Theodore W. Bean
Brevet Lieutenant-colonel Theodore W. Bean was born in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, May 14, 1833. At the early age of sixteen years he was apprenticed to a blacksmith, and for years followed that honorable occupation.
But his desire to advance himself in life led him to adopt the law as his profession. He was admitted to the bar of Montgomery county, February 24, 1869, an continued in active practice until the close of his life. He was mustered into the United States service as a private of Company L of the Seventeenth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, September 17, 1862, to serve for three years or during the war.
He was appointed first sergeant on the organization of the company, and promoted to second lieutenant, and later to first lieutenant, before the regiment left the state. On May 30, 1863, he was elected captain of his company. The regiment entered the Army of the Potomac in the early winter of 1862, and participated in all its subsequent campaigns, including Chancellorsville, Beverly Ford, Aldie, Gettysburg, Winchester, Five Forks, Sailor s Creek and Appomattox.
During the first day s battle at Gettysburg the services of Captain Bean attracted the attention of his division commander, General John Buford, and, after the battle, he was called to division headquarters and placed on staff duty as provost marshal. He continued to serve as a member of General Buford s staff until the death of that officer, and subsequently on those of Generals Merritt and Torbert, remaining with the latter until the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, April 9, 1865.
During his whole period of service Colonel Bean displayed that same indomitable energy, courage and devotion to duty so characteristic of his whole life, whether as soldier or civilian. Gifted with intelligence and foresight, never hesitating when he saw his duty clearly defined, ever obedient and ready to obey orders, he at all times attracted the attention of his superiors as an invaluable assistant when nerve, energy, promptness and courage were required.
Amongst his fellow officers he was always a favorite because of his suavity and kindness of manner. Without one particle of envy or jealousy in his nature, he was ever willing to add to the happiness of others regardless of self.
He was brevetted major of U. S. volunteers, March 13, 1865, for distinguished service, and again brevetted lieutenant-colonel of U. S. volunteers, March 13, 1865, for meritorious services in the late campaign. He was honorably discharged from the United States service by General Order, June 20, 1865.
After the close of the war he resumed business and study, and four years later entered upon his chosen profession of law. Colonel Bean was able in his profession. He was a public-spirited citizen and stood for progress in the civic and political life of his community. In 1887 he was appointed by Governor Beaver a member of the State Commission on Industrial Education. In 1889 he was elected to the State Legislature, and made chairman of the Committee on Education. He took an active part in the debates and was a leading member of that body. He was the author of "Roll of Honor of the Seventeenth Pennsylvania Cavalry," Footprints of the Revolution, or Washington at Valley Forge" "Annals of the War," "Buford at Gettysburg," "Ouster's Charge at Yellow Tavern,"; "The Fall of General Zook"; "General Pleasonton at Chancellorsville;" Sheridan in the Shenandoah."
Colonel Bean was deeply interested in the study of history and published, in 1884, a comprehensive history of Montgomery county, Pa. It was mainly through Colonel Bean's efforts that Valley Forge was preserved to the nation as sacred ground. He delivered the historical address at Valley Forge, June 19, 1878, upon the centennial anniversary of the departure of Washington s army from Valley Forge.
He was instrumental in organizing the Historical Society of Montgomery county, Pa., in 1881. He was its first president and held the office until 1889, when he declined re-election.
He delivered orations at Gettysburg upon the dedication of the monument to General Zook, and the memorial of the Seventeenth Pennsylvania Cavalry; also Memorial Day orations at Lancaster, Pa., Seven Pines, Va., and Bryn Mawr, Pa. His services as orator were repeatedly sought by his comrades in arms. He died at Norristown, Pa., January 20, 1891. His remains were deposited in the family plot in Montgomery cemetery, Norristown, Pa.
Source: History of the Seventeenth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry OR One Hundred and Sixty-Second in the Line of Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiments. War to Suppress the Rebellion, 1861-1865. Compiled from Records of the Rebellion, Official Reports, Recollections, Reminiscences, Incidents, Diaries and Company Rosters, with an Appendix by H. P. Mover, Formerly Bugler, Co. E, 17th Regt., Pa. Vol. Cavalry. SOWERS PRINTING COMPANY, LEBANON, PA.