November 28, 1861, and was promoted to assistant surgeon on June 21, 1862. He transferred to Company S of the same regiment in October 1864 and was discharged on August 1, 1865. The Rutledge family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1868, and William and Matilda were divorced by 1870. William Rutledge later married a woman named Emma. He died on December 4, 1892.