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Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Floyd Clarkson, U.S.V.

Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Floyd Clarkson was born in New York City February 27, 1831. His father was Samuel Floyd Clarkson, a practicing counsel in chancery, law, and equity proceedings, and his mother was Amelia A. Baker, daughter of Wm. F. Baker, a lumber merchant of New York City, and Elizabeth Sperry. His grandfather was Wm. Clarkson, of Philadelphia, and his grandmother was Catherine Floyd, the daughter of Wm. Floyd, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and colonel of the Suffolk County militia.

Colonel Clarkson was educated at King and Feek's school in New York City, and in April, 1846, was employed in the hardware store of Tracy, Allen & Co.; afterwards with Cornell, Willis & Co., in Courtlandt Street, New York City, where he remained until he engaged in business for himself at 14 Courtlandt Street, January 1, 1859.

On October 27, 1857, he married Harriet A. Van Boskerck, the daughter of John Van Boskerck, one of the old Hollandish business men of New York City, who had retired many years before with what was in those days an ample fortune. They were the parents of ten children, of whom two died in infancy, and a third, Floyd, Jr., when nineteen years old. Seven still survive, two being daughters,-John V. B., Ashton C., George T., Grace, Bessie, Frank J., and Jay H.

On the first call for troops by President Lincoln in 1861, Mr. Clarkson proceeded with his regiment, the celebrated New York Seventh, to Washington, and participated in the defense of the national capital until mustered out. June 3, 1861. He assisted in the construction, during this time, of Fort Runyon, at the Virginia end of the Long Bridge across the Potomac River.

On his return to New York, Mr. Clarkson. at once began recruiting, under authority, for the cavalry service, and on the 11th of November following he was mustered as major of the Sixth New York Cavalry. On Thanksgiving Day the regiment was ordered to York, Pennsylvania, and in March, 1862, was transferred to Perryville, Maryland, from whence a battalion under Major Clarkson was ordered to report to Major-General Sumner.

Major Clarkson participated throughout the Peninsular campaign with McClellan, and in September, 1862, owing to pressing private business in New York, and unable to obtain a ten days' leave of absence, he resigned his commission, serving until October 13, 1862.


In December, 1862, Major Clarkson was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the Fourteenth New York Cavalry, but did muster. On April 2, 1863, he was mustered as major of the Twelfth N. Y. Cavalry, and in May, 1863, was ordered with six companies to New Berne, N. C., from Staten Island. He participated in all the operations about that place, and was engaged at Kernansville, Tarborough, Tyson's Creek, New Berne, and Kinston, in the mean time performing all kinds of scouting duty, tearing up railroads, breaking up small rebel camps, etc.

After participating in the campaign of 1865, under General Schofield, to form a junction with Sherman's army, and General Johnston having on the 13th of April indicated his desire to surrender, Major Clarkson, about the 21st of April, 1865, resigned his commission, the acceptance of which was received April 30, 1865. He was brevetted lieutenant-colonel April 22, 1866, "for faithful and meritorious services."

On arriving in New York he entered the flour commission house of George W. Van Boskerck & Co., and so continued until Feb., 1869. Col. Clarkson is now engaged in the real estate business at 39 Broadway, New York, under the firm of Floyd Clarkson & Son. He is now president of the Riverside Bank. He has always been an earnest Freemason and a devout Christian gentleman.

He is a Companion of the New York Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, a member of Lafayette Post, 140, G. A. R., member "Veterans of the Seventh Regiment," and Societies of the Army of the Potomac and Army of the Cumberland. A member of the Union League, Republican, and United Service Clubs, as well as many other distinguished organizations.

On the occasion of the centennial celebration of the inauguration of General George Washington as the first President of the United States, Colonel Clarkson was the marshal of the President's escort for the first day of that celebration. On the 26th of February, 1890, Colonel Clarkson was elected commander of the Department of New York of the Grand Army of the Republic, and as such had command of the veterans of New York who participated in the reunion at Boston, August 12, 1891.

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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