Clark

John Hopkins Clark - update 1/28/2017

John Hopkins Clark was born on January 19, 1842, in Shiawassee County, Michigan, the son of John.

John stood 5’5” with hazel eyes, black hair and a light complexion, and was 19 years old and may have been living in Spring Lake, Ottawa County, when he enlisted with his parents’ (?) consent in Company A on May 13, 1861. (Company A was made up largely of men from Grand Rapids, and many of whom had served in various local militia units before the war, specifically the Valley City Guards, or VCG, under the command of Captain Samuel Judd, who would also command Company A.)

He was wounded in the left foot, probably on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and was subsequently admitted to the hospital at Judiciary Square in Washington, DC. In fact, he was wounded and put aboard the Elm City at White House Landing, Virginia, and transferred to the hospital in Washington, DC, where he arrived on June 5 or 6. By the first of July he was reported by one observer to be “doing well.” John remained listed as absent wounded until he was discharged on October 29, 1862 at Fort McHenry, Maryland, for a wounded left foot.

John returned to Michigan and was living in Paris, Kent County in March of 1863 when he applied for and received a pension (no. 12491) for service in the 3rd Michigan infantry; his service in the 12th Michigan (see below) was entered later.

John was working as a cooper in Niles, Berrien County when he reentered the service for one year in Company A, 12th Michigan infantry on August 29, 1864 at Niles, Berrien County, and crediting Niles, and was mustered on September 2 at Kalamazoo. He was mustered out at Camden, Arkansas, on September 9, 1865.

John eventually returned to Michigan.

John married Michigan native Julia Elizabeth Chamberlain (1845-1919) on December 4, 1866, in Grand Rapids, and they had at least two children: Frank J. (1870-1947) and Helen (b. 1891, Mrs. Saunders). Julia was possibly related to Charles and William Chamberlain, both of whom had served in the 3rd Michigan infantry, the latter also of Company A.

By 1870 this same John H. was working as a cooper and living in Grand Rapids’ 3rd Ward in 1870. John may have settled for a time in Calhoun County; Julia had been born in Calhoun County. By 1880 John was working as a railroad conductor and living with his wife and child in Joliet, Will County, Illinois.

Sometime around 1912 John was living at 204 Fifth Avenue in Joliet, Will County, Illinois and still living at the same address in July of 1917. Sometime after Julia died in 1919 John moved to Battle Creek, Calhoun County where he lived with his son. He was living with his son’s family on South Wabash Avenue in Battle Creek’s 12th Ward in 1920.

John was probably a member of Grand Army of the Republic Farragut Post No. 32 in Battle Creek, Calhoun County.

John was a patient at the Nichols Memorial hospital in Battle Creek where he died of prostate cancer on August 17, 1922, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Joliet, Illinois next to his wife.

Jacob S. Clark

Jacob S. Clark was born 1834 in Tompkins County, New York, the son of Daniel (b. 1809) and Eliza L. (b. 1815).

Jacob’s parents were both born in New York and presumably married there, probably before 1834. The family resided in New York for some years but between 1837 and 1839 reportedly moved to Michigan, and between 1839 and 1841 settled in Ohio. Between 1843 and 1845 the family moved back to Michigan and by 1850 were living in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County. Daniel eventually moved his family to the western side of the state and by 1860 Jacob was a farm laborer living with his family in Grand Rapids’ Fourth Ward.

Jacob stood 5’6” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 27 years old and probably still living in Grand Rapids when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles”, a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.) He was discharged for hemorrhoids on May 12, 1862, at Annapolis, Maryland.

After his discharge Jacob eventually returned to Michigan.

He was married to a widow, Ohio native Matilda M. Kinney (b. 1831) on April 4, 1869, presumably in Michigan, and they may have had at least two children: Almanza (b. 1869) and Mary 1870). By 1870 Jacob was working as a farmer and living with Matilda, two of her children from her former marriage (Flora and Abi) and their son Almanza, in Otsego, Allegan County.

In November of 1879 Matilda began divorce proceedings against Jacob in Allegan County, although it is unclear where or not the decree was ever granted. In any case, by 1880 Jacob was working as a farmer and living with Matilda and their two children in Otsego, Allegan County. (In 1880 his mother Eliza was living with his brother George and his family in Ionia, Ionia County.) It was also reported that Matilda took her children and moved to Nebraska in 1884.

Jacob subsequently married Esther Linderman on January 4, 1885, in Courtland, Kent County.

In 1890 he was probably living in Courtland, Kent County, when he applied for and received a pension (no. 699293). He was living in Courtland, Kent County in 1892.

Jacob reportedly died at the Michigan Soldiers’ Home in Grand Rapids, on January 24, 1894.

According to one source Jacob is buried in Kent County, however he is not listed in the Kent County death certificate index. (There is one Jacob Clark buried in the Soldiers’ Home cemetery, but he is listed as having served with Company B, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics.)

In 1910 a woman by the name of Esther Clark was living in Tecumseh, Lenawee County, when she applied for a pension (application no. 935814) but the certificate was never granted, and was rejected on the grounds that Jacob had never in fact divorced his first wife.

Hiel P. Clark

Hiel P. Clark was born October 2, 1834, in New York, the son of Curtis (b. 1805) and Melinda (b. 1807).

New York native Curtis married Vermonter Melinda and they settled in New York where they resided for some years. Hiel’s family moved to Michigan (probably from New York) sometime before 1843, and by 1850 were living in Dexter, Washtenaw County where Curtis operated a farm and Hiel attended school with his siblings. In 1860 Hiel was working as a farmer and living with his family in Boston, Ionia County.

He was 26 years old and still living in Ionia County when he enlisted as a Corporal in Company D on May 13, 1861. Hiel may have been related to George B. Clark of Oakfield, in eastern Kent County, who also enlisted in Company D. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.)

