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Edward Settle Godfrey (October 9, 1843 – April 1, 1932) was a United States Army Brigadier General who received the Medal of Honor for leadership as a captain during the Indian Wars.[1]

Edward Settle Godfrey
Edward Settle Godfrey 01.jpg
Born(1843-10-09)October 9, 1843
Kalida, Ohio
DiedApril 1, 1932(1932-04-01) (aged 88)
Cookstown, New Jersey
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1861, 1867–1907
RankUnion Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brigadier General
Unit21st Ohio Infantry
7th United States Cavalry
Commands held9th Cavalry Regiment
Department of the Missouri
Battles/warsCivil War
Battle of the Little Bighorn
Indian Wars
Spanish–American War
Philippine–American War
AwardsMedal of Honor


Early life and educationEdit

Godfrey was born October 9, 1843 in Ottawa, Ohio. He enlisted as a private in the US Army at the beginning of the American Civil War. He served in Company D, 21st Ohio Infantry from April to August 1861.

He was admitted to the United States Military Academy at West Point two years later, and graduated in 1867.


Godfrey joined the 7th United States Cavalry and as a lieutenant was a survivor of Battle of the Little Bighorn. He wrote an account of the battle and his experiences in it, originally published in Century Magazine in January 1892, which was highly influential in shaping perceptions of the battle and Custer's generalship. Despite being severely wounded at the Battle of Bear Paw Mountain against Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians, September 30, 1877, Godfrey continued to lead his men in battle. He received the Medal of Honor in 1894 for his leadership actions during this battle.[2]

Godfrey was breveted major on February 27, 1890. He served in Cuba in 1898 during the Spanish–American War and in the Philippine–American War overseas (1899–1902). He retired from the Army on October 9, 1907 with the rank of Brigadier General.[2][3]

At the ceremony of the burial of the Unknown Soldier from World War I in Arlington, Virginia, Godfrey led two platoons of Medal of Honor recipients as participants.[4]

Godfrey died on April 1, 1932, at his home in the Cookstown section of New Hanover Township, New Jersey. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Section 3. His second wife, Ida Emely Godfrey, was buried with him after her death.

Marriage and familyEdit

His first wife died before the turn of the century. Their surviving children in 1932 were Mary Godfrey and E.S. Godfrey, Jr., who became a physician.[4] On October 6, 1892, Edward married Ida D. Emely Godfrey (1856–1941), his second wife.[3]

Medal of Honor citationEdit

Rank and organization: Captain, 7th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Bear Paw Mountain, Mont., 30 September 1877. Entered service at: Ottawa, Putnam County, Ohio. Born: 9 October 1843, Ottawa, Ohio. Date of issue: 27 November 1894.[1]


Led his command into action when he was severely wounded.[1]

See alsoEdit


  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
  1. ^ a b c "Medal of Honor recipients Indian Wars Period". United States Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 2009-04-12.
  2. ^ a b "Edward Settle Godfrey". Home of Heroes. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
  3. ^ a b "Edward Settle Godfrey". Arlington National Cemetery. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
  4. ^ a b "Old Indian Fighter Buried in Arlington". 9 (5). ST. JOSEPH, MISSOURI, reprinted on Rootsweb: WINNERS OF THE WEST. April 30, 1932. Retrieved 2009-04-14.