Clark, Rufus H.
Age: 19, credited to Elmore, VTVITALS
Birth: abt 1842, Morristown, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Village Cemetery, Elmore, VT
Check the cemetery for location/directions
and other veterans who may be buried there.
Rufus H. Clark
LAMOILLE NEWS DEALER: May 30, 1862
FROM SHIP ISLAND
Rufus Clark, of Elmore, onr of Captain Grout's Company, writes from Ship Island on the 1st inst., to his mother. We are permitted to make the following extract. He describes the trip to New York and getting to sea, &c., and says
"All went on as usual until the 28th of March, when we came in sight of land; and a most welcome sight it was, too, having been out of sight of land 16 days. The land was one of the Bahama Islands, called Abaco . The island is the one where the celebrated "Hole in the wall", which I consider a great natural curiosity, is situated. It is a circular place cut out of the rocks, some 40 feet wide at the bottom, and 30 feet high. The island is inhabited by a wandering class of beings, who are called wreckers, who takes any ship that gets wrecked, and plunder it of its property, and burn the ship. We were in sight of land all day, and from there we went into the New Providence Chanel, which is a narrow, dangerous passage between Abaco and Great Stirup Keys. We are now continually in sight of land on both sides. The weather here begins to feel like July, the thermometer standing at 90 in the shade. Nothing of any note took place until today, when we past the worst part of our passage. It is the Great Isaac, a large rock coming up out of the water, and there is a very large danger of running on to it. We are now fairly around into the Gulf Stream. April 1st we passed Turk Island, within 1 1/2 mile, and had a great view of it. It is the place where all the Turk Island salt comes from, and I saw piles of it. This afternoon we are in site of the high lands of Cube which we passed about dark. We are now in the Gulf of Mexico and the heat is awful. April 2d. We are in site of the Tortugas Islands, a large group of small islands belonging, I believe, to Spain. We are now past them and got a pretty good breeze. We have seen nothing more until this ( Saturday) evening, when we anchored at Ship Island; and a better feeling set of men you never saw, having been at sea 25 days. On the 7th were taken on shore and marched through the hot sand about one mile to where we are now encamped. The island is 7 miles long and from 1 ¼ to 1 1/2 mile wide.;and is nothing but fine white sand, and the heat is great; the thermometer satnding, some days, as high as 105 in the shade, and if it was not for the sea breeze we should roast. We are all of us black as negroes.
There was encamped on the island, when we came, 20, 000 troops, under the command of Gens Butler, Phelps and Shipley. We live pretty hard. We have plenty of stinking bacon, and crackers baked in 1810; this is a fact. To give you some idea of the way the sutlers shave the boys, I will give you a list of prices, viz: Flour-10cts per lb; butter-(very poor)-45 cts, cheese-25cts, dried apple- 20cts, common sugar25 cts.. These are the true list of prices.
Since we came here, the gunboats, in our harbor have taken some half dozen prizes. Of steamers and small schooners, loaded with turpentine and cotton. The day we anchored, our troops went over 6 miles, to the Mississippi main land, and took a small town., so we saw the whole of it. Last week there was a fleet of 1000 men left the island for the North of Mississippi River ; some 40 miles from here, and have just got news from them and they have taken Fts. Jackson and St. Philips, and New Orleans has surrendered. There has 5 died in our regiment since we came here, but the health of the men is pretty good;as to my health, it is first rate, and I am enjoying it first rate.
May 1st: Today we are packing up tents and to-morrow morning we start for the main land. We are going to take charge of New Orleans while the fleet goes on."
Lamoille Newsdealer, 27 August 1863
From The 8th Regiment
The Following Is A Letter By Adj. R. H. Clark, To His Mother In Elmore:
Port Hudson, Louisiana August 5th, 1863
My over remembered Mother, --- I have again passed through a narrow escape, but less fortunate than before. The general wishing me to attend Col. Hanhau on an expedition to Jackson, I consented to go, thinking I might see something of the country I never before had seen.
The expedition consisted of 300 infantry, 50 cavalry and two pieces of artillery. We started from this place on the morning of August 2d, and arrived at Jackson about 8 o'clock that evening without any trouble. The next day we received information that Gen. Logan was moving on the place with his entire command, but thinking it was false we made no preparation for a proper reception, but about 6 o'clock p.m. Aug 3d, we found it to be the fact in the shape of about 1600 men and 6 pieces of artillery, who attacked us while we were in the college, that being the headquarters, but we got our men promptly into line although under a severe fire, and gave the enemy battle; but his force being much larger than ours we were obliged to retire a short distance when we again formed a line. The enemy then occupied our lost position and a large force came in from another direction behind us, flanking us, thereby cutting of our retreat and finding our only safety depended in fighting our way through their lines, we commenced in good earnest. I soon had my horse shot under me leaving me entirely to my own legs for safety. We soon made an opening in their ranks and then fell back again. At about this time I caught a horse of some officer that either had been killed or wounded, and mounted him when the Col. sent me to stop the stragglers. I caught 23 and was driving them back when the rebels made a charge upon me. My men, being on foot, laid down their arms and surrendered. I started for the woods with 6 of their cavalry in pursuit. I drove my horse at the top of his speed, but I saw they were gaining on me and I must do something to escape, so finding a turn in the path I jumped from my horse into the bushes beside the path, and let the horse go on. It being dark the rebels did not notice this, but came shouting and yelling past me in pursuit of the horse thinking that I was still on him. As they passes I started in the woods for Port Hudson. Not knowing the way and it being very dark I wandered about until I found a creek that I knew passed close to that place. I got in the bushes beside the creek and followed it down. I crossed mud holes, and small bayous; in one of the mud holes I lost my shoes leaving me bare-footed; but I kept on, knowing it was for life, and at 12 o'clock the next day I arrived safely at Port Hudson, with no other injuries excepting a lame leg which I injured when I jumped from my horse and fell, cut and torn by briers. The only injuries I received from the rebels, was two bullet holes in my coat.
Over the 400 we took up to Jackson, only 50 returned, the rest either being killed, wounded, or taken prisoners. I marched, in getting away, over 30 miles barefooted and alone, without food or quid. Don't you think I know what it is to be a soldier?
Submitted by Deanna French