On July 24, 1861, Hiel wrote to his parents from Washington, DC to let them know that

I am alive and well. One week ago yesterday we started from Camp Blair and marched into Virginia and encamped at Vienna [at] about 12 o'clock that night and started the next morning at 6 o'clock and marched about fourteen miles and then stood picket guard all night and marched the next day until noon when our skirmishers came upon the rebel pickets at Bull's Run. We were brought into the field in double quick time, the artillery passing upon the road and in [a] few moments we heard the firing from their guns faintly answered by the enemy from [a] little battery right in front of us, all of their shot falling short of our guns. They fired four shots and then retreated leading us to suppose that they did not calculate to make a stand there but they soon deceived us. We marched right in front of a piece of woods and sent our skirmishers in when they commenced firing on us, the balls whistled over our heads like hail stones, but hit none of our Regiment. The N.Y. 12th charged before they knew it when they opened fire on them but the first shot was too low and the next was too high when they retreated with but little loss and in good order.

On July 29, 1861, he wrote to his sister from the Patent Office hospital in Washington, DC. “We were in action on the 18th and 21st and were forced to retreat back to Washington but wherefor I do not know. We think the whole thing was badly managed and that the General is not loyal. It was General Tyler [McDowell]; he is now superseded by General McClellan. We had on the 21st 20 thousand men and the enemy had 85 thousand but dare not come and attack us but kept behind their masked batteries and did not even follow us after we had retreated. On the 18th our Regiment lay one hour right in sight of the enemy and they fired at us all the time with rifled cannon and wounded only two of our men. . . .”

He was still in the hospital in Washington on August 11, when he wrote to his sister asking her to “Write to me how the wheat yielded, how the corns looks, how the potatoes look and how the cattle and horses and sheep and hogs get along and how much butter mother had made and how much it is a pound; it is only 31 cents here and eggs are only 2 cents a piece and everything else in proportion. Tell me how Father gets along with the farm. It is raining on my paper and as their is now news to write happening that the next time I write to you that I may tell you that I am well.” And on October 1, 1861, he wrote from Fort Richardson that he was healthy again.

We are here at the fort yet but don't know how long we shall stay here. We have been expecting to march for the last two days; day before yesterday we had orders to pack up and be ready to march at a moment's warning but we have not gone yet and may not for a month. But I shall be pretty apt to know it when we get started. They do say that the army moved southward yesterday but I think that it was only a part of the forces, that they intend to move. There was a little fighting on our right last Saturday and left their big gun. There has been so much blow about as being the one that they took from us at Bull Run, it proved to be a huge stove pipe. They left in such a hurry that they could not take it with them. They have left for Bull's Run; they think they can fight a better battle there than anywhere else. . . . We have rather cold nights here but no frost yet though it has been cold enough for one; but the wind blows too hard for frosts. I was Corporal of the guard yesterday and had to lay outdoors in the night and caught a little bit of a cold.

He added in a postscript written the following day “There is no stir here, the excitement has all died away.”

On October 17, 1861, he wrote to his sister from Eagle Hill, Virginia, updating her on his latest movements. On the 14th

went out to drill this morning. While drilling with the bayonet an old union man came along and asked the Captain to march his company up to his house and get some good water which we done. He has a nice place. Oct. 15th - last night liked to froze; had to get up twice to warm; felt rather hard this morning. Went into the tent and went to sleep. This afternoon had to go to Fort Lyon to take charge of a fatigue party; when I came back found the Regiment had changed their quarters; had the pleasure of pitching my tent; but we have a better place than we had before. Have just had two and a half dollars paid me on a bet, the bet was on the pay of members of Congress. I won, of course. Oct. 16th - got up this morning at three o'clock, expecting to march at daylight but was disappointed. Went to work fixing up our tent; made a bed of barrel staves, laid on poles, and a writing desk by putting a barrel head on a keg. The boys are dancing as usual; had a little fun today hearing fifer [George] Hill read some of his letters, especially one from Mattie Dodge. Though it was fun for me, I don't think any more of him for showing them to me; he is a regular puppy.

He wrote his sister again on October 25, 1861 from Eagle Hill that he had been out in the countryside and had seen Mount Vernon. “What would have been [Washington’s] emotions could he have seen today his beloved Virginia” with “countrymen fighting against each other at the instigation of a few defeated politicians who are trying to ruin a government founded in the wisdom of our Fathers. . . . I have lived to see what I never expected to see and what I hope never to see again.” On November 13, 1861, he wrote his sister from Eagle Hill that he had

received yours day before yesterday and just as I got ready to write had to go on guard and was on till one o'clock the next morning when orders came to draw off my guard and be ready to march at three. Well we got ready and we did march, we went to a church called Pohick Church about 12 miles southwest from here and then sent skirmishers out through the woods but did not find what we were after. The report was that the rebels were building a battery in that section but we failed to find it. Our skirmishers went in one direction to what is called Occoquan Creek and we went in another to the river but without success. All we could learn was one cavalry man said on a certain road two Regiments of infantry, a few artillery and a squadron of cavalry were seen about an hour before we got there, leaving and marching fast when the report came to the General he said it was just as he expected and all we had got to do was to turn round and go back which we done, and today I am so sore and lame that I can hardly stir. We are getting new tents today, they are called the Sibley tent, so constructed that we can build a fire in them. There is no news and no prospects of a fight right away; tell Willie that I guess the war will last long enough so that he will get big enough to fight. Van [Sylvanus] Staring, Urias Story and Bill Jackson [Co. A] are all well. . . .

