Godfrey, Edward Settle, BG

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Brigadier General
Last Service Branch
Cavalry
Primary Unit
1907-1907, Military Division of the Mississippi/Department of the Missouri
Service Years
1861 - 1907

Cavalry

Brigadier General


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Ohio
Ohio
Year of Birth
1843
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by COL Samuel Russell to remember Godfrey, Edward Settle (MoH), BG USA(Ret).

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Contact Info
Home Town
Kalida
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Apr 01, 1932
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified


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 Official Badges 

US Army Retired (Pre-2007) Grand Army of the Republic Badge Military Order of the Loyal Legion


 Unofficial Badges 




 Military Association Memberships
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS)Grand Army of the RepublicCongressional Medal Of Honor Society7th United States Cavalry Association
Medal of Honor
  1864, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) - Assoc. Page
  1865, Grand Army of the Republic
  1894, Congressional Medal Of Honor Society
  1907, 7th United States Cavalry Association
  2014, Medal of Honor [Verified] - Assoc. Page


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Not Specified
   
Other Comments:
Not Specified
   

 Unit Assignments
7th Cavalry Regiment12th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Divison9th Cavalry RegimentU.S. Army
  1867-1868, RHHT, 7th Cavalry Regiment
  1868-1876, RHHT, 7th Cavalry Regiment
  1876-1896, RHHT, 7th Cavalry Regiment
  1896-1901, RHHT, 7th Cavalry Regiment
  1901-1901, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Divison
  1901-1907, 9th Cavalry Regiment
  1907-1907, Military Division of the Mississippi/Department of the Missouri
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1861-1861 Civil War
  1868-1868 Comanches Campaign/Battle of Washita River
  1876-1876 Black Hills War/Battle of the Little Bighorn
  1877-1877 Nez Perce War/Battle of Bear Paw Mountain
  1890-1890 Wounded Knee Massacre1
  1901-1902 Moro Rebellion (Philippines)
 Military Association Memberships
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS)Grand Army of the RepublicCongressional Medal Of Honor Society7th United States Cavalry Association
Medal of Honor
  1864, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) - Assoc. Page
  1865, Grand Army of the Republic
  1894, Congressional Medal Of Honor Society
  1907, 7th United States Cavalry Association
  2014, Medal of Honor [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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Reflections on BG Godfrey's US Army Service
 
