: Michael Resnick, a descendent of Richard Beddows, a Long Island resident, and New York State Military History Director Michael Aikey.
The Medal of Honor won by a Civil War soldier for savings his unit’s flag in 1864 will be paired up with the flag he saved in a new exhibit at the New York State Military History Museum. A descendent of Medal of Honor winner Richard Beddows will present the medal to museum officials on Friday.
Donation of Civil War Medal of Honor won by Private Richard Beddows for his actions during the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse on May 18, when he prevented the colors of the 34th Independent Battery of New York Volunteers from falling into Confederate hands.
1 p.m., Friday, June 13, 2008
New York State Military History Museum, 61 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY.
The flag of the 34th Independent Battery of New York Volunteers, a Civil War artillery unit, is preserved in the state’s historic flag collected. Videographers and photographers will be able to collect imagery of the flag, and of the Medal of Honor that was awarded for Private Beddows action in saving the flag during the Battle of Spotsylvania. Michael Resnick, the Beddows descendent who will be presenting the medal to the museum and Museum Director Michael Aikey will be available for interviews.
The 34th Independent Battery of New York Volunteers:
The battery was organized in July 1861 from members of the 15th Regiment of the New York State Militia in Flushing, New York. The battery -- a unit of four to six cannon-served in the defenses of Washington during the early months of the Civil War and went on to fight in the battles of Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, The Wilderness, Second Bull Run, Vicksburg and the Siege of Petersburg. The unit served in the Army of the Potomac, The Army of the Tennessee, and the Army of the Ohio. Seven men were killed in Action and 14 died of disease during the course of the war.
Richard Beddows Medal of Honor:
Private Richard Beddows was born in England on June 27, 1843. The date of his enlistment in the Union Army is uncertain but on May 18 he was a guidon bearer for the 34th Independent Artillery Battery. The guidon-a swallow-tailed flag used by artillery and cavalry units-- marked the location of the battery unit on the battlefield. When his battery came under fire during the battle-one of many fought by General Ulysses S. Grant in the spring of 1864-Beddows lost the guidon when his horse was spooked by enemy fire. Beddows retrieved the flag despite the risk to himself and continued to hold his place in line.
During the 19th Century unit flags and guidons played a significant role in military discipline and unit spirit. They marked the site of the commander in battle. Flag and guidon bearers were awarded the role based on their previous conduct in battle and their soldierly qualities.
Beddows award for heroism was delayed. He received the Medal of Honor on July 10, 1896. He died on Feb. 15, 1922 and is buried in Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in New Rochelle, Westchester County.