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Powhatan Henry Clarke

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]

Powhatan Henry Clarke
Powhatan Henry Clarke wearing his Medal of Honor
Born (1862-10-09)October 9, 1862
Alexandria, Louisiana
Died July 21, 1893(1893-07-21) (aged 30)
Fort Custer, Montana
Place of burial Calvary Cemetery
St. Louis, Missouri
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1884–1893
Rank First Lieutenant
Unit 10th U.S. Cavalry
9th U.S. Cavalry

Apache Wars

Awards Medal of Honor



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. In 1891, he became First Lieutenant and he was transferred to the 9th Cavalry Regiment. He was back with the 10th Cavalry by early 1892. In 1891–92 he was an observer, stationed at Düsseldorf, with a Westphalian hussar regiment. The discipline of the German Army greatly impressed him.[6] 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 citationEdit

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 alsoEdit


  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". 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 linksEdit