 Reflections On My Service
 
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO JOIN THE ARMY?
All of that was preliminary to and in preparation for entrance to the United States Military Academy, West Point, N. Y., the great goal of his youthful ambition. The first effort for appointment failed, the prize having already been promised to a Wood County
BG Edward Settle Godfrey (MoH) - Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Army?
boy. But hope was clung to and finally rewarded by favor of Honorable James M. Ashley, then Putnam County's congressional representative, who wrote that the Wood County boy had been killed in the second Bull Run battle. All the efforts for that preferment were wholly unaided. And not until appointment became assured was the matter mentioned at home and parental approval asked for. His first meeting with Governor Ashley after that was many years later and on a New York-Brooklyn ferry boat.
His first military experience, however, was in the so-called three months' service in the Civil War, in Company D, Twenty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry, that lasted from April 26 to August 12, 1861. That Company was mustered in at Camp Taylor, Cleveland, Ohio, May 21, 1861, and was mustered out at Columbus, Ohio, August 12 following. It was recruited in and near Ottawa by Lawyer Thomas Godfrey Allen, who became captain, and the volunteers mainly were enrolled by him at the railway station and on the street. The drilling was done on the village common, just east of the Blanchard River and just north of the Ottawa-Kalida road.
The drill instructor was Jacob Wolf, a recently discharged regular army sergeant from Delphos, Ohio, who was visiting in Ottawa, was persuaded to enroll for the Company, and was made a corporal. During the last few days before entraining for Cleveland, camp was made at the large barn of Dr. Calvin T. Pomeroy just south of the village and just north of Williamstown road. Before being mustered in our young volunteer experienced two rejections before acceptance could be had. He there stood in the physical examination line three times, going immediately from the head to the foot twice. Finally and although his age was below the minimum, persistence and resourcefulness won over the examining surgeon -- Dr. Miller. And in vindication it may be noted that during that Company's sole engagement, at Scarey Creek, West Virginia, July 17, 1861, Private Godfrey while under fire carried water to the wounded. And he assisted in carrying from the field Second Lieutenant Guy Pomeroy. For a time that wounded officer was carried in a blanket, so that eventually the carriers' fingers were much pained. Arriving at a tobacco shed and finding therein a ladder, immediately there was discussion as to the right and the wrong of taking and utilizing it for litter purposes to ease the injured one and his comrades. As a result the ladder was not left.
WHETHER YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE FOR SEVERAL YEARS OR AS A CAREER, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE DIRECTION OR PATH YOU TOOK. WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR LEAVING?
He graduated from West Point as Second Lieutenant June 17, 1867, joined the Seventh Cavalry at Fort Harker, Kansas, October 3 and commanded a Gatling battery in the field October 8 to November 18 that year. He was at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas from the latter date
BG Edward Settle Godfrey (MoH) - Whether you were in the service for several years or as a career, please describe the direction or path you took. What was your reason for leaving?
to April 4, '68, in command of Troop K; and in the field from then until November 30, during the last two
months being with General Sully's expedition south of Arkansas River engaging in actions against hostile Indians at the Cimarron, North Fork of Canadian River and Sand Hills.
He was with General Sheridan's expedition against hostile Indians November, '68 to April, '69, engaging under General Custer in the battle of the Washita, November 26-27. A lengthy circumstantial narrative of that campaign and battle was contributed by him to the Cavalry Journal, October, 1928. He was then the sole surviving officer of that eventful engagement. So, aside from the official report by General Custer, his probably will remain as the only participant's full account of that hand-to-hand victory. During that battle he specially was ordered to destroy all property and permit no looting. While thus engaged there was brought to him an exceptional and very beautiful article of squaw's apparel, a bridal gown of antelope skins, soft as finest broadcloth and decorated entire with beads, elk teeth, and painted designs. But it was not spared from the fateful order. In the Cavalry Journal article he stated: "As the last of the tepees and property was on fire, the General ordered me to kill all the ponies except those authorized to be used by the prisoners and given to scouts. We tried to rope them and cut their throats, but the ponies were frantic at the approach of a white man and fought viciously. My men were getting very tired so I called for reinforcements, and details from other organizations were sent to complete the destruction of about eight hundred ponies. As the last of the ponies were being shot nearly all the hostiles left. This was probably because they could see our prisoners and realized that any shooting they did might endanger them."
