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Charles M. Betts
Born (1838-08-09)August 9, 1838
Place of birth Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch U.S. Army
Rank Union army lt col rank insignia.jpg Lieutenant colonel
Unit Company E, 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry
Awards Medal of Honor

Lieutenant Colonel Charles M. Betts (born August 9, 1838) was an American soldier who fought in the American Civil War. Betts received the country's highest award for bravery during combat, the Medal of Honor, for his action in Greensboro, North Carolina on 19 April 1865. He was honored with the award on 10 October 1892.[1]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Born August 9, 1838, Betts grew up on a farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He attended the Loller Academy in Hatboro, Pennsylvania and then the Gummere's School in Burlington, New Jersey. After the outbreak of the Civil War he first joined a military company in Pennsylvania and then formed part of the Army of the Potomac in Alexandria, Virginia. He later returned to Pennsylvania and, on August 12, 1862, mustered into the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry.[2]

He was involved in the battles of Stone River and a battle with Cherokee Indians near Gatlinburg in East Tennessee, among others. In April 1865, as lieutenant colonel in command of his regiment captured enemy wagons containing a large amount of silver coins, bank notes and bonds, all valued at approximately $4 million, in addition to other items.[2]

He was awarded the Medal of honor for leading his regiment to successfully capture a South Carolina cavalry battalion near Greensboro, North Carolina.[2]

Betts mustered out of the army on 21 June 1865. After the war he was involved with various lumber firms in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New York. He was also a member of the Pennsylvania Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion and president of the Lumbermen's Exchange in 1890.[2]

Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]

With a force of but 75 men, while on a scouting expedition, by a judicious disposition of his men, surprised and captured an entire battalion of the enemy's cavalry.[1][3]

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