A private in the 7th Michigan cavalry, James Bedell enlisted on the day the Emancipation Proclamation took effect in 1863. Having been assigned to light patrol duty and seeing only small skirmishes, Gettysburg would be both Bedell’s first and final large battle. Brutally injured and left to die after being captured, he lingered on for weeks. Following his death, he was treated as a medical oddity to be studied, the human details of his life supplanted by scientific inquiry.
Follow Corporal John Pardington, a young immigrant from England, during the last march of the Iron Brigade. His letters to his young wife capture the strain of separation during his time away at war. Because his death at Gettysburg, Pardington’s daughter would grow up without a father, forcing her to be strong in his absence.