Yet in one instance while on the march, discipline was relaxed as further stated, he having been detailed to guard and conduct the prisoners. "One day on the march through a mesquite forest Mahwissa (Black Kettle's sister) who was my go-between for the prisoners, came to me for permission for a squaw to fall out. This I granted and detailed a guard to remain with her. To this she objected and Mahwissa strenuously sustained the objection and assured me it would be all right to let the woman go alone. With great reluctance I consented. At our next halt I was pacing back and forth with anxious looks on the back trail. I was perturbed not only with the prospective loss of a prisoner, but official action in consequence. Mahwissa came to me as if to reassure me, but receiving scant attention she turned away with a look of disappointment. Soon there was a shout from the prisoners, and looking at the back trail to my great relief I saw my prisoner galloping toward us. Her countenance was beaming and as she passed me I saw the black head of a papoose in the folds of a blanket at her back swaying with the motions of the galloping pony. The prisoners gave her a demonstrative welcome."
He commanded a detachment escorting Arapahoe Indians to Fort Sill, Kansas, February, '69, and commanded Troop K and Squadron Seventh Cavalry under General Custer in pursuit of hostile Indians February to May, '69.
He was on leave May 15 to July 15 that year; on Saline River, Kansas, guarding the frontier July to December; at Fort Harker, Kansas, December, '69, to February, '70; in the field February 11 to June 22, '70, as quartermaster, commissary and adjutant of the troops guarding the Kansas frontier; in the field near Forts Hays and Wallace June 22 to December 6, '70, except while sick and on leave of absence from July 23 to October 1; and at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, December, '70 to March, '71.
He was stationed in South Carolina during the Ku Klux troubles from March, '71 to March, '73: was in the field escorting Northern Pacific Railroad Survey April to October, '73, engaging in action against hostile Sioux on August 11; at Fort Rice, Dakota, October 13, '73, to June 18, '74; and with General Custer June to September, '74, as assistant to the Engineer officer exploring the Black Hills, Dakota.
He was in Louisiana and Mississippi during the White League troubles September, '74, to April,'76, commanding United States troops at Colfax, Louisiana and McComb City, Mississippi. He commanded troops in the campaign against hostile Indians in Dakota and Montana May to November, '76, engaging in the battle of the Little Big Horn ("Custer Massacre") June 25-26.
He was on leave November 15, '76, to March 3, '77; in the field against hostile Indians April to October, '77, engaging in the battle of Bear Paw Mountains in September; at Fort Rice, Dakota, October 15, '77, to June, '78, being disabled to January 2; at Standing Rock Indian Agency disabled from wounds June 2 to November 25, '78; and on duty with his Troop to July, '79, except when absent as a witness before the Reno Court of Inquiry at Chicago, Illinois, in January, '79.
He was instructor in cavalry tactics at West Point Military Academy July, '79, to October, '83; was at Fort Yates, Dakota, October, '83, to October, '86, being an inspector of Indian supplies from July on; at Fort Meade, Dakota, October, '86, to July, '87; at Fort Riley, Kansas, July, '87, to February, '88; at Washington, D. C. and Leavenworth, Kansas, as member of the Tactical Board United States Army, devising a system of Drill Regulations, February, '88, to December, '90.
Upon his own request he was relieved from that board to join his troop in the field against hostile Sioux under Chief Big Foot in the Pine Ridge campaign engaging in the actions at Wounded Knee and Drexel Mission, Dakota, December 29-30, 1890. He was in hospital and on sick leave from injuries received in a railroad wreck while returning from that campaign January 24 to October 26, '91 (that wreck resulted from a collision of trains. Captain Godfrey was in the locomotive cab of his, and when the approaching one was seen he was told by the engineer to jump, and he did so. He landed on a wet clay slope, with the result that one limb was so side stressed and its ligaments so injured that he long was incapacitated for field service, and the limb never after was quite as it normally would have been); in Washington, D. C. publishing Drill Regulations, formulating the Guard Manual, and in charge of recruiting service to June, '93, except during March and June, '92, when instructing the New Hampshire National Guard; at Fort Riley, Kansas, commanding Troop and Squadron June, '93, to February, '95, and on the Board Revising Cavalry Drill Regulations; at Forts Grant and Apache, Arizona, May, '95, to April, '98, except from July to August, '95, when in Denver, Colorado, on the Board to consider and recommend an Emergency Ration for troops in the field, and in the field during October, '95, testing that Emergency Ration. During September and October, '97, he was in command of troops from Forts Apache, Arizona, and Wingate, New Mexico, to arrest Zuni Indians who in performance of tribal ceremonies had murdered two of the tribe. The objective finally and bloodlessly was attained by a bold and outstanding resort. For upon approaching the Indian village and despite advice and warning to the contrary, he went alone on foot to the village, impressed his point of view upon the tribe "Governor" and returned to camp to await developments. And that procedure was wholly vindicated the next day, when the "Governor" delivered at the camp the wanted ones, who soon were en route to Santa Fe for trial.
In April, '98, he was transferred to Fort Du Chesne, Utah, where he commanded till October, '98. From October, '98, to January, '99, he was stationed at Huntsville, Alabama, and Macon, Georgia, and in January, '99, at Havana and Pinar del Rio, Cuba, commanding United States troops at Pinar del Rio and the district of that Province May to August, 1900. In August, 1900, he was transferred to Columbia Barracks (near Havana) Cuba, where he was stationed till March, '01, when he was promoted Lieutenant Colonel, Twelfth Cavalry, after nearly thirty-four years' service in the Seventh Cavalry.
