Draper Manuscripts: George Michael Bedinger Papers, 1775-1860


George Michael Bedinger (1756—1843) was a Revolutionary War soldier, Kentucky pioneer, and congressman. Born of German ancestry in York County, Pennsylvania, Bedinger was taken as a young boy by his family to the neighborhood of Shepherdstown, West Virginia. There in 1775 he enlisted in Hugh Stevenson's company of sharpshooters, which joined the Continental Army under George Washington at Cambridge, Massachusetts. During several short-term reenlistments, Bedinger participated in the battle of Germantown, brought supplies to Valley Forge, and went to Kentucky in 1779 to aid in the defense of Boonesborough. Appointed adjutant in Colonel John Bowman's regiment, Bedinger served in Bowman's Ohio campaign. Subsequently he returned to Virginia and South Carolina and took part in the siege of Yorktown.

For several years after the Revolution he divided his time between business in Shepherdstown and exploration and surveying in Kentucky, but finally settled permanently at Lower Blue Licks. His enthusiasm for adventure and military life led him to join Arthur St. Clair's expedition in 1791. After Kentucky achieved statehood, he served in the state legislature (1792, 1794) and was elected to two terms (1803—1807) in the United States House of Representatives.