Andrew J. Clark

Portrait Photograph of Private Andrew J. Clark

(Other Images Below)

Andrew Jackson Clark was born on December 13, 1837 in Hingham, Massachusetts to Melzar W. and Sabina H. (Lincoln) Clark.  According to George Lincoln's genealogy, his occupation was "painter", and he lived in the North Ward. Clark was a patriotic man who firmly believed in abolitionism.  He recalled with pride the 1844 Hingham celebration of the abolitionism of slavery in the West Indies, calling it "Hingham's Great Day." 

When the Civil War began, he wrote the following:  "Be assured that when we strike, we shall strike home, and falter not until we have carried our country's flag through the length and breadth of this fair land, and treason is no more....ridding our country of a nest of evildoers, rebels, traitors, call them what you will, and, incidentally, of working out the freedom of our poor, enslaved fellow men, in making this what it was intended it should be - a land of freedom in every sense of the word (Hingham Journal, 1861)."

Acting upon his beliefs, he enlisted in Company 1, Fourth Massachusetts Regiment, Volunteer Militia Calvary - also known as the Lincoln Light Infantry on April 22, 1861.  In 1862, after several sessions of target practice, he served as a sharpshooter in Company H, 23rd Massachusetts Infantry. 

In their book The Town of Hingham in the Civil War Fearing Burr and George Lincoln detailed Clark's three years of military service, writing that "Mr. Clark served under Gens. Burnside, Foster, Butler, and Heckman; participating in most of the River and Sound expeditions of the first brigade, second division, Eighteenth Army Corps; was at the attacks on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor by our monitors; at the rescue of Little Washington, N.C.; at Newport News, Norfolk, and Portsmouth, Va., and later with the Army of the James. He was also at Roanoke Island, Newbern, S.C., South-west Creek, Kinston, Whitehall, Goldsboro, Smithfield, Va., Heckman's Farm, Arrowfield Church, as well as at Petersburg, and other battles before Richmond" (page 170).

Although Clark sustained no serious injuries or illnesses, his initial idealist view of war quickly changed.  He felt that soldiers were given poor food, drinks, and housing, while officers and army contractors lived well.  Soldiers were also rarely paid regularly.  Repeatedly seeing the mangled bodies of dead and dying men during after battles also took their toll, preying upon his mind for years after the war.  He sincerely hoped that those at home would see the sick, wounded, and dead returning from battle and begin to comprehend the difficult realities of war.

In 1869, Clark married Evelina M. Cain and they raised five children in Hingham.  Clark is buried in Hingham’s Fort Hill Cemetery.