He was in all the campaigns against Indians in which the latter than had participated, also in all its principal engagements, and under General Custer until that commander was slain. And he was the last survivor of those who filled original vacancies in that regiment following its organization in 1866. He was next to the last survivor of its commissioned personnel as of June, 1876. The present sole survivor is Colonel Charles A. Varnum U. S. A. (Retired), who at the battle of the Little Big Horn was a First Lieutenant in command of a detachment of Indian Scouts. Cyrus Townsend Brady wrote: "The officers of the regiment were a set of unusual men. Custer himself was allowed considerable voice in the selection of them, and such a body of officers had been rarely assembled in one command. Custer and his officers by a judicious weeding out and a rigorous course of discipline, soon gathered a body of troopers than which there were none finer in the service of the United States, nor, in fact, in any other service." Also that "General G. A. Forsyth writes me that he considers Colonel Godfrey one of the ablest officers in the United States army--in which opinion I concur."
He was at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, March, '01, to July 16, '01, organizing and commanding the Twelfth Cavalry; was promoted Colonel Ninth Cavalry June 26, '01; joined the regiment at Legaspi, Philippine Islands, November 7, '01, commanding Regiment, Post and District to April 30, '02; at San Pablo, Laguna Province to May 27, '02; at Iloilo, Panay, until September 2, '02, commanding Fifth Brigade and then Regiment and Post; en route to the United States with Regiment September 2 to October 13, '02, and at Fort Walla Walla, Washington, commanding the Post and Regiment to October 19, '04.
He commanded the Department of the Columbia in May and June, '04; commanded the First Brigade, Maneuver Camp, American Lake, Washington, July, '04; and was at Fort Riley, Kansas, commanding Regiment, Post and School of Application for Cavalry and Field Artillery, July, '04, to January 17, '07. (He had the name of that school changed to "The Mounted Service School.") On the last date he was promoted Brigadier General. However, he continued one month longer in charge of the aforementioned school, then commanded the Department of the Missouri until retirement by age regulation, October 9, 1907. And nearly ten years later upon entrance of our country into the World War he immediately but unavailingly offered to the Department of War whatever of possible service he then might render.
He ranked as follows: Second Lieutenant Seventh Cavalry, June 16, 67, to February 1, '68; First Lieutenant, February 1, '68, to December 9, '76; Captain, December 9, '76, to December 8, '96; Major First Cavalry, December 8, '96, to January 7, '97; and of Seventh Cavalry, January 7, '97, to February 2, '01; Lieutenant Colonel Twelfth Cavalry, February 2, '01, to June 26, '01; Colonel Ninth Cavalry, June 26, '01, to January 17, '07; Brigadier General, January 17, '07, to retirement October 9, 1907.
IF YOU PARTICIPATED IN ANY MILITARY OPERATIONS, INCLUDING COMBAT, HUMANITARIAN AND PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS, PLEASE DESCRIBE THOSE WHICH WERE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT TO YOU AND, IF LIFE-CHANGING, IN WHAT WAY.
Also, he was made Brevet Major United States Army and awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor on February 27, 1890, on recommendation of General Nelson A. Miles "for most distinguished gallantry in action against hostile Nez Perce Indians at Bear Paw Mountains, Montana, September 30,
BG Edward Settle Godfrey (MoH) - If you participated in any military operations, including combat, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, please describe those which were the most significant to you and, if life-changing, in what way.
'77, in leading his command into action, where he was severely wounded."
In that fight he verily courted death. For though the troopers were for better protection ordered to dismount from their black horses he remained on his white one (an Indian's captured by him soon after the battle of the Little Big Horn), probably the better to observe and to be an example, thus to inspirit the men. Two shots were fired at him point blank from a distance of about twenty-five yards and each time he saw the Indian kneel, aim and fire. The first time he felt no apprehension as to being killed, but thought he might be wounded. The second time, however, he felt (to quote him) he "would be a goner." The first shot killed the horse, which was swerved as the Indian fired, and in going down it pitched the rider onto his head and right shoulder, resulting in a slight stun and partly paralyzed right arm. Notwithstanding all that he yet gripped a revolver and another remained in his right boot. Calling to his trumpeter for another mount a slain sergeant's horse with bloody saddle and blanket was brought up. First having the saddle wiped he got into it, but soon was hit by the second bullet. No severe shock or pain was felt, but he found himself drooping forward. He then dismounted, unbuckled his belt, felt blood running, rebuckled very tightly, remounted, was up but a short while, slumped to the ground, and walked to the rear by holding on to one of the stirrups, the faithful horse very carefully changing pace, or stopping, to suit the need. The surgeon remarked as he began work: "A quarter of an inch over and your backbone would have been hit and you done for." And his subject said: "Hold on. Something's wrong. You'll make a new hole. Probe from the other side." That was done and iodine applied throughout. The wound healed rapidly, and the surgeon was nonplussed by the remarkable recovery. In that fight the Nez Perces carefully picked off the officers, killing or wounding all but one of the commissioned officers, and many of the non-commissioned officers.
