Powhatan Henry Clarke

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Powhatan Henry Clarke
Powhatan Henry Clarke wearing his Medal of Honor
Born(1862-10-09)October 9, 1862
Alexandria, Louisiana
DiedJuly 21, 1893(1893-07-21) (aged 30)
Fort Custer, Montana
Place of burial
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1884–1893
RankFirst Lieutenant
Unit10th U.S. Cavalry
9th U.S. Cavalry
Battles/warsApache Wars
AwardsMedal of Honor

Powhatan Henry Clarke (October 9, 1862 – July 21, 1893) was a United States Army First Lieutenant who was a recipient of the Medal of Honor during the Geronimo Campaign in Sonora, Mexico. He received the medal for rescuing a wounded soldier on May 3, 1886.[1]


Clarke was born at Ulster Plantation, Boyce, Louisiana on October 9, 1862. He was the grandson of U.S. federal judge Henry Boyce and Irene Archinard, and the son of Louise Frances Boyce and Dr. (Professor) Powhatan Clarke.[2][3] He partly studied in France. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1884.[4]

Clarke was a Second Lieutenant in the 10th Cavalry Regiment of the Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Davis, Texas.[4][5] On May 3, 1886, he rescued one of his wounded soldiers, Corporal Edward Scott, who was under heavy fire from Apaches at Pinito Mountains, Sonora. He received a Medal of Honor for this action.

He was the commander of Apache Scouts until 1891. That same year, he became a compatriot of the District of Columbia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and was assigned national membership number 1976. In 1891, he became First Lieutenant and he was transferred to the 9th Cavalry Regiment. From 1891 to 1892 he was an observer, stationed at Düsseldorf, Germany with a Westphalian hussar regiment. The discipline of the German Army greatly impressed him.[6]

He was back with the 10th Cavalry by early 1892. From 1892 until his death in 1893, he lived in Fort Custer, Montana. In 1892 he married Elizabeth Clemens of St. Louis, Missouri; they had one son. He drowned in the Little Bighorn River on July 21, 1893, and was buried at Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.[5]

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, 10th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Pinito Mountains, Sonora, Mex., May 3, 1886. Entered service at: Baltimore, Md. Birth: Alexandria, La. Date of issue: March 12, 1891.[1]


Rushed forward to the rescue of a soldier who was severely wounded and lay, disabled, exposed to the enemy's fire, and carried him to a place of safety.

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
  1. ^ a b "Medal of Honor recipients Indian Wars Period". Army Center of Military History. Retrieved April 12, 2009.
  2. ^ "Lieut. Powhatan Clarke Drowned" (PDF). The New York Times. July 22, 1893. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "Powhatan Henry Clarke". Genealogy.com. The Generations Network. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Thapp (1991), p. 80
  5. ^ a b "Lieutenant Powhattan H. Clarke". Buffalo Soldiers El Paso. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
  6. ^ "German Army Discipline" (PDF). The New York Times. May 17, 1892. Retrieved April 13, 2009.

Photo courtesy of the Helen and Alfred Wettermark Collection


External links[edit]