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Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Amory Clark, U.S.V.

Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Amory Clark, now of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is of old-time Puritan and New England lineage. He was born in Sangerville, Maine, in 1841. His father was an able lawyer, and his grandfather a minister of the gospel.

He is of the same family as was that Rev. Jonas Clark, of Lexington, who was the intimate and trusted personal friend of Samuel Adams and John Hancock. They were both under his roof when warned by Paul Revere of the troops sent out by Gage to capture them. The men who fell at Lexington were the parishioners of this sturdy clerical patriot, and standing over their dead bodies he exclaimed, " From this day dates the liberty of the world."

This stock had not degenerated in 1861. Colonel Clark enlisted April 24, the first man from his county to be enrolled. He was one of four brothers, all of whom served as officers in the volunteer forces from 1861 to 1865. All were severely wounded, and one died from his wounds. An uncle, Major Atherton W. Clark, served gallantly in the Twentieth Maine. Two cousins were killed, both officers of the Sixteenth Maine. Colonel Clark went to the front as a private in Company A, Sixth Maine Volunteers. He earned his first commission, that of second lieutenant, in February, 1862. He was promoted to first lieutenant and adjutant at Harrison's Landing after the " Seven Days' battles," in which he participated.

The Sixth Maine was a gallant regiment, and served under distinguished brigade commanders,-Generals " Baldy" Smith, Hancock, and D. A. Russell.

With his regiment, Lieutenant Clark was at Warwick Swamp, Lee's Mills, and in Hancock's superb charge at Williamsburg. He was in front of Richmond, at Garnett's Farm, Savage's Station, White Oak Swamp, and Malvern Hill.

When the tide of battle swept North, he was at second Bull Run, Crampton's Gap, Antietam, Fredericksburg, under Burnside, and again under Sedgwick in May, 1863, at the time of Hooker's Chancellorsville campaign.

Here with his regiment he was at the front in the famous charge of the Light Division, through the " slaughter pen," over the old stone wall, and up Marye's Heights into the fortifications of the enemy. The official report records that he was in the first group to enter the works. There he captured from a Confederate officer of the Washington Artillery the saber which he afterwards wore in many engagements. Two days later, in a night fight while Sedgwick was recrossing the Rappahannock, the same report credits him with saving his regiment from capture by his personal intrepidity and decisive action, when every avenue of escape seemed cut off.

He was at Brandy Station and at the bloody field of Gettysburg. At Rappahannock Station, November 7, 1863, he had his horse shot under him on the skirmish-line, and when at dusk the Sixth Maine made its ever memorable and bloody charge, he fell inside the captured fortifications, one of the sixteen officers out of twenty-one engaged, who were killed or wounded, in an unparalleled feat at arms. The official report bears witness that "he did not fall until he had driven his sword into the body of his adversary." His wounds were severe, and the following February he was, against his will, honorably discharged on account of them.

In April, 1864, he re-entered the service as captain and assistant adjutant-general of volunteers. He was assigned to the brigade of General Burnham in the Eighteenth Corps. He served at Bermuda Hundred, at Fort Darling, at Cold Harbor, at the capture of the enemy's fortifications at Petersburg, June 15, 1864, and was at Burnside's Mine, and in the movements around Petersburg that summer. On September 29, with Burnham's-brigade, he was in the brilliant assault at Fort Harrison, where the works and many guns were captured. General Burnham was killed. Every field officer in the brigade was killed or wounded.

On the recommendation of General Hancock, Captain Clark was brevetted major for Marye's Heights and lieutenant-colonel for Rappahannock Station. He resigned in November, 1864, with health seriously impaired by wounds, exposure, and disease. He stands at the head of his profession in Iowa, having a large and remunerative practice throughout that State and extending into several adjoining States.

Colonel Clark has steadily refused to abandon his profession for politics, and, while his voice is heard from the stump in every active campaign, he speaks as an advocate of what he regards as wholesome political principles, and not as an aspirant for political honors.

Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419 pgs.

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