“We are still on the same ground,” he wrote on December 6, 1861, “and likely to stay here for some time. We have to drill twice each day. The nights are cold and the ground freezing in the night and thawing by day makes it rather bad walking; the sacred soil of Virginia sticking to a fellow's foot like grim death to [a] nigger. Speaking of negroes while I was on picket the last time two of them came in from the other side of the lines and said they wanted to go to Alexandria. I sent them to the Lieutenant and come to find out they did not want to come back. They said their master had gone to Manassas and was going to take them there too and they did not want to go for they all know that they are free when they get inside of our lines. There is a family of Quakers out where we go on picket and I boarded there; while I stayed there was one nice girl there. You had better believe I would like to marry that part of Virginia; without joking it is the best looking place I have ever seen [and] if I live through the war I think I shall stop there and work for the old Quaker.”

He was acting Sergeant Major in July of 1862, and from Camp Lincoln he wrote his sister on June 18, 1862.

You are probably anxious to know the reason of my long silence. Well I will tell you. Just after we had crossed the Chickahominy [River] our knapsacks and desks were all ordered back. I supposed we were going right through to Richmond, and sent all my papers, pens, ink, and envelopes back in the desk, and have had nothing to write with till today, our desks came up, and I found everything all right, but my paper, and gold pen they were stole[n]. I borrowed a sheet this morning; it is rather rough. But we have rough times down here, why sis they shoot right at a fellow. We had to fight hard on Saturday the 31st to keep from being cut all to pieces. The [sic] most of our Regiment fought well, some of them shrunk out though, both privates and officers, the most prominent among the latter class was one [D. C.] Crawford, second Lieutenant of Company E. He is among the wounded sent to Washington but the doctor says there was not a scratch on him or his clothes. He says he will report him for cowardice that would be rough, but it would be right. I was sorry to hear of Geo. Cummings death, but it is the fate of war. I am safe so far, and think I shall pass through safe but there is no telling. We have a strong position here, and I guess Gen. McClellan calculates to siege them out of Richmond. It is a slow way but rather a safe one.

He added in a postscript that “I shot [at the rebels] twelve times at forty rods with a good rifle and took good sight every time. if I missed every time I shall consider myself a poor shot.”

On August 1, 1862, Hiel wrote his sister from Harrison’s Landing, “We had rather a rainy time of it yesterday last night at midnight was awakened by heavy firing and for about an hour they kept it up with the greatest fury. I have not heard what it was for nor how they made of it but from the sound I concluded that secesh got the worst of it or it would not have stopped so soon, . . . It is no use talking, sis, we are fighting against just as good men as the north” has “men who have got their hearts in the work they are doing and we have got to have an equal number of men to cope successfully with them. You see all the country we get we have to protect that takes a great many from our army. That is the reason why we have to have such an enormous force; to bring an equal force into the field against them.” He was absent sick in the hospital in August

On November 8, 1862, he wrote his sister from Fauquier County, Virginia, “We have been marching since the 28th of last month and our halt is now only temporary on account of bad weather and to get rations. We shall start again today or tomorrow. It is bad marching now, the weather is so cold that a fellow has to carry a cart load on his back in order to sleep warm nights. We even have to carry our tents; it is wearing out a good many men, your brother amongst the rest. These winter campaigns are a nice thing on paper but they are death on soldiers; but this, if successful, will end the war by preserving the Union; if unsuccessful it will end in separation for our army if beaten will be badly beaten.”

Heil was promoted to Sergeant sometime before May 1, 1863.

He was killed in action on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia, and presumably buried among the unknown soldiers at Chancellorsville.

GAR Post Hiel P. Clark No. 153 in Saranac, Ionia County was named in honor of his memory.

In 1877 his mother Melinda applied for a dependent mother’s pension (no. 231,253) but the certificate was apparently never granted.

George B. Clark

George B. Clark was born May 4, 1840, in Grass Lake, Jackson County, Michigan, the son of Beaumont Jr. (b. 1810) and Melissa (b. 1811).

Connecticut native Beaumont Jr. married Vermont-born Melissa and settled in Michigan by 1835 when their daughter Augusta was born. By 1850 George was attending school with three of his siblings and living with his family on a farm in Grass Lake, Jackson County. By 1860 George was a day laborer or sawyer living in Oakfield, Kent County. Three of his younger siblings were living with the Farmer (?) family in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County in 1860.

George stood 5’7” with dark eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion, and was 22 years old and possibly living in Greenville, Montcalm County, when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. George may have been related to Hiel Clark of Ionia County, who also enlisted in Company D. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.)

In August of 1862 George was reported absent sick in the hospital, and from October of 1863 through November was absent sick in the hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. He was hospitalized in Washington, DC in December of 1863, but apparently rejoined the Regiment and was wounded in the hand sometime in early May of 1864, following which he was reportedly hospitalized and was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.

He eventually returned to western Michigan where he reentered the service as a Private in Unassigned, Fifth Michigan infantry on March 4, 1865 at Grand Rapids for one year, crediting Campbell, Ionia County, and was discharged on May 6, 1865 by order of the War Department, at Jackson, Jackson County.

(It is unclear why he was discharged. Curiously, the Third was consolidated with the Fifth Michigan Infantry in June of 1864 when the regiment was officially mustered out of service.)

George returned to Michigan after the war. He may have returned to Montcalm County or perhaps he was living in Rockford, Kent County by 1865.

He was possibly living in Rockford, Kent County when he married Michigan native Harriet “Hattie” A. Calkins (b. 1848), on September 25, 1865, in Greenville, Montcalm County, and they had at least three children: Mary (b. 1868), Harry (b. 1869) Rose B. (b. 1879).

By 1870 George was working as a wagon maker and living with his wife and two children in Stanton, Montcalm County; next door lived two young men named Calkins, presumably Hattie’s brothers. By 1880 George was working as a farmer and living with his wife and their daughter Rosa in Maple Valley, Montcalm County; next door lived James and Mary Calkins, presumably Harriet’s parents. Besides Montcalm County, Michigan, George lived in Rockford, Kent County, Michigan, in Winton, Minnesota in 1897, in Ely, Minnesota, in DeLemere, North Dakota and Newark, Marshall County, South Dakota.

