Luman S. Clark was from Clifton
Park a township close to Troy NY. Affectionately known to Trojan locals as
"Sim" Clark, he joined the Troy company (Company E), of the Anderson
Zouaves on 26 April 1861 as a Sergeant
at the age of 27. Clark was quickly promoted becoming Second Lieutenant of the
company on 31 August 1861, while the regiment were encamped at Meridian Hill,
Luman must have
returned home to Troy just before the regiment left New York for Washington,
because on May or June of the next year, while Luman was fighting the battles
of Williamsburg and Fair Oaks, Sophie, Clark's wife had a little baby girl.
Colonel Riker, or
maybe even Riker's daughter "Annie", must have made a strong
impression on Luman because he named his daughter Anna Riker Clark!
Unfortunately little Anna died after 11 months on 11 April 1863 and it is
unlikely Luman ever met her.
On Tuesday, 14 January
1862, while the regiment was encamped at Tennallytown guarding the northern defences
of Washington, Alfred Covell Woods records in his diary
that an attempt was made on the life of Clark by Private Patrick Welsh also of
the Troy Company. Welsh was confined in the brigade guard house for his attack
and was dishonourably discharged on 2 March 1862. What happened to Welsh after
his discharge is unclear, but he was probably imprisoned for a time before he
was drafted into the Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania Irish Volunteers (AKA Paddy
Owen’s Regulars) on 31 May 1864 as a private at the age of 34. If Welsh thought
he had got off lightly for his attempt on the life of Clark, then fate caught
up with him on February at Hatcher’s Run, VA, when he was killed in
Luman was promoted to
First Lieutenant and transferred from the Troy Company to the Advance Guard
company (Co. "I") a week or so before the battle of Fair Oaks. He was
later promoted to Captain of the same company.
In March of 1864 Captain “Sim”
Clark, was reported by the Troy Daily Times to be filling the position
of Commissary of Musters on Gen. Wheaton’s staff at Harper’s Ferry.
At the end of the war
it was widely reported that Clark was imprisoned in Richmond and that he may
have even spent some time in Andersonville, but solid evidence for these claims
is still being sort.
Clark, his wife and their
daughter are buried in the Baptist Church Cemetery at Clifton Park near Troy
One last interesting
point is that Luman’s wife’s maiden name was Peck, though she appears not to
have been directly related to John J. Peck, the brigade commander.
For another perspective
on Captain Luman S. Clark, please see Joe Basso's article on the AZ Research blog at: