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James Clark Simpson

          During the times of the Civil War, lasting form 1861 to 1865, many American men and some women honored and fought for the good of their country. James W. Clark was among those men who fought in favor of preserving the Union. He believed that a Union would be most beneficial to his country, rather than that of a Confederacy.

          Clark was born in the year of 1826 in the town of Sharon, Massachusetts.  In order to provide for himself, as well as his family Clark did so by engaging in the occupation of a boot maker. Although on August 24th, 1861 Clark was mustered into the Union Army when he was already 35 years of age.  Clark along with his regiment were very important to the outcomes of the Civil War by standing up for their patriotism and what they believe in. 

          Being active throughout the Civil War, Clark was enlisted into the 18th Regiment of Massachusetts, Company H.  This Regiment was made up of companies who were raised in the Norfolk, Plymouth, and Bristol counties.  James W. Clark held the rank of a private, who served under the commands of Colonel James Barnes of Springfield, Massachusetts who was an honored graduate of West Point.  It was first ordered by President Lincoln that this Regiment would serve for a term of three years.  Joseph W. Collingwood of Plymouth was given the rank of Captain to Clark's Company.  As well, Charles H. Drew of Plymouth and Horatio N. Dallas of Boston held the ranks of First and Second Lieutenant.  In order to be active in fighting for the good of their country, the 18th Regiment was active in many battled during the Civil War. Second Bull Run, Shepardstown, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Rappahannock Station, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and Walden Railroad are those of which they contributed to. Although on September 14th, 1863 Clark transferred to VRC and was no longer active with the 18th Regiment of Massachusetts.

          Following the mustering of their eight companies (at this point) on August 26th, 1861 the 18th Regiment headed for Washington D.C. where they finally arrived on the 30th of August.  The next day the Regiment was located at "Camp Massachusetts", which was approximately one mile west of Washington D.C. Soon later, on September 3rd they crossed the nearby Potomac River, where they were assigned to Martindale's Brigade, who was a Union General. During this time Regiment 18 was commanded by Fitz John Porter. On the 26th the Regiment was relocated to Hall's Hill. At this location the men learned discipline, as well as completing duties for which they were later commended for. 

          At the Battle of the Second Bull Run the 18th Regiment was active in it's first actual fighting service. At this battle 169 men were lost, with approximately 54 of those being fatally wounded or killed  Although on September 17th this Regiment was not active with the Battle of Antietam. Yet on the 20th they again crossed the Potomac River in an attempt to take over the Confederates. They were unfortunately driven back, leading to their loss. As well on September 13th, 1862 Clark's Regiment played a role in the assault of Marys's Heights at the Battle of Fredericksburg. Here they lost 134 men, 27 of who were either killed or wounded fatally. Following these events, on July 2nd and 3rd the Regiment was active at Gettysburg where no severe loss was present. Again showing success on November 7th, James W Clark's Regiment engaged in the capture of Rappahannock Station. During the times of this winter the Regiment was stationed near Beverly Ford.  Later, in 1864 when Clark was no longer with the 18th Regiment, at the Battle of Wilderness the men suffered a great loss. They suffered the loss of many men and the wounding of Colonel Hayes. As well at Spotsylvania the Regiment again.

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