George eventually settled in Marshall County, South Dakota, probably sometime around 1900. In any case, he was a widower and living in Newark, Marshall County, South Dakota when he was admitted to the South Dakota State soldier’s Home in Hot springs, South Dakota, on September 20, 1910. He resided off and on in the Soldiers’ Home in South Dakota for the remainder of his life. He was on furlough from the Home in 1913, 1916 and 1919. By 1920 he was listed as a resident in the South Dakota state soldiers’ home in Hot Springs, South Dakota.

In 1884 he applied for and received a pension (no. 962,128), drawing $15.00 per month by 1910 and eventually increased to $30.00 per month . George was reported as a Protestant.

George died of a hemorrhage of the bladder on August 26, 1927, at the state soldier’s home in Hot Springs, South Dakota, and was buried Hot Springs, South Dakota: in row 17, grave 36.

William Clark - update 1/28/2017

William Clark was born on December 29, 1839, in South Lyon, Oakland County, Michigan, the son of New York natives John B. Clark (b. 1808) and Lucinda Hickox (1814-1892).

His parents settled in Michigan by 1832 (possibly Wayne County), and had settled in Michigan (probably Wayne County). John B. may have been living in Vernon, Shiawassee County in 1840. By 1850 William was living with his family in Dewitt, Clinton County (so was his older brother Edgar who would also join the Old Third).

William was probably living in Clinton County and stood 5’11” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 22-year-old farmer when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861. (Edgar would enlist in Company G in 1862; and they may have been related to Charles Clark who like Edgar was from Lansing and who also enlisted in Company G. Moreover, Company G, formerly the “Williams’ Rifles,” was made up predominantly of men from the Lansing area.)

William was wounded slightly in the shoulder on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and by late June he was at home in DeWitt, Clinton County, recovering from his wound. He soon recovered his health and on August 11 William arrived in Detroit Barracks, the transit depot for soldiers returning to and from their Regiments, and on Friday, August 15, left Michigan to rejoin the 3rd Michigan. He was promoted to Corporal on September 1, 1862, and according to Edgar Clark of Company G, William “honestly” deserved the post. “His pay is no more than it was before but it relieves him of a great many little duties which a private is subject to, such as standing guard.” For much of his time in service William and Edgar shared not only the same tent but the same bed as well, a common use of limited sleeping space in the nineteenth century,. Apparently William and Edgar got their pictures taken on April 22, 1863.

On Sunday October 11, noted Edgar Clark, William “was splitting some kindling wood off a rail, when the hatchet made a glance and cut his big toe bad. So they sent him to Washington to a hospital.” On October 24 Edgar reported home that William was in Stanton hospital in Washington and his foot was not doing well. William eventually recovered, rejoined the regiment and reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia.

William returned home to Michigan on veteran’s furlough during January of 1864 and rejoined the regiment on or about the first of February. It is quite possible that while he was home on furlough William married Michigan or Pennsylvania native Mary Francis Reynolds (1843-1883) they had at least one child, a daughter Gertrude Estelle (b. 1876).

Shortly after William returned to the regiment, on March 5, 1864, Edgar wrote to his own wife, Catharine, “William got a letter from his dear wife last night. She feels quite bad for she says Alice Collins has reported a story that he slept with three girls one night and she does not like it much. I would not either if I was in her place. I think myself there must be some mistake for I do not think he would cut up such a caper as that so near home, much less to tell Alice of it. I do not know what is the matter with him nor do I care much. He knows that I do not like his Mary nor never did see how he can but you know love will go where it is sent, and you know somebody must like her and he may as well be the victim.”

William was transferred as a Sergeant to Company F, 5th Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. During the movement through the North Anna area by the Army of the Potomac in late May of 1864, William reportedly shot and killed a rebel, possible his first kill. On May 26, Edgar Clark wrote home to his wife that “William wanted I should tell you he killed a rebel yesterday. He has got a sharp [Sharp’s?] target rifle which will kill a man as far as you can see. He went out on a skirmish line and got a good aim at one and after he shot he saw four men carrying a man off.” William was promoted to First Sergeant on November 2, 1864, and mustered out of service on July 5, 1865 at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

It is unknown if William returned to Michigan, although he have been living in Lansing in 1876 when his daughter was born. It’s possible that William and Mary separated sometime after Gertrude was born. By 1880 Mary and their daughter Gertrude were living with Mary’s family in Dewitt, Clinton County; the family included Mary’s brothers Nelson and Foster, her sister Hannah and their mother Tizah. Gertrude eventually went to live with her father in California after her mother died.

William eventually moved to California where he married his second wife, California native Ida Alice Maloon (1855-1932) in 1883; and they adopted a baby girl named Irma Viola (1892-1920).

By 1900 William was working as a contractor and living with his family in Oakland’s 3rd Ward, Alameda County, California; also living with them was his daughter Gertrude and 57-year-old Benjamin Maloon, Mary’s father. William was still in Oakland’s 3rd Ward, in 1910, working as a railroad employee, and living on Linden Street with his wife Ida, daughter Irma and father-in-law Benjamin was also still residing with them.

In 1871 William applied for and received a pension (no. 118522).

William died on June 16, 1918, in Oakland, California, and was buried on June 19 in Mountain View cemetery in Oakland: sec. 45, grave 136.

In July of 1918 Ida applied for and received a pension (no. 864551). By 1920 Ida was listed as the head of the household and living on Linden Street in Oakland; also living with her was her daughter Irma and her husband C. B. Stevens. Living in the same house was Gertrude Rirth (b. 1876 in Michigan) and her son Rennolds as well as another woman named Gertrude (b. c. 1877), possibly William’s daughter and her 11-year-old son Rennold (b. 1909) By 1930 Ida was living alone on Berkley Way in Berkeley, California..

