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Grave marking held in Shepherdstown

August 31, 2008

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - A fanfare of red, white, and blue shrouded Elmwood Cemetery in Shepherdstown Aug. 2 when more than 100 members and guests attended the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution ceremonial grave marking for Henrietta Bedinger Lee.

Henrietta was born Feb. 7, 1810, in Shepherdstown, lived during the Civil War, and died Oct. 7, 1898, in Walkersville, Md.

"Daughters helping Daughters" took place when two chapters from separate states joined forces - the Frederick, Md., chapter contacted Shepherdstown Pack Horse Ford Chapter to combine their efforts in properly marking the grave of a "Real Daughter," Henrietta Bedinger Lee.

This honor refers to a woman who was a member of the organization and whose father served in the Revolutionary War.

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Henrietta's father was Lt. Daniel Bedinger, and her mother was Sarah Rutherford Bedinger. Henrietta married Edmund Jennings Lee, an attorney in Shepherdstown. He was a first cousin to Robert E. Lee. Edmund and Henrietta had five children.

Henrietta was an honorary member of the Old Dominion chapter in Virginia, joining before West Virginia became a state. She is one of 768 women identified as a Real Daughter. The organization is attempting to locate and mark all the graves of Real Daughters.

The dedication at the ceremony began with the ringing of a bell, which signaled the processional from the Jefferson High School Junior ROTC and the Maryland Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard.

Cadet Col. Aaron Murdock and Cadet Sgt. Jason Neely carried the USA and West Virginia flags, respectively.

Dressed in period uniforms, the color guard included commander David Hooper, vice commander William Smithson, flag bearer Louis Rayborg, drummer Robert Ayers and fife player Dave Embrey.

Two area students led the Pledge of Allegiance, Ariel Hoover from Shepherdstown and Jenna Dawson of Frederick, who interpreted the pledge in sign language.

Near the end of the ceremony, Pack Horse Ford Chapter Regent Dorrene Hale and Frederick Chapter Regent Carol Larkin unveiled the grave marker bearing the group insignia. After the benediction, the colors were retired with a 21-gun salute.

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