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Henry Bedell, A
Civil War Hero
The Civil War

Henry Bedell, A Civil War hero

Many years ago seems so far away, but one love story hung on tight. Through war and hurt they stuck together as friends that never leave each other's sides. Through the battle in the Civil War, he was a hero who fought for us. He shed his blood and was alive to tell his story.

bedell photoIt was 1862, in the Civil War, everyone knew this was serious, no fooling around. One man, Henry E. Bedell, a farmer, was departing from his family. There stood his wife Emeline Bedell, a school teacher, and children Deetta, Lucena, Alden, and Herman. As the wind whipped through his slicked black hair and broad handsome shoulders, he stood proud. But, the pride was also the fright in his eyes. He would hate to leave behind all, but this is what he must do. To bring nothing but himself. As he began away, he never looked back, so that he could keep going. The pain struck through him and his eyes stung. Just hoping he'd return home to the sweet smell of Vermont.

I begin off the train and walk on the ground of Shenandoah Valley. I'm already at war. But why does war seem forever? Officer of the day, I am. In charge of many. But, I'm not always the officer, we change each day. It's getting rough over here and I miss my family. I get letters now and then from them. I hope Jazmin Bedell is taking care of our home in Westfield, while Moody and I are at war. Just yesterday a man was shot dead, right at my side. I feel his pain and saw the blood that he drew.

The war gets more and more rough with each time we leave our shelters. I'm out on the ground watching men go to battle. Then pain shoots through me. I wonder where from. I choke a little as I look at my leg. My left leg is off! I have been hit, hit by an unexploding shell. I see my right fingers as I go to hold the wound. Three fingers are hanging by threads! I cannot see which ones, for I am not thinking straight. I go to the hospital and suffer an amputation. All I can think of is home.

A beautiful woman at my side wakes me. She tells me of her name, Bettie. I tell her she reminds me of my wife. I tell her of how I came here. A thought popped into my mind. I asked if she'd write home and tell of what has become of me. She is so moved by my story and of course says yes.

All Bettie could think of was what she would do if this was her husband, James. She decided to take Henry Bedell to her home. She tried to cross Union Lines because she could get medicine there. Since Bedell was a Yankee, and not a rebel, she could get in a lot of trouble! But, Bettie somehow did it!

Bettie took Henry to her small home in Virginia, in the year 1864, and nursed him. Why would she do this if she knew Henry or Bettie could get hung? This wasn't love, but maybe it was how she felt if it were her husband, James. But, she never helped the other men. Who she had seen die. So, why him? Maybe because she felt something. Something she could not leave at rest. But, then again, maybe they did love each other. Of course, they would never put their own spouses last. Or they felt like siblings for some reason. Maybe a vibe they shared. But, Henry always had to think that soon Bettie's husband, James Van Metre, would soon be home. Bedell was recovering fast and could go home. So, Bettie and Bedell headed towards Vermont.

Henry Bedell got home safely and their love never left. James was fine with all that had happened. Couples, Bettie and James, and Emeline and Henry, always stayed friends. The Bedells had two more kids. One named Bettie and the other names James. Why Bettie had done all she'd done, no one will know, but she saved someone's life. She made him become a Civil War Hero.

Above is the writing held on Bedell's grave. It says: H.E. Bedell Died Mar. 15, 1911 At 75 yrs.
old westfield school photo


This story is based on Henry Bedell who was a brave soldier and a good citizen of Westfield, Vermont. The house in Westfield, Vermont was sold to Julian Benware Jr. in 1886 of March the 23rd. Bedell was laid to rest in the Newport graveyard. It stands tall with glory. He died in 1911 at 75 years old. Below is the picture of his grave and the writing it held on it. Henry Bedell's gravestone is shown above. He died at the age of 75. He would have been 76 in December. He lived from 1835 - 1911

Above is the writing held on Bedell's grave. It says: H.E. Bedell Died Mar. 15, 1911 At 75 yrs.


Bohjalian, Chris Readers Digest October 2003 pgs. 178- 200
Henry Edson Bedell Eleventh Vermont Volunteers
Myott, Romeo Friday, May 7th, 2004 his house topic: World War two Westfield, Vermont