Edgar W. Clark - update 1/28/2017

Edgar W. Clark was born March 9, 1833, in Northville, Wayne County, Michigan, the son of New York natives John B. Clark (b. 1808) and Lucinda Hickox (1814-1892).

His parents settled in Michigan by 1832 (possibly Wayne County). John B. may have been living in Vernon, Shiawassee County in 1840. By 1850 Edgar was living with his family and working as a farmer in Dewitt, Clinton County (is younger brother William would also join the Old Third).

Edgar married Ohio native Catharine A. Crayts (1836-1926), on September 9, 1858, in Dewitt, Clinton County, and they had at least four children: Mina (b. 1859), Carrie (b. 1861), Amos B. (b. 1867) and Philo or Milo (b. 1869).

By 1859 they were living in Michigan when their daughter was born, and by 1860 Edgar was working as a sawyer and living with his wife and daughter in Lansing’s First Ward, Ingham County.

Edgar stood 5’9” with hazel eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion, and was a 29-year-old mechanic living in Lansing’s First Ward with his wife and two small children when he enlisted for 3 years in Company G on Monday, August 11, 1862, probably at Lansing, crediting Lansing First Ward, and arrived at Detroit Barracks the same day. (Company G, formerly the “Williams’ Rifles”, was made up predominantly of men from the Lansing area.) Edgar's brother William had enlisted in Company G the previous year. The two were possibly related to Charles Clark who was also from the Lansing area and who joined Company G in May of 1861.

Concerned over the welfare of his family and to keep his wife informed as to his health and whereabouts, Edgar wrote frequently to his family from mid-August of 1862 until August of 1864. Catharine, at first unable to read or write had to depend on others to read his letters and to write for her. But apparently at some point during the war she decided to learn to read and write for herself.

On Sunday, August 17, 1862, Edgar wrote home that he was still in Detroit, probably the Detroit Barracks awaiting transportation east. “We drill two hours every day now from today. I have not done but two hours work this last week. We have very good times here. There’s from 300 to 500 to every table and all eat with their hats or caps on. We have butter, bread, pork and beans for breakfast. Sometimes cold and sometimes warm and every meal is the same. We have fresh beef once or twice a week.” He added that he was “somewhat lonesome” and wished he was back home with her, a sentiment he would repeat many times during the war. Indeed, one of the hallmarks of Clark’s letters home was his frankness in expressing his feelings toward his wife.

On Wednesday, August 20, 1862, Edgar wrote that his “health is first-rate. I got $25 of my bounty today and there are $17 more I will get in a few days. I will send you $20.” He closed by telling her “You must keep up good courage and this will come out all right. A year will pass around and then we will be together again never to part till death removes us. If you can, you must keep all of my letters till I come home. Get somebody to write for you Sunday if you can. I expect a letter from you or someone of the folks every day.”

By Sunday, August 24, 1862, Edgar reported his health to be “very good at present” but that he was still in Detroit.

I have been on guard four hours today and calculate to be on guard four hours tonight. This is the third letter that I have written you. I sent you $20 last week. I don’t know how long I shall stay in this place, perhaps not more than a day or two. I hear that we will go to the regiment tomorrow, but I don’t know. We got so many stories and promises that we do not know what we will do the next minute. Yesterday, I tried to get a pass to go downtown to see if I could get a furlough to come home a few days but could not. I will try again tomorrow and if I can come home and see you again before I leave the state, but if you don’t see me Tuesday night you will not see me for the present. Tonight is the first night that I tasted butter since I left home. I could tell you a great many more things if you would read my writing, but seeing as it is, I must write so as not to offend anyone whom you may get to read my letters to you.

Apparently Catharine had asked in a letter if in fact he could get a furlough to come home. On Tuesday, August 26, Edgar replied that he

tried to get a furlough to come home, but cannot. We will leave this place today or tomorrow. There are 100 new recruits leaving for the West [?] today. I was sorry to hear that mama was sick. I hope she is better now. It would cost me certainly $5 to come home and back here and I think if it was saved and sent to you for your comfort and convenience it will be better for you than it would be for me to come home and only stay a day or two with you and then have to leave again for a long time. You would feel worse than you did when I left first. It was hard for me to part with you and my two little children who are dependent on me for their protection and support. I wish it were not so, but this country must be saved and someone has to go. I see in this morning’s paper that drafting is ordered immediately after the first of September. So it is a sure thing and I am glad that I am a volunteer and not a drafted man. We have very poor fare. I thought I would have a change and bought two good mince pies and they were very good. There is everything to eat when men have the money to buy.

On Thursday, August 28, Edgar wrote home that his health was good, indeed, he had never felt better.

We intend to leave for the regiment tonight and I am glad of it for I have stayed in this place long enough. We are in close confinement, though we have about five acres of land to parade on and that is all. They let four men go out the other day on their honor and they have not come in yet. So they fooled them and they said they would not let another man go out of the barracks until he went to his regiment and then we will have more liberty. We expect to get our money before we go or we will not go. I suppose you think I hope I can’t get my money, but there is no such good luck for you nor me. It is a hard life to live although we do not work any. Perhaps that is the reason it is so hard, because I was always brought up to work. We do not live very well, but if I get it no worse in my life I will never grumble a bit. I suppose your melons are getting ripe by this time and I hope they will not get picked until they get ripe for I am not there to pick them before they get ripe. I wish I was there this morning. You must keep up good courage and get along as well as you can. I shall try to take care of myself as well as I can and you will bet I will be very clear from running into danger carelessly. My love for you is ten times stronger than it ever was before because I miss you every day and know the need of a good wife.

