Traditional Stories


SHADRACH A. BADGET

Shadrach A. Badget was born in Augusta County, Virginia, March 27, 1828. He was the son of Pauncy (1799-1860) and Nancy Alvis Badget (1794-1860) and appears to have been their second son, the first being Thomas Badget. The 1850 census locates this family in Lewis County, Virginia. Shadrach Badget's paternal ancestry is traceable to Thomas Badget, a resident of York County, Virginia, in 1702. Shadrach's maternal ancestry is traceable to Elijah Alvis of Goochland County, Virginia, who served in Taylor's Regiment of the Virginia Line during the Revolutionary War.

Shadrach married Mary Parsons, August 7, 1856, and their marriage record indicates that the Reverend William A. Brannon performed the ceremony at Rilla, Virginia, known today as Orma, West Virginia. Mary Parsons was the daughter of Edward and Dortha Parsons. Shadrach and Mary were blessed with seven children, whom they named Margaret Jane, Thomas, John Andrew, Emma, Eva, James, and Dempsey.

Shadrach took up arms to valiantly defend his beliefs, following in the footsteps of his Uncle Thomas in 1812, and his Grandfather Thomas in 1776. After the brutal murder from ambush of his father-in-law, a staunch Union man, Shadrach Badget enlisted in Company G, Ninth Regiment, West Virginia Volunteer Infantry, signing a three-year enlistment at Spencer, West Virginia, on January 1, 1862. Little could he foresee that his Uncle Edmund's home on Reedy Creek would be burned to the ground because of Edmund's Confederate sympathies. Neither did Shadrach know that his son, John Andrew, would later marry Belle Starcher (1867-1957), the daughter of Private Peter Starcher (1840-1896) of the Confederate army. Benjamin Parsons, Shadrach's brother-in-law, enlisted as a private, at the same time, in the same company.

Military records from the National Archives provide a physical description of both young men. Thirty-three-year-old Private Shadrach Badget is described as five feet ten inches tall, with dark complexion, black eyes, and black hair. Thirty-one-year-old Private Benjamin Parsons is described as six feet one and three-quarters inches tall, with dark complexion, hazel eyes, and dark hair. Both men enlisted voluntarily, leaving behind their wives and several small children. Both men later reenlisted when the decimated Fifth and Ninth West Virginia Regiments were merged and renamed the First Regiment, West Virginia Veteran Volunteer Infantry.

Shadrach's commanding officer was Captain William Whetsel. Shadrach's regiment was part of General George Crook's Army of West Virginia, destined to participate in some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War and to accompany General Philip Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign.

The noonday sun shone brilliantly on Cloyd's Mountain the morning of May 9, 1864, and as the last strands of battle smoke dissipated over the ridge, Shadrach Badget was wounded, and Benjamin Parsons was left, mistakenly, for dead on the battlefield. Shadrach was treated at a military hospital in Roane County. and bravely returned to take up his arms again.

In July 1865, honorably discharged, Shadrach went home--to a new state named West Virginia, and a county still getting used to calling itself Calhoun. He lived at Minnora in Calhoun County, until his death June 12, 1900. Shadrach applied for and received a federal pension in 1890, based upon the wounds incurred during the war. The exact nature of Shadrach's wounds is uncertain, but he claimed injuries of the right arm, shoulder, and hip. After Shadrach's death his wife, Mary, received a widow's pension until her death January 31, 1911.

Today the wind sweeps softly over the pastoral setting of the Clarke-Jarvis Farm Cemetery on White Oak, in Calhoun County. The occasional visitor can see the cold stone memorials bearing the names Shadrach A. Badget and Mary Badget, side-by-side, together in death as they were in life. And very nearby is another large stone, impressively carved with the now weather worn outlines of an American Flag, bearing the name Benjamin B. Parsons, and the words "Rest weary soldier . . ." The visitor must surely pause awhile, and ponder on the unrecorded bravery of these foot-soldier men, who did indeed pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for the cause they believed in. After a moment's reflection, if you listen closely to the wind, you can almost hear a bugle call, in the far off distance.

Source: Mr. and Mrs. Henry L. Wright, 1344 Polen Avenue, Suffield, Ohio 44260. Mr. Wright is a great-grandson of Shadrach Badget.


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