OF ALL YOUR DUTY STATIONS OR ASSIGNMENTS, WHICH ONE DO YOU HAVE FONDEST MEMORIES OF AND WHY? WHICH ONE WAS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Seldom indeed has it been in the career of a typical military personage to be as intimately and as conspicuously identified with so many of such events of note as was he. For his service spanned that period of our country's relatively most rapid and really phenomenal agrarian development,
BG Edward Settle Godfrey (MoH) - Of all your duty stations or assignments, which one do you have fondest memories of and why? Which one was your least favorite?
by and during which the wonderful West emerged from its straits of semi-lawlessness, ofttimes bald savagery, to come wholly under the rule of institutions of law, and tribal sway expired with the birth of commonwealths. That greatest of all American evolutions truly was an ideally staged empire drama of adventure, of privation, of encounter, of conquest, and of settlement.
He therefore necessarily was an actor in the popularly outstanding chapters of American history that mainly treat of the earlier great land, and of the later great gold and silver, lures; of exploits of noted scouts; of achievements of the pony express; of thrills of the buffalo chase (once when asked how many buffaloes he had seen, General Godfrey answered--"Millions." In one instance he was three days getting his Troop through a herd of them); of the take and give of outlawry and ruthless reprisal; of adventures and sacrifices of the overland bold; of transcontinental railway victories over savage and beast and stubborn vasts of virgin domain. They were of a period that brought forth whatever of the real man all its actors had; that mixed in the high colors for depiction of our country's great composite development; was a marvelous opportunity for industry, invention and wealth; and an epochal one for home, for school and for church. And midst dangers both many and great he more or less aided in running into and through all those chapters the fadeless line of Army blue, that traced an almost continuous struggle for the white and against the red, over and through trackless plains and forbidding canyons, as well in parching as in benumbing blasts. And to it all he measured up unfailingly.
And so it was that in line of duty and by circumstance he figured in some quite exceptional events, both of professional importance and of historic consequence; he contacted every kind of plains and mountain Indian this country knows; he was in forty Indian fights before he was ten years in the saddle; he participated in three of the greatest Indian campaigns of later history, and was in their respective severest engagements.
FROM YOUR ENTIRE SERVICE, INCLUDING COMBAT, DESCRIBE THE PERSONAL MEMORIES WHICH HAVE IMPACTED YOU MOST?
The first was at Washita River, Indian Territory, in 1868, when after cold dawn the Seventh charged from all four sides onto the Indian village. "The Trumpeter sounded the charge and the band began to play "Garry Owen' (the regiment's band piece), but by the time they had played one
BG Edward Settle Godfrey (MoH) - From your entire service, including combat, describe the personal memories which have impacted you most?
strain their instruments froze up," as stated in his narrative. The foe were Cheyennes, Arapahoes and Kiowas led respectively by Chiefs Black Kettle, Little Raven and Satanta. All were under Black Kettle who with one hundred and three warriors was there slain, as was also his daughter unknowingly, as in trying to escape she rode astride and had on a warrior's blanket.
General Order No. 6 by Major General Philip H. Sheridan who at that time commanded the Department of the Missouri, announced that in addition to the warriors slain in that battle the Seventh accomplished the capture of "fifty-three squaws and children; eight hundred and seventy-five ponies; eleven hundred and twenty-three buffalo robes and skins; five hundred and thirty-five pounds of powder; one thousand and fifty pounds of lead; four thousand arrows; seven hundred pounds of tobacco; besides rifles, pistols, saddles, bows, lariats, and immense quantities of dried and other winter provisions; the complete destruction of their village, and almost total annihilation of this Indian band." Furthermore, that "the energy and rapidity shown during one of the heaviest snowstorms that has visited this section of the country, with the temperature below the freezing point, and the gallantry and bravery displayed, reflect the highest credit upon both the officers and the enlisted men of the Seventh Cavalry." And General Godfrey in the Cavalry Journal contribution on the battle of the Washita states--"We had the satisfaction that we had punished Black Kettle's band, whose warriors were the confessed perpetrators of the attacks and outrages on the Kansas frontier settlements of August 10th--the originators of the Indian War of 1868."
"I can tell you, it was a mighty strenuous day. On the go from daylight November 26 till midnight on the 27th," as was written by him on the sixty-first anniversary of that battle. The Seventh lost two officers and nineteen enlisted men. One of the former was Captain Lewis M. Hamilton, grandson of Alexander Hamilton. As officer of the day his duty was to command the main train guard. He was much distressed thereat, and begged to go with and command his squadron. The request was refused unless another officer would exchange, and that was done by an officer who had become snowblind. Thus the Captain went to his end.
WHAT ACHIEVEMENT(S) ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF FROM YOUR MILITARY CAREER? IF YOU RECEIVED ANY MEDALS, AWARDS, FORMAL PRESENTATIONS OR QUALIFICATION BADGES FOR SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT OR VALOR, PLEASE DESCRIBE HOW THESE WERE EARNED.