Although he had expected to be sent east on Friday, by Sunday, August 31, he had still not left Detroit. He had been on guard much of the night before. “I have been to sleep all of the morning till now and I thought I would write to let you know about me. I like to write to you first rate. I suppose you are glad of it. We have very good times here.”

He was still in Detroit when he wrote Catharine on Tuesday, September 2, he wrote his wife that he was well. “If I enjoy as good health as long as I am gone away from home, I shall feel glad. There are a good many going out with us, probably about 300. I would be glad to see you before I went out of the state, but it is impossible and we must make up our minds to put up with it.” He was optimistic about how long the war would last. “It is the opinion of all here that the war will not last over nine months. I must tell you to take good care of the children. The horrors of war may find them fatherless and cast them upon the mercies and charities of friends and relatives, but God forbid the thought. I still entertain the strong conviction that someday . . . will see us together again [in] this world of sorrow and trouble. You must not feel melancholy. I thought I would fill up the sheet so you would not say I wrote short letters.”

At about 9:00 p.m. Thursday night, September 4, Edgar boarded a train for Toledo where he arrived about 11:00 p.m. He left Toledo at 5:00 a.m. Friday morning for Cleveland arriving there about 10:00 a.m. From Cleveland he went to Wheeling, West Virginia and they were supposed to on to Baltimore from there. But, according to a letter he wrote home on Sunday, September 7, “the news came the rebels had taken one town on that road and we could not go through. Then we was ordered to go by the Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Railroad and we had to go back 50 miles to get to that road which made about 100 miles of travel which we got unnecessarily. We then got on the cars at Bolivar, which is four miles below Wheeling on the Ohio River.” He finally joined the regiment on Saturday night. He reported that he found William well and that he was “quite satisfied with the regiment”. He hoped to make himself “as contented as possible” and promised to write home two or three times a week.

Edgar quickly fell into the Regimental routine. On September 11 he wrote Catharine that the day before he had gone to Alexandria “and bought a few notions such as a shirt and a cup for boiling coffee in and a plate and a spoon which is necessary for me to have.” He also had his photograph taken and planned to put it in with the letter. Three days later, September 14, Edgar wrote home that he was still well.

This is a beautiful Sunday morning and I have been to work fetching wood and cooking my breakfast. William is on guard duty this morning. I went to Alexandria yesterday and worked all day helping unload a vessel with wagons for our brigade. It is the first duty that I have done to amount to anything since I have been in the service and probably will be the last for quite a number of days. It is easy work to be a soldier. We are encamped in a very beautiful place and in a secure place as could be selected. We cannot tell how long we will be here in this locality. We have moved three times within the last week and every time we have bettered our condition. Talk is that we will move once more before we come to a final stopping place. Then we will not move until it is absolutely necessary to protect Washington. We are encamped within light [sight?] of Washington and only about three miles between three large forts, so when the rebels come they have got to take four large forts before they can touch us.

On September 17 Edgar wrote home that the regiment was still encamped at what Clark had referred to on the 14th as Camp Wilson and on the 17th as a “camp near Fort Worth”, but was in fact near Fairfax Seminary. He had no idea how long they would stay there, and complained “[w]e get orders every day and then they are countermanded but if the rebels on their return from Maryland should make a dash for Washington, then we will have to protect that place. We are under marching orders with 60 rounds of ammunition in our cartridge boxes, and must be ready at a moment’s warning. So you will see that it is impossible to tell how long we will stay here, but it will come out all right one of these days.” He reported that on Monday, September 15, the regiment “went out on picket duty last Monday [September 15]. We went three miles south of Munson Hill or about six miles from where we were camped. We did not see any rebels, but some rebel woman [women?]. We had a good time. Wild grapes growed as large as ones you saw in your camp, and we see a good many things pleasing and amusing. There is a great many regiments within sight of us and tents as far as you can see in every direction.”

On September 24 Edgar wrote from camp near the Seminary to let his family know he was in good health. After a brief discussion of home matters, Edgar turned his thoughts to more serious matters, particularly in the wake of the horrible fighting that had recently taken place at Antietam.

How soon we may get into a fight, we cannot know, but if we do, I am sure I will come out all right. I was talking to one of our company by the name of Church who is with one of the ambulances that care of [for?] the dead and wounded on the battlefield and he said he went one day this week under a flag of truce into the rebel lines where the Battle of Bull Run was fought about three weeks ago and he said there were hundreds of dead men, Union and Rebel, on the ground, still unburied, with all of their clothes stripped off of them. I thought that was a hard sight to see. I hope I shall never see the likes of it. Should it be my lot to be killed in battle, I hope I shall get a decent burial and not have my bones bleached on this land above ground. We have to drill three hours a day and that is all the work we do. The President has issued a proclamation freeing all the slaves after the first of January in the revolting states. I like that first-rate. If they cannot be brought to honorable terms by mild usage, the Old Book says they must be dealt in a more severe manner.

By the end of the month the regiment had moved to a camp at Upton’s Hill, Virginia, and Edgar seemed pleased with the move. On Sunday, September 28 he wrote Catharine that his

health is first rate at present. I hope it will continue to be good while I am in the army. I have been to work all day, cleaning my gun.The regiment went on inspection this morning. The colonel looked at my gun a little and then gave it back to me. I think it passed because he made no comments about it. William and I have moved, so we have a better bed and we do not have to sleep on the ground as before. We marched into a camp which a regiment had just left. You say you wish you were here to do the cooking for me. I wish you was but I would not have you come and live in camp, as we move from place to place. I have moved about 10 miles in four times. How long we will stay in this position is hard for anyone to tell. Even the field and staff officers are not allowed to know where [we will move] until about a half-hour before we start. Yesterday’s paper stated that there was no rebels within 20 miles of us.

