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Compatriot Medal of Honor Recipients

Powhatan Henry Clarke​

Powhatan Henry Clarke

Powhatan Henry Clarke was born on October 9, 1862, in Alexandria, Louisiana. He studied briefly in France before attending the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated last in his class in 1884. He joined the 10th Cavalry Regiment of the Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Davis, Texas. “On May 3, 1886, while under heavy fire from Apaches at Pinito Mountains, Sonora, Mexico; Second Lieutenant Clark rushed forward to rescue one of his wounded soldiers, Corporal Edward Scott, who laid disabled and exposed to the Indian fire, and carried him to a place of safety.” For his bravery, Powhatan H. Clarke earned the Medal of Honor. The Medal was awarded on March 12, 1891. He was the commander of Apache scouts until 1891.

In 1891, Clarke was promoted to first lieutenant and transferred to the 9th Cavalry Regiment. Within a year, 1st Lt. Clarke was back with the 10th Cavalry.

From 1892 until his death, he lived in Fort Custer, Montana. In 1892, he married Elizabeth Clemens of St. Louis, Missouri, and they had one son. On July 21, 1893, Clarke, at the age of thirty, drowned in the “Little Big Horn River, Montana, not many miles below the spot where the Sioux killed Custer 17 years ago”, while attempting to rescue a soldier. He is buried at Fort Custer, Montana. Fort Custer was abandoned in 1898. In the Fort’s interment records there is an entry for the interment of 1st Lt Powhatan Clarke. The Fort Custer internment records show that in October 9, 1934, he was “disinterred and sent to St. Louis, MO.” He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri. His wife and son are buried with him.

Powhatan H. Clark signed his SAR application and became a member in January 1891. His National number is 1976. He was a member of the District of Columbia SAR. His D.C. Society number is 176. Powhatan Clark lists three SAR patriot ancestors on his application: “James Clarke, of “Keswick,” Powhatan County, Virginia, commanded a regiment at the Battle of Craney Island (War of 1812), and, as a youth, served in the Revolution; Robert Goode (1743-1809), of Whitby, Chesterfield County, Virginia, “Captain, Chesterfield Militia, 1775-1776, and later Major and Colonel of Militia, Acting Governor of Virginia, 1792; and Richard Bland (1710-1760, of “Jordans,” Virginia, “the Cato of the Revolution,” Member of all the early Virginia Conventions; Delegate to Continental Congress, 1774.”

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