The second campaign referred to culminated in the battle of the Little Big Horn River, Montana, June 26, 1876, when gallant General George A. Custer and 265 troopers of the fearless and feared Seventh Cavalry were victims of Chief Gall with Crazy Horse and Crow King and their swarming Sioux.
BG Edward Settle Godfrey (MoH) - What achievement(s) are you most proud of from your military career? If you received any medals, awards, formal presentations or qualification badges for significant achievement or valor, please describe how these were earned.
Captain F. W. Benteen commanded a squadron of three Troops, that of K being led by Lieutenant Godfrey. Those with four other Troops and Indian Scouts united under Major Marcus A. Reno. General Custer had five Troops. The slain were discovered June 27 by Lieutenant James H. Bradley, Seventh Infantry in command of Indian Scouts. He was the first to arrive at the bluff to which Major Reno had retreated, and he first asked for Lieutenant Godfrey whose first words were--"Where is Custer?" and then the stunning news became known. That afternoon Lieutenant Bradley and a party from Major Reno's command went over the battlefield, and the next morning all went to bury the slain.
In the Cavalry Journal of July 1927 General Godfrey stated as to that--"During the ceremony I was sent for by Major Reno to help identify the dead on Custer Hill. The first body I was taken to was that of General Custer. The body was naked. I examined it carefully. There were two bullet wounds, one in the left breast, and the other in the left temple, either of which, it seemed to me, would have been fatal. There was surprisingly little blood from either wound; and there were no powder marks on his person nor any signs of mutilation. He had not been scalped." (In that campaign and contrary to general belief, General Custer had his hair cut short.)
History must record that the precipitate and costly retreat ordered by Major Reno afforded a fine and rare instance of full vindication for disobedience to a military order in time of extreme urgency. For "Lieutenant Godfrey of K Troop, the rear guard, without orders deployed and dismounted his men, and ably seconded by his junior, Lieutenant Luther R. Hare, by hard fighting kept off the Indians till the retreat was safely made by the rest, whom he and his troopers succeeded in joining. It was well that he did this, for his coolness and courage saved the command." (Brady.) Later Brigadier General Luther R. Hare wrote: "I have always thought that this movement saved the command, as, had they (the Indians) been able to charge in on the troops on Reno Hill without being delayed the result would have been the same as on Custer Ridge."
Brigadier General Edward J. McClernand in the Cavalry Journal of January, 1927, stated in his account of that retreat as follows--"The hasty withdrawal and close pursuit, if it had been unchecked, might have brought disaster to the entire command, but fortunately Godfrey properly appraised the situation, and dismounting one troop, of Reno's seven, he opened fire, compelling the enemy to halt and take cover. He received a second order to rejoin, and slowly retreated, firing as he fell back. The enemy's fire was increasing and soon Indians began to appear from cover. Godfrey's men began to bunch,' slacken their fire and move faster; and to prevent their getting out of hand, he ordered a halt, required 'intervals' to be retaken, and the fire to be delivered with greater calmness. After once more forcing the Indians to take cover, he renewed the retreat and finally reached the main lines, the establishment of which must have been aided materially by his taking upon himself the checking of the pursuit." That account further stated--"All who know Godfrey will accept implicitly his statement of facts that fell under his observation." And so it was that during a long survival of that battle --a period lacking but eighty-five days of fifty-six years --he frequently was called upon or referred to for related opinion, version or judgment, both by individuals and by the War Department, all of which imposed a large though willingly borne burden of correspondence.
OF ALL THE MEDALS, AWARDS, FORMAL PRESENTATIONS AND QUALIFICATION BADGES YOU RECEIVED, OR ANY OTHER MEMORABILIA, PLEASE DESCRIBE THOSE WHICH ARE THE MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU AND WHY?
The third campaign battle was at Bear Paw Mountains, Montana, in 1877, when wily Chief Joseph and his disciplined Nez Perces were defeated and captured after a 2000-mile retreat and a six-day siege. Unusual to relate, those Indians at night gave water to wounded soldiers. "Chief Joseph was famous
BG Edward Settle Godfrey (MoH) - Of all the medals, awards, formal presentations and qualification badges you received, or any other memorabilia, please describe those which are the most meaningful to you and why?
