Zadoc Aydelotte, Fallen Leader

Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery

Conceived by Cadet Roger A. Godin, ’61, the Corps of Cadets honored the sacrifice of Second Lieutenant Zadoc Aydelotte, a member of the Class of 1861, in January 1961. During the observance, Cadet Colonel Edward Bankowski, Battle Group Commander, stated that the actions of Lieutenant Aydelotte “has been so typical of the wearers of the proud gray of PMC through the years ….”


Aydelotte joined the 81st Pennsylvania Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers and was promoted to Second Lieutenant in 1862. The Regiment left its winter quarters in December to engage the Confederate army at Fredericksburg. On the morning of December 13, the Regiment went into action. Aydelotte was leading Company F. In the face of a terrific storm of fire, a ball shattered his right arm. With sword in his left hand, Aydelotte continued to advance until struck by a shell, which broke his leg in three places and fractured a number of ribs. He fell bleeding from nine wounds, and died January 5, 1863, in Washington, D. C., at the age of nineteen. Among his last words were “I die for God and my country.”

The corps of cadets of the PMA were the guard of honor at the military funeral accorded the heroic Aydelotte at the Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery.