Friday, January 06, 2012

The Shooting Of Sergeant Aaron M. Clark, Civil War.

Here is a clear case of carrying orders too far.  Colonel J. W. Bissell, orders were very strict about staggling, foraging or any appropriating of property by the men.  Colonel Bissell had told the men that on no account would they be permitted to leave ranks or to help themselves to anything belonging to the inhabitants.

It so happened that the day was very hot, the roads dusty and the men thirsty.  The head of the column had been halted at a pump, each man getting water as he passed; Sergeant Aaron M. Clark stepped to the side of the road and reached through a fence to pluck some blackberries.  The Colonel observing him and thinking he was attempting to straggle, shouted to himto take his place in the ranks.  Clark either did not hear the Colonel, or did not know that it was himself called to, and paid no heed.  The Colonel without consideration raised his revolver and fired toward Clark.  The bullet entering near the middle of his abdomen on one side, passed just beneath the skin and out the other side, without wounding the bowels at all.  This was a clear case of misunderstanding on both sides, and the Colonel was certaninly hasty.  The Sergeant made a quick recovery.

His Service card.

Aaron M. Clark, Sergeant, First Missouri Engineers, Company D., Age 55, from Carlyle, Illinois.  Enlisted August 17, 1861, Mustered October 31, 1861, at Sedalia Mo.  Wounded in abdomen, discharged at Hospital, Keokok, Iowa, August 2 or25, 1862.

Authors thoughts.  If Clark wasn't all that hurt why was he discharged at the hospital and if he recoved so quickly why didn't he go back to his unit.  Clark had only been in the service a little over a year.  I beleive he was pushed out of the service so no trouble would fall on the Colonel.

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