for his face and figure. He was tall, straight as an arrow, and wonderfully handsome, his features being as clear cut as chisled marble" (N. Y. Sun, 9-24-04.) He "whose celebrated retreat has been compared to that of Xenophon and his Ten Thousand was one of the most remarkable Indians of his time. He was the last Indian leader who dared put up a real fight against civilization and, considering the relative sizes of the forces engaged, none of his predecessors made such a good showing." (McClernand.) "During the long retreat he fought eleven engagements, five being pitched battles, of which he had won three, drawn one and lost one. Some of the troops in pursuit of him had marched sixteen hundred miles. His own march had been at least two thousand miles. This constitutes a military exploit of the first magnitude, and entitled the great Indian to take rank among the great Captains" (Brady.) "It was nearly sunset October 4, 1877, when Joseph came to deliver himself up. He rode from his camp in the little hollow. His hands were clasped over the pommel of his saddle, and his rifle lay across his knees; his head was bowed down. Pressing around him walked five of his warriors; their faces were upturned and earnest as they murmured to him; but he looked neither to the right nor to the left, yet seemed to listen intently. So the little group came slowly up the hill to where General Howard with an aide-de-camp, and General Miles waited to receive the surrender. As he neared them, Joseph sat erect in the saddle, then with grace and dignity swung himself down from his horse, and with an impulsive gesture threw his arm to its full length and offered his rifle to General Howard. The latter motioned him toward General Miles, who received the token of submission. Joseph then said--'From where the sun now stands I fight no more against the White Man'! Those present shook hands with Joseph, whose worn and anxious face lighted with a sad smile as silently he took each proffered hand. Then turning away he walked to the tent provided for him." (Wood.) On September 22, 1904, he dropped dead at his camp fire at Nespilem, Colville Reservation of Moses Indians, Washington. An imposing monument marks his grave there.
WHICH INDIVIDUAL(S) FROM YOUR TIME IN THE MILITARY STAND OUT AS HAVING THE MOST POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOU AND WHY?
General Godfrey was a member of the first government expedition to Yellowstone Park, Montana; was in the escort of the Indian Peace Commission in 1867; was with the exploring expedition that in 1874 announced the gold of Black Hills, Dakota; secured in South Carolina the original constitution and
BG Edward Settle Godfrey (MoH) - Which individual(s) from your time in the military stand out as having the most positive impact on you and why?
by-laws of the then Ku Klux Klan, and was the first witness in the trials that eventually caused disbandment of that organization; ended a reign of terror in Louisiana by refusing to advantage the White League there by use of government troops in politics; was a witness in the proceedings against Major Marcus A. Reno for cowardly action during the fearful slaughter in the valley of the Little Big Horn; was the first and doubtless the only army officer to whom alone later on that field in 1886 Chief Gall in dramatic action ever described the strategy and events of that black day, and who upon being then and there asked why General Custer had not been scalped, as had all the other dead, answered, "He did not know unless it was because he (Custer) was the Big Chief and that they respected his rank and bravery." (South Dakota recorded both birth and death of Chief Gall. The year of the Little Big Horn battle he was thirty-six, and at the time of death, December 5, 1894, he was fifty-four. He "was possessed of military genius of high order," and "had the quality of leadership in the field that was lacking in his chief"--Sitting Bull. In time he denounced the latter as a coward and a fraud, made peace with the whites, and from 1889 was a judge of Indian offenses at Standing Rock Indian Agency.)
CAN YOU RECOUNT A PARTICULAR INCIDENT FROM YOUR SERVICE WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FUNNY AT THE TIME, BUT STILL MAKES YOU LAUGH?
General Godfrey wrote for the Century Magazine of January, 1892, a most authoritative account of that Seventh Cavalry tragedy. (That account was added to by him and republished in pamphlet form by Mrs. Elizabeth B. Custer, widow of General George A. Custer, in 1921.) He was the most prominent
BG Edward Settle Godfrey (MoH) - Can you recount a particular incident from your service which may or may not have been funny at the time, but still makes you laugh?
and widely listened-to speaker upon that matter; (Once after having given a two-hour talk upon the subject, he wrote--"It seems that that campaign and battle continue to hold interest not only in the West, where it rather increases judging from the correspondence, but in the East"); was featured on the screen in "Custer's Last Battle"; was national chairman of the organization to commemorate the semi-centennial of the battle; was present during the ceremonies in Montana, and was prominently mentioned and shown in newspaper, magazine, and screen accounts thereof; and was active on the plan to have the "Custer Battlefield National Cemetery" area correctly defined and the graves therein properly designated.
For the remarkable and impressive observance of the only disaster ever suffered since its organization the Seventh Cavalry regiment entire was ordered from Fort Bliss, Texas, a distance of fifteen hundred miles, to perform a part in it. On June 25, 1926, in the presence of 35,000 spectators General Godfrey led it over the old battlefield and met Chief White Bull and the Sioux. "Near the monument the two parties met. White Bull held up his hand making the sign of peace. General Godfrey replied by dropping his unsheathed sword into the scabbard as he rode forward to meet the Indian. They clasped hands, and to cement the friendship White Bull presented to the General a prized possession?his blanket, while the General gave to White Bull a large American flag." (Ostrander.)
WHAT MILITARY ASSOCIATIONS ARE YOU A MEMBER OF, IF ANY? WHAT SPECIFIC BENEFITS DO YOU DERIVE FROM YOUR MEMBERSHIPS?
Quite naturally such a career marked him for prominent connections and responsibilities in post-war military organizations. Thus he was Member of National Council of Administration G. A. R. from Arizona; Commander of the Department of Arizona G. A. R.; Commander George A. Custer Post G. A. R. Fort Yates, North
BG Edward Settle Godfrey (MoH) - What military associations are you a member of, if any? What specific benefits do you derive from your memberships?
