Friday, January 25, 2008

Final Rest In The Shadow Of His Old Home

One of the men killed in the Blazer fight was Edward Bredell of St. Louis. He had been an officer in the regular army before he came to us, and his parents were very wealthy. Moreover, he was an only child. On the day of the fight the boys laid him to rest where he fell, but afterwards we brought his body over to our side of the mountain and buried it near Oak Hill, the former home of Chief Justice Marshall. Before the war ended young Bredell’s father came down to Virginia and took his dead son’s body home. When he reached St. Louis, owing to the bitter feeling there towards the Southerners, he was informed that the body could not be buried in any of the cemeteries. He thereupon had a grave dug in his own handsome grounds, and his son’s body found its final rest in the shadow of his old home.

At the close of the war, or rather two years after, I went to St. Louis to live, taking with me a letter of introduction to the father of Edward Bredell, whom I found to be an old Eastern shoreman of Maryland, and distantly related to family connections of mine. Upon my first visit to the old gentleman he took my hand and escorted me to the beautiful grounds in the rear of his house, where we two sat by the grave of the Partisan Ranger and talked of him as we had known him in the flesh. I called frequently at the Bredell home and I have not the slightest doubt that it gave the old man no little pleasure to hear me recount the exploits of his brave son, and to repeat, time and time again, the story of the fight in which the boy fell and died. Many a time I have sat near him in the shade of the trees that spread their limbs over the simple grave, and caught him gazing wistfully at the green mound that covered his son’s body. He tried to take his sorrows philosophically, but I cannot forget his first remark as we stood together:

“Maybe it is all right to give your only boy to your country, but I wish I had mine back again.”
-From Partisan Life with Col. John Mosby by John Scott

Connie Nisinger wrote the following about Edward Bredell's father, Edward E. Bredell, Sr.:

A pioneer businessman in St. Louis, Bredell founded the firm of Bredell & Bro., one of the first wholesale dry goods houses in St. Louis. He also founded the Missouri Glass Company & was president of that firm. Bredel devoted much of his time & money to Christian work & was president of the St. Louis Bible Society for many years. He was considered a true Christian philanthropist & made considerable bequests to many noble institutions at his death.
Bredell, Sr. died on March 16, 1896 and is buried next to his wife, Angeline, at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis.

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