Clark, William McCracken, Surgeon, F & S, 15th OH Infantry

William McCracken Clark was born in Cambridge, Guernsey County, Ohio on 24 Sep 1840, the first known child and son of Stephen B CLARK (b. ca 1802 in Maryland) and wife Jane McCracken (b. ca 1820 Ohio). Stephen and Jane had been married on 26 Nov 1839 in Guernsey County. Their son William, 19 years old in the 1860 census was listed as a “Student of Medicine.”

According to the Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio, William enlisted and was commissioned an officer (Assistant Surgeon) in the Ohio 15th Infantry on 20 Jul 1863 at the age of 25 [perhaps fudging a year or two?] He was promoted to full Surgeon status on 14 Oct 1864 and mustered out on 21 Nov 1865 a full half-year after the last battle of the war was fought.

After William joined the 15th Ohio, the regiment participated in more than 45 engagements, duties, skirmishes, campaigns and battles, including these better-known ones: Chicamauga, Mission Ridge, Rocky Face Ridge, Resaca, Cassville, Pickett’s Mills, Kenesaw Mountain, and in July/Aug 1864, the Siege of Atlanta after which, the Regt commander mentioned William in his report, re: the campaign just completed:

“The 15th’s commanding officer issued the following report regarding the campaign:


Camp near Atlanta, Ga., September 12, 1864.”

“. . . Dr. William M. Clark, assistant surgeon, has also been present with the command during the campaign, and deserves great credit for his untiring devotion to his duties and care for the sick and wounded . . .”

[signed]   Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

FRANK ASKEW, Col., Cmdg. Regt.

Lieut. W. McGraith, A.A.A.G., First Brig., Third Div., Fourth Corps.

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The regiment was also engaged at Lovejoy’s Station, Franklin, and Nashville and more, before the war ended. Even then its job was not complete: it was sent to Texas for duty at Green Lake and San Antonio until November 1865. The 15th OH Infantry Regiment, including Surgeon Dr William McCracken Clark, was finally mustered out on 21 November. It reached Columbus OH on 25 December and the soldiers were discharged on 27 December, 1865. What a Christmas present!

According to the family and Kings County, New York records, on 16 Oct 1866 in Kings County, William married Mary MAGILTON [b. IRE 26 Jul 1836]. But by 1870, William, his wife Mary and their first two children: Frank -3 and Charles -10 months, were living in the 3rd Ward of Missouri’s Kansas City, in Jackson County MO; and William was a Druggist, with real estate valued at $3500, and a personal worth of $10,000.

The family migrated to Lancaster, Lancaster Co, Nebraska before the Jun 1880 census, in which William is shown as a Banker. The family is listed with two additional children: William and Lottie. Charlotte Jane (“Lottie) is the child through whom the line descended to the member of Laura Belle Stoddard, Tent 22 of Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865.

William and Mary are enumerated in the 1900 and 1910 censuses also in Lancaster, NB (Wm as an insurance agent), but no additional children are included; however a nephew John Elliott does reside with the family in 1900 and 1910. In 1920 William and Mary were listed as in-laws living with the family of daughter Charlotte in Los Angeles, California.

Mary died on 2 May 1922 and William followed her two years later, on 10 Jul 1924. It is unknown to this researcher whether they died while living in CA or if they’d returned to Lincoln, NB. Both were buried at Wyuka Cemetery, Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska.

[Sources: all sources accessed in Mar/Apr 2015.

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