A slave takes his master home

The bodies of two men of the 13th Mississippi Regiment, left in the town when the brigade withdrew on the evening of Dec. 11, were discovered after Christmas in the rubble of some shelled and destroyed Fredericksburg homes.

One was Private Lewis E. Woodruff of the Winston Guards. “Lewis was a good soldier,” Private William Little Davis wrote home, according to independent historian Jess N. McLean, “and he died like a brave man on his post of duty. I deeply sympathize with his bereaved wife and orphan children.”

The other dead man was Spartan Band Captain James Lafayette Clark. Spartan Band diarist Private Albert Wymer Henley called Clark “a gallant leader, a true patriot, and a kind and affectionate friend.”

Clark was a 25-year-old “physician,” according to McLean, and had two brothers in the company. They were the ones who found his remains in the rubble.

Diarist William H. Hill of the Spartan Band said the captain’s “body servant George Clark, [his] Faithful old Servant” left Fredericksburg on Dec. 27, 1862, to take his master’s body home.

“Cloudy and pleasant,” Hill noted that Saturday. “Wrote to Ma by old man George belonging to Mr. Clark.”

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
This entry was posted in Albert Wymer Henley Diary, Fredericksburg, Jess N. McLean, Mississippi, Slavery, The Spartan Band, The Winston Guards, William H. Hill Diary and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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