He continued to miss his wife. On October 1 Edgar wrote that “Someone has remarked that we cannot properly estimate our individual blessings until we are deprived of them. So it is with me now. My absence has taught me that deprived of you the world would be a wilderness and life a blank. I have to meditate here in solitude the many joys you have brought me, strewing my pathway with happiness and exalting my soul to a just prescription of the good and beautiful in life.”

Four days later he expressed to his wife his thoughts on the cause of the war. “I think Old Abe has done a good thing in striking at the cause of the rebellion and I would still be in favor of the destruction of the whole rebel property if it would be peace. I think if that does not bring peace by the first of January, slavery will be abolished from the United States and I would think they would come back into the Union before that time so as to save themselves and their institutions.”

Edgar remained with the regiment throughout the fall of 1862 and participated in the battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862. He took the opportunity on December 17 to write home and inform his wife that he was alive and well after the great battle.

On January 12, 1863, Edgar was admitted to the division hospital near Falmouth, suffering from diarrhea and rheumatism. He remained in the division hospital until early February when he was transferred to the regimental hospital and by the first of March had returned to the company. However, he suffered a relapse and just four days after returning to the regiment was sent back to the regimental hospital on March 5. His health improved and by late in the month had rejoined the company.

Edgar was with the regiment during its movement across the Rappahannock River and in its engagement at Chancellorsville. He also participated in the battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. Curiously, beginning in late June his letters become substantially clipped, his topics of discussion taper off to virtually only events in the east and he no longer signs off affectionately.

In late August the Third Michigan was sent to New York City to assist in preserving order during the upcoming draft and from that city they were sent up the Hudson and helped with the draft in Troy, New York. The regiment returned to Virginia in September and participated in the Mine Run campaign in November, after which it took up winter quarters at Camp Bullock near Brandy Station. Edgar continued to serve with Company G throughout 1863 and on into 1864.

Although Edgar was reported absent wounded when he was transferred to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, in fact, according to his letters he remained with his company (F) until he was shot in the left knee shattering the bone during a charge on an enemy position about sundown, June 20, 1864, near Petersburg. Fortunately for Edgar, “William was there close by. I got on his back and he carried me back over a slight rise of ground. Then another soldier was there to help him. I got astride of a gun and they both took me to where the ambulance was waiting to carry me back to the field hospital” at City Point, Virginia. “After lying on the ground all night under a big tree and in the morning about 9 I was put on the table to be examined by the doctors and told if it was necessary they would have to take my leg off, which they did.”

On June 23 he wrote Catharine that after being shot he had laid “on the ground a little while wanting for some to come and help me off. I tried to get some of our own company boys to take me out. They said they could not, but if they were obliged to fall back they would carry me with them. At this moment I got sight of William. I made a loud noise calling his name. He heard me, then I knew I was all right.” He was taken to a brick farmhouse near by and from there transported to Washington, where he was admitted to Harvard hospital.

He pointed out to his wife in his June 23 letter that his leg had been “taken off without the least particle of pain. My dear, it is a sad misfortune to me now to be deprived of half a leg. But it is one of the misfortunes of war for which none are to blame. It would be an honorable misfortune. I would rather it be a leg than an arm.” Edgar remained at Harvard hospital through mid-August, and his leg healed ever so slowly, suffering one bout of gangrene.

On August 22 Edgar was transferred to South Street hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he remained until he was transferred to Detroit on November 26, 1864, and was discharged on account of wounds on February 27, 1865 at Detroit, possibly from Harper hospital.

Edgar eventually returned to the Lansing area where he probably lived most of his life and for many years worked as a clerk. By 1870 he was working as a clerk in a state government office and living in Lansing’s First Ward with his wife and four children.

He was living in North Lansing in 1883 drawing $24.00 for pension no. 41,617 (dated 1865), and still residing in North Lansing the following year.

Edgar was a member of the Old Third Michigan Infantry Association, and in May of 1885 he joined the Grand Army of the Republic Charles Foster Post No. 42 in Lansing.

He died on January 10, 1902, at Lansing, and was buried on January 12 in Mt. Hope cemetery in Lansing: section B, lot 192, grave no. 10 (10-192-B).

In February of 1902 his widow was living in Michigan when she applied for and received a pension (no. 542279).

William Clark was born December 29, 1839 in South Lyon, Oakland County, Michigan, the son of John B. (b. 1808) and Lucinda (Hickox, b. 1813).

Both New York natives, his parents were probably married in New York sometime before 1832 by which time they had settled in Michigan (probably Wayne County). John B. may have been living in Vernon, Shiawassee County in 1840. In any case, by 1850 William was living with his family (so was his older brother Edgar who would also join the Old Third) in Dewitt, Clinton County.

William was probably living in Clinton County and stood 5’11” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, and was a 22-year-old farmer when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861. (His brother Edgar would enlist in Company G in 1862; and the two may have been related to Charles Clark who, like Edgar, was from Lansing and who also enlisted in Company G. Moreover, Company G, formerly the “Williams’ Rifles”, was made up predominantly of men from the Lansing area.)

William was wounded slightly in the shoulder on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia, and by late June he was at home in DeWitt, Clinton County, recovering from his wound. He soon recovered his health and on August 11 William arrived in Detroit Barracks, the transit depot for soldiers returning to and from their Regiments, and on Friday, August 15, left Michigan to rejoin the Third Michigan. He was promoted to Corporal on September 1, 1862, and according to Edgar Clark of Company G, William “honestly” deserved the post. “His pay is no more than it was before but it relieves him of a great many little duties which a private is subject to, such as standing guard.” For much of his time in service William and Edgar shared not only the same tent but the same bed as well, a common use of limited sleeping space in the nineteenth century. Apparently William and Edgar got their pictures taken on April 22, 1863.

