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Unit Type

26th Georgia Infantry (CSA)
Ancestor Info
Name: William Edwin ClarkRank: Corporal Company: A

Corporal William Edwin “Moore” Clark - William Edwin “Moore” Clark was born about 1842 in Brunswick, Georgia to Elihu Clark and Ann Catherine Moore. Moore had a sister Mary Julia Clark. His mother was formerly married to James William Pettigrew, who died in December 1838. His half brother was 1st Lieutenant George William Pettigrew, also of Co. A, 26th Georgia Infantry “Brunswick Riflemen”. CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS OF GEORGIA 1861-1865, VOLUME III, Clark, William E. - Private May 29, 1861. Appointed 4th Corporal August 1, 1862. Wounded at Richmond, Va. June 1, 1864. Died from wounds June 3, 1864. Colonel J. E. Dart tells the history of Brunswick Riflemen (Brunswick News, July 3, 1911 - extract contributed by Janet S. Williams) I may be charged with too much sentiment with incidents connected with my old comrades, the Brunswick Riflemen, yet sentiment is that finer feeling, twin sister to sympathy, for no heart can open to sympathy without letting in sentiment are but the outpourings of true, faithful hearted, and if sometimes as I think of my boyish comrades, and should for a moment see them again on the tented field, in the bivouac, in the front of battle, and should I recall them through a mist of tears, it is because, standing as I am today upon the shores of long pent-up and barren years, the heart at time grows tender as I remember them in the past years. In my article about Lieut. Pettigrew, I made an abstract from his last letter home, and his anxiety about the fate of his little brother Moore, after the Battle of Manassas, when the Riflemen lost sixteen out of eighteen members wounded. In the winter of 1863 smallpox broke out in the Army and Moore was one of the first stricken and was sent to the hospital at Lynchburg. He was always a diffident boy (only 16 years old) but after he learned of his brother's death, he was never known to join in any of the sports of the camp. While he was sick in the hospital, his mother sent him a butternut suit woven by her own hands. I must digress for a moment, not to give history, but to recall to the students of history what brought on the fight at Turkey Ridge. On June 1, 1864, General Grant, failing in his flank movement, on May 5, 1864, at the Wilderness, to flank Gen. Lee on the right, failing on the 6th, failing at Spotsylvania on May 12th, failing at South Anna, his next objective point was Cold Harbor, which would have cut off General Lee's communication with Richmond. Therefore, to attract his attention, he (General Grant) made a heavy demonstration at Turkey Ridge on June 1st. So much for history. A few days before, the 8th Georgia Battalion, fresh from Georgia, were attached by special request to our Brigade (Gordon's). Late in the evening of May 31st, Moore returned from hospital and joined us. When the boys saw him with his new butternut suit they began guying him. 'Where did you get that suit? Who made that suit for you?' When with a choking voice he answered, 'Boys, don't laugh at my clothes; it is the best my poor mother could do.' Then Sergeant John Spears (and I digress long enough to say that when speaking of brave boys, ready at every call of duty, who shirked no danger, if you should ask me what was the embodiment of quiet, unassuming bravery as a Confederate soldier, I should say John J. Spears. If he deserves kind words, I shall say them of him while living, for 'Flattery cannot soothe the dull cold beat of death.') He (Sgt Spears) spoke up and said, 'Boys, don't make fun of Moore's clothes, you see how it hurts him.' There was no more guying; every boy was sorry and did all he could to make Moore forget it. The next day, June 1, 1864, we had thrown up hasty entrenchments on a slight hill, with an open field in front. Skirmishers about three hundred yards in front had dug some trenches and piled rails in front. About three o'clock in the afternoon the enemy made a fierce assault upon the rifle pits, driving out the skirmishers. General Gordon came down the line and said, 'these pits must be re-taken at any cost.' Our regiment (26th Georgia) and the 8th Georgia Battalion were selected to retake them. The entire command, about 1,000 men, was waiting for the 8th Battalion to form on our left. Sergeant Spears said to Moore, 'Don't go into this fight, you are just out of the hospital, you are weak. Stay in the breastworks.' 'No, Sergeant.', he replied, 'yesterday the boys laughed at my clothes, and if I don't go, they will laugh at me and say I'm a coward.' Then I said to him, 'Moore, the boys meant no harm. Stay as the Sergeant says, you are not able to go.' But go he would. At about five o'clock, the line having been properly adjusted, Colonel Lilly was placed in command. The enemy had kept up a steady and heavy rifle fire from the rifle pits, and as we swept over the breastworks and across the open field straight for the rifle pits (we had our guns loaded before making the charge) we did not stop to fire and load, but reserved it until within 30 yards of the enemy, when, as if by common consent, a murderous volley was fired and the pits were ours. There was Sergeant Spears, Moore Clark, John Martin and the writer in one pit, and to our surprise not fifty yards beyond, in a heavy piece of timber, there was a solid line of battle who opened fire upon us. I remember John Martin, that brave Irish boy, had an old Austrian musket loaded with ball and buckshot. The charge was so heavy that over time he fired the musket would kick so hard it would kick Martin back, and every time he fired a shot he would exclaim, 'Take that, ye Northern devils; but I would rather have yes by the wood of the head.' A bullet striking human flesh gives a sickening thud. It was not long before I heard the sound and I saw Martin, who was about three feet to my left, fall back dead. A short time after the sound was repeated and little Moore said, 'Boys, they have got me.' He was mortally wounded. It was now after dark when I heard another thud and Sergeant Spears said, 'Jake, they have got me.' and I was left alone out of the four in that pit. Martin was dead, Moore mortally wounded, and Sergeant Spears seriously wounded. Now, John Spears, my old comrade, is this true? If not, I ask you to say so. About 11 o'clock, all alone in the pit, I had been loading and firing my Enfield rifle as fast as I could; in fact, it became so hot at times I had to lay it down to cool off. Suddenly I saw form just to my right, and I recognized Lt. Rudolph's voice. Coming over quickly to where I was, he asked, 'Where are the other boys?' 'There is Martin,' I answered, 'dead; Moore is mortally wounded, Sergeant Spears is badly wounded and gone to the rear.' 'Why,' he whispered, 'are you here? Don't you know the line has fallen back to the breastworks?' 'No sir,' I answered. 'Well, come on', he whispered, 'let us get out of this.' He stooped down and placed his hand on Martin's head, and whispered, 'Yes, poor John is gone.' Moore was taken to the hospital at Richmond where he died two days after. His mother had but two sons, George and Moore - one her first-born and the other her last-born, her baby boy. When, one by one the remnants of the Riflemen returned to desolate homes, this gray-haired mother met each and all with a kind greeting. She did not murmur; she did not ask us 'Why did you leave my brave boy George behind; where is my curly haired Moore, who often knelt at my knee to lisp his childish prayers?' No, she was content to bow to the mandate of the Great Maker and say, 'Thy will, not mine, be done.' They say there are worlds so remote from ours 'their distance is immeasurable by numbers that have name.' If there be such a world, is this patient old mother, who gave all she had on the altar of her Country's cause, resting with her boys 'amidst the amaranthine bowers of Heaven?'

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