Clark, Charles Edgar
Age: 0, credited to St. Albans, VT
Service: MIDS, USN, [College: USNA 63]
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 08/10/1834, Bradford, VT
Burial: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Jim Fouts
Findagrave Memorial #: 6941280
Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, widow Maria Louisa, 12/14/1922, CA
Portrait?: Biography off-site
College?: USNA 63
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)
Remarks: Died in Long Beach, CA
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Arlington National Cemetery, VA
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CHARLES EDGAR CLARK was born in 10 August 1843, in Bradford, the son of James Dayton and Mary (Sexton) Clark. Clark entered the Naval Academy at Annapolis on 29 September 1860, thanks to an appointment by Senator Justin S. Morrill, and made his first practice cruise, during the summer of 1862, along the east coast, on John Adams, and his second, on the corvette Macedonian, during the summer of 1863, and, with the rest of his class, had his academy career foreshortened. Promoted to Ensign on 1 November 1863, he received orders to Ossipee, WGBS.
In August 1864, Ossipee participated in the battle of Mobile Bay, when the Confederate ram Tennessee surrendered, and the attack on Fort Morgan, where Dewey commanded the quarterdeck division. In September, Ossipee returned to blockade duty off the Texas coast, remaining there until April 1865, when she moved to New Orleans. Ossipee "was one of the Federal ships to pursue CSS Webb during the Confederate steamer's daring attempt to race down the Mississippi and escape to sea."
After the war, Clark served on the steamer Vanderbilt, Pacific Squadron from 1865 to 1868. Promoted to Lieutenant Commander on 1 March 1868, he was wrecked in the Suwanee on 7 July 1868, near Vancouver Island. He was attached to the receiving ship Vandalia, in Portsmouth, NH in 1868 and 1869. While serving in the North Atlantic Station from 1869 to 1870, he served on the teamer Seminole, and the ironclad Dictator, then transferred to duty as an instructor at the Naval Academy from 1870 to 1873, including a practice cruise on Saratoga in 1871.
After a brief tour on the ironclad Mahopac, North Atlantic Station, in 1874, Clark transferred to the Asiatic Station, where he served, successively on the steamers Hartford, Monocacy and Kearsarge for the next three years. Returning to shore duty, he served at Boston Navy Yard and on the training ship New Hampshire from 1887 to 1883, during which time he was promoted to Commander (15 November 1881).
After a brief tour at the Torpedo Station in 1883, Clark participated in a survey of the west coast of Mexico and Central America from 1883 to 1886 on Ranger.
Clark was on shore duty for the next six years, as a Light House Inspector from 1887 to 1891, and at Mare Island Navy Yard until September 1893, when he assumed command of Mohican, in command of a squadron in the Bering Sea in 1894 whose purpose was regulation of the fur seal trade. He was promoted to Captain on 21 June 1896.
Clark's tour in command of the battleship Oregon during the Spanish-American War was the highlight of his career. After a record breaking transit from San Francisco to Cuba via Cape Horn, 14,000 nautical miles in 66 days, he participated in the capture of the Spanish squadron at Santiago Bay.
From 1899 to 1901, Clark was second in command at League Island Navy Yard, Philadelphia, and also served on the Navy's General Board. He served as Governor of the Philadelphia Naval Home from 1901 to 1904, during which time he was promoted to rear admiral (on 16 June 1902). During his final tour on active duty, he served as President of the Naval Examining and Retiring Board, in 1904 and 1905, and was placed on the Retired List on 10 August 1905 as a senior rear admiral, after refusing orders to command the European Squadron and the Atlantic Fleet. That year he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.
Admiral Clark died in San Diego, CA, on 1 October 1922; interment in Arlington National Cemetery.
Clark married Maria Louise Davis, of Greenfield, MA, in 1869. They had two daughters, both of whom married career naval officers who rose to the rank of admiral.
Some of Admiral Clark's papers, 1898-1900, are in the S. Wier Mitchell Papers, New York Public Library; additional papers, 1898-1904, are at the Essex Institute, James Duncan Philips Library, Salem, MA.
USS Clark (DD-361), a veteran of World War II, was named in his honor.
Source: Tom Ledoux, Green Mountain Mariners in the Civil War; draft manuscript.
See also Jim Gallen's biography of Admiral Clark.