Dakota; Member Council-in-Chief, Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief, and Commander Kansas Commandery, Military Order Loyal Legion; Commander, Senior Vice Commander and Historian, Military Orderof Indian Wars; Commander of the Army and NavyLegion of Valor. (He was in command of the Legion of Valor section in the march November 11, 1921, upon occasion of the burial of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery.) And he was modestly yet proudly remembered in the naming of General E. S. Godfrey Cantonment Number 12 National Indian War Veterans, Clay Center, Kansas, organized April 12, 1924.
Post-Academy activities were assumed and continued as president of the Alumni of the Class of 1867. And it transpired in 1927 when at the Academy to attend the annual Class Reunion he chanced to be prominently included in the "Dress Parade" screen production. There were but three living graduates of the U. S. Military Academy older than he, viz: Brigadier Generals Henry H. C. Dunwoody (Retired), William Ennis (Retired), and John P. Pitman (Retired). Of these but two were older in graduation, viz: General Ennis of the Class of 1864, and General Dunwoody of the Class of 1866. Generals Godfrey and Pitman were Academy classmates of 1867.
He was a member of but one civil fraternal organization, that of Free and Accepted Masons. The respective affiliations were with Ottawa Lodge No. 325 (September 24, 1867), the brethren of which most considerately and generously observed his masonic semicentenary there October 16, 1917, and he later was recipient of a jubilee medal from the Grand Lodge of Ohio; following in order were Ottawa Chapter No. 116; Putnam Council No. 67, all of Ottawa, Ohio; Shawnee Commandery Knights Templar, Lima, Ohio; Mi-a-mi Lodge of Perfection 14 degrees; Northern Light Council, Princes of Jerusalem 16 degrees; Fort Industry Chapter Rose Croix 18 degrees; Toledo Consistory S. P. R. S. 32 degrees, Toledo, Ohio. Furthermore, he was life member of the A. A. S. R. Bodies Valley of Toledo. During the year 1876 he was senior warden in Cloutierville Lodge No. 103 (now Colfax Lodge No. 259), Cloutierville, Grant Parish, Louisiana. The Charter of No. 103 was forfeited in 1884 and that of No. 259 was granted in 1898.
Social club relations were had with the Army and Navy Club, Washington, D. C.; Army Club, Fort Riley, Kansas; Army Club, West Point, N. Y.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS TOGETHERWESERVED.COM HELPED YOU REMEMBER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND THE FRIENDS YOU SERVED WITH.
o it was there, next the Capital City of the Nation that on Tuesday afternoon, April fifth, in the Chapel at Fort Meyer, Virginia, relatives, comrades, and friends (mourners and tribute bearers all) met for final observances of respect, of duty and of love. There the last formal word was
BG Edward Settle Godfrey (MoH) - In what ways has TogetherWeServed.com helped you remember your military service and the friends you served with.
uttered, the nearness of kinship was last felt, the beloved semblance was last seen. All arrangements were in charge of Brigadier General James T. Kerr (Retired). Chapel services were conducted by Reverend H. D. D. Sterrett of All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church at Washington, D. C. The pallbearers, who included two each from the Loyal Legion, Army and Navy Legion of Valor, and Order of Indian Wars, were Major General George H. Cameron, Major General Edward F. McGlachlin, Jr., Major General Charles D. Rhodes, Major General William J. Snow, Brigadier General Thomas H. Slavens, Brigadier General Charles J. Symmonds, Colonel Henry C. Rizer, Colonel Harvey H. Sheen, Lieutenant Colonel Robert M. Danford, Captain Robert B. Carter, First Lieutenant George E. Parker and Mr. Graham H. Powell. All but Colonel Henry C. Rizer, Lieutenant Colonel Robert M. Danford and Mr. Graham H. Powell were "Retired." Of these Major General Rhodes and Brigadier General Slavens were representatives of the- Order of Indian Wars; Colonel Rizer and Mr. Powell of the Loyal Legion; Colonel Sheen and Captain Carter of the Army and Navy Legion of Valor. The body lay in full dress uniform; all medals and insignia were removed just before the casket was closed.
Following the Chapel service full military honors were accorded during the ten-minute march and at the beautifully lined grave. The mourners were preceded by a full military band that played "Nearer, My God, to Thee" at the grave, two batteries (companies) of artillery, caisson with casket, riderless saddled horse, and the pallbearers. Cannon salutes continued during the march, and three rifle volleys at the grave marked the ceremonial end. And as all sadly withdrew, friends felt the hurt of irreparably sundered heartstrings, yet also that fond recollections of times long since gone could and would be warmly clung to; comrades felt that although gladness and pride of personal touch were to be no more, memory yet could and would share in common the record and its fame; while those the nearest felt, and those of such who unavoidably and sorrowfully were absent feel, that with the great loss there also had come to each from the life so soundly based, so rightly planned, so nobly lived, a heritage both rare and abiding and an inspiration both great and compelling, in the widely acclaimed knowledge of its honor and its virtues, of its constancy and its services, of its courage and its achievements. And so mote it be!

* Reprinted through the courtesy of the Putnam County (Ohio) Gazette, March 16, 1933. Article online at: http://publications.ohiohistory.org/ohstemplate.cfm?action=detail&Page=004361.html&StartPage=61&EndPage=98&volume=43&newtitle=Volume%2043%20Page%2061

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