On Sunday October 11, noted Edgar Clark, William “was splitting some kindling wood off a rail, when the hatchet made a glance and cut his big toe bad. So they sent him to Washington to a hospital.” On October 24 Edgar reported home that William was in Stanton hospital in Washington and his foot was not doing well. William eventually recovered, rejoined the regiment and reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia.

He returned home to Michigan on veteran’s furlough during January of 1864 and rejoined the regiment on or about the first of February.

It is quite possible that while he was home on furlough William married Mary Francis Reynolds; they had at one child, a daughter Gertrude Estelle (b. 1876).

Shortly after William returned to the regiment, on March 5, 1864, Edgar wrote to his own wife, Catherine, “William got a letter from his dear wife last night. She feels quite bad for she says Alice Collins has reported a story that he slept with three girls one night and she does not like it much. I would not either if I was in her place. I think myself there must be some mistake for I do not think he would cut up such a caper as that so near home, much less to tell Alice of it. I do not know what is the matter with him nor do I care much. He knows that I do not like his Mary nor never did see how he can but you know love will go where it is sent, and you know somebody must like her and he may as well be the victim.”

William was transferred as a Sergeant to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. During the movement through the North Anna area by the Army of the Potomac in late May of 1864, William reportedly shot and killed a rebel, possible his first kill.

On May 26, Edgar Clark wrote home to his wife that “William wanted I should tell you he killed a rebel yesterday. He has got a sharp [Sharp’s?] target rifle which will kill a man as far as you can see. He went out on a skirmish line and got a good aim at one and after he shot he saw four men carrying a man off.” William was promoted to First Sergeant on November 2, 1864, and mustered out of service on July 5, 1865 at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war, William returned to Michigan, probably to Dewitt in Clinton County. He was living in Lansing in 1876 (where his daughter was born), but curiously his wife Mary and their daughter Gertrude are reported living with her brother Nelson Reynolds in Dewitt in 1880, with no mention of William.

In any case, William was either widowed or divorced by the time he moved to California where he married his second wife, California native Ida Alice Maloon (b. 1855) in 1887 or 1888; they adopted a baby girl named Irma Viola (b. 1895). By 1900 and 1910 William and his family were living in Oakland, California.

In 1871 William applied for and received a pension (no. 118522).

William died on June 16, 1918, in Oakland, California, and was buried on June 19 in Mountain View cemetery in Oakland.

In July of 1918 Ida applied for and received a pension (no. 864551). By 1920 Ida was listed as the head of the household and living in Oakland; also living with her was her daughter Irma and her husband C. B. Stevens as well as another woman named Gertrude (b. c. 1877), possibly William’s daughter and her 11-year-old son Rennold.

Charles M. Clark

Charles M. Clark was born in November 14, 1839, or October 22, 1840, in Michigan, or in Cambridge, Rensselaer County, New York, the son of "Mike" and Jennie (Sweet).

By early 1861 Charles was probably living in Lansing or Ingham County, Michigan, when he became a member of the Lansing militia company called the “Williams’ Rifles”, whose members would serve as the nucleus of Company G.

Charles stood 5’9”, with blue eyes, auburn hair and a fair complexion and was 21 years old and probably living in Ingham County when he enlisted in Company G on May 10, 1861; he was possibly related to brothers Edgar and William Clark who were also from the Lansing area and who also enlisted in Company G.

On May 2, 1862, Frank Siverd of Company G wrote that Charles had recently been “grazed on the arm by fragments of a shell,” probably in late April of 1862, although there is no official record of his being wounded.

In any case, Charles was eventually detached to the quartermaster’s department and was working as wagoner for the Brigade wagon trains, from September to November of 1862. He was reported as a Brigade wagoner from December through June of 1863. In early August of 1863 Charles suffered a puncture wound by a stick and was treated August 4 to 13, and for incision of the wound October 13-17. Charles may have been taken sick sometime in the summer of 1863 and if so was possibly hospitalized without the knowledge of the Regiment.

Indeed, while the Regiment was on detached duty at Troy, New York, Charles was reported as having deserted on August 21, 1863. The charge of desertion was officially removed in 1915 and he was discharged by the War Department under Special Article 176 (February 27, 1915), to date from October 17, 1863. Most likely he was hospitalized, although there is no record to substantiate this.

In any case, Charles was probably "discharged for disability" sometime in 1863, probably October, although this is by no means certain.

Following his “release” or return from the army he returned to Michigan and lived in Bay City, and in Saginaw from 1863 to 1868. He eventually moved to Ohio and was living in Striker (?), Ohio from 1868 to 1871, in Cleveland, Ohio from 1871 to 1878 and “wandered some” from 1878 to 1915. He also reportedly lived in Muskegon, Muskegon County where for some years he worked as a farmer and a carpenter.

He married Jennie Conley on July 8, 1874 in Toledo, Ohio, and they had at least four children: William James, Roy, Bertha, and John Charles.

Charles was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home on April 1, 1915 (no. 6813), suffering from chronic diarrhea and defective vision. He stated in his admission application to the Home that he was married but that his nearest relative was a sister, Mary A. Linsley, of Farewell, Clare County, Michigan.

He was a Protestant. In 1914 he applied for and received pension no. 1,117,114, drawing $30.00 in late 1915.

Charles was discharged from the Home at his own request on September 3, 1918. He eventually moved to Cleveland, Ohio. He may have been the same Charles Clark (b. c. 1840 in Michigan) who was a resident of the County Home in Tallmadge, Summit County, Ohio, in 1920 (he was reported as married). By 1930 he was living with Laura and Leroy Sweet in Painesville, Lake County, Ohio (Charles was listed as “father-in-law” and as having been born in Michigan while Laura’s parents were born in Pennsylvania and Leroy’s in Ohio.).

Charles was a widower living at 544 S. State Street in Painesville, Ohio when died of “old age” on January 6, 1932, in Painesville, and was buried in Washington Park cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio.