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Charles S. Clark Collection

Identifier: RH-A-4290

Scope and Contents

This collection includes documents and memorablia, and several small metal-based objects, relating to the life of Charles S. Clark (1840-1914), who lived in Assyria County, Michigan.

The documents and memorabilia includes a 1863 diary, photo, a pocket bible, documents both photocopies and originals, buttons, a two cent coin, and an infantry hat ornamentation. These documents include a marriage record between Mary Wells and Charles S. Clark, and pension information. The hat ornament is in the shape of a bugle that infantry men wore, and the buttons seem to be post- Civil War buttons manufactured by Goodwin, although dates are not provided. Clark’s diary notes his day to day activities serving in the Invalid Corps in Alexandria, VA. He discusses his work such as mopping halls, attending to patients in the hospital, doing dishes, going to the slaughterhouse, and personal matters such as receiving and answering letters, his hobbies, and his interactions with friends and superiors. Clark mentions wartime activities throughout the diary, usually short references to individuals like General Slough or to places such as Fort Ellsworth and Fort Lyon. He also reports on the Army of the Potomac under General Hooker.


  • Creation: 1840-1914


Biographical / Historical

Charles S. Clark was born in 1840 to Daniel and Clarinda Clark. He had nine siblings; Elsie, Mary, Sarah, Austin, George, Sheldon. Edgar, Josephine, and Addie. Charles Clark entered the Civil War as a Private on the side of the Union in 1862, joining the 20th regiment, Company C. Early into his service he suffered from an unspecified injury/illness which saw him transferred to the Invalid Corps in 1863. The Invalid Corps was composed of men who could no longer fight in the war, but could still serve the army in noncombatant positions, the government saw the Corps as a way to free up able bodied men to fight. The Corps was stationed in Alexandria, VA and was composed of two battalions. Clark served in the second, which included men that more serious illnesses including lost limbs, the first had less severe injuries. After returning from the war Clark went back to farming. He married three times over the course of his life, first to Addie Wilder Clark whom he married in 1868 and stayed married to until her death in 1869. His second marriage was to Addie’s sister, Rhoda Wilder Clark, in 1874. They had two children together, Grace and Addie. After Rhoda’s death he married his final wife Mary Wells Clark, with whom he remained married until his death in 1914.


.05 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased with funds from the Starring Endowment Fund.

Physical Description

The collection ranges in size from 14” by 8 ½” to 1” by 1”. Overall the materials are in acceptable but fragile condition and should be handled with care. The bible is bound in red leather with identification information on the first page. The cover and binding are worn and flaking. The diary is bound in similar material colored black, the cover and back show significant fading. Two red patches of unidentified material also decorate the front. Metallic objects show signs of tarnishing, although they are overall well preserved. The miscellaneous government documents are in the best condition with little tear or signs of age.

Charles S. Clark Collection finding aid
Stephanie Chapman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490