Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Clark-Whedon Papers, 1863-1865

James S. Schoff Civil War Collection

Finding aid created by
Rob S. Cox, January 1994

Summary Information
Title: Clark-Whedon papers
Creator: Whedon, William Wesley, 1827-1907
Inclusive dates: 1863-1865
Extent: 8 items
The Clark-Whedon papers document the activities of at Michigan cavalry officer serving in northern Virginia during the Civil War, including descriptions of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Appomattox Campaign.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated, 1930s. M-1613.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


No copyright restrictions.


The Clark-Whedon papers were originally acquired with the Samuel P. Lyman papers.

Preferred Citation:

Clark-Whedon papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan

Biographical/Historical Note

Clark, John A.

Rank : Lieut., Capt. (4 August 1864)

Regiment : 7th Michigan Cavalry Regiment. Co. I (1862-1865)

Service : 1862 October 15-1865 December 15

John A. Clark, of Stockbridge, Michigan, received a commission as 1st Lieutenant of the 7th Michigan Cavalry in October, 1862, and served throughout his enlistment in northern Virginia. The 7th Cavalry were present at several engagements during the spring and summer campaigns of 1863, including Gettysburg, and were active in efforts to suppress Mosby's guerillas in the Shenandoah Valley in 1864 and 1865. Clark was captured near Richmond in March, 1864, and imprisoned in the city until he escaped in November. He returned to his regiment in the winter, 1864-65, and participated with his regiment in the Appomattox Campaign (including the Battles of Five Forks and Appomattox Court House). The regiment was finally mustered out of the service in December, 1865.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Clark Papers contains eight letters, seven of which were written by John A. Clark to William Wesley Whedon (1827-1907), of Chelsea, Michigan, and his wife, Helen Turner. One letter, written by Clarence Whedon, William's brother, includes a good description of the Battle of Fredericksburg. Clarence served in the 20th Michigan Infantry

Clark's letters are highly literate accounts of the cavalry service during the Civil War, filled with descriptions of the strenuous, active and mobile life of the horse soldier. His letters describing the days before and after the Battle of Gettysburg, and his 14 page letter describing the Appomattox Campaign and the close of the war in the east are memorable. His letter of August 10th, 1863, includes a description of counter-guerrilla activity in the Shenandoah Valley that highlights the brutality and uncertainty of guerrilla warfare and the sometimes extralegal means to which Federal troops had to resort to suppress the guerrillas.

Subject Terms

    • Appomattox Campaign, 1865.
    • Gettysburg Campaign, 1863.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Scouts and scouting.
    • Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • Clark, John A.
    • Whedon, Clarence
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   2 Schoff Civil War Collection  
    Clark-Whedon papers,  January 05, 1863-April 16, 1865 [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Clark-Whedon papers were acquired with the Samuel P. Lyman papers, however, there is no apparent relation between the collection.

    The Archives of Michigan Digital Collection has a photograph of John A. Clark


    Isham.An Historical Sketch of the Seventh Regiment Michigan Volunteer Cavalry ... (N.Y., 1893?), p. 91

    Partial Subject Index
    Appomattox Campaign, 1865.
    • 1865 April 16
    Appomattox Court House, Battle of, 1865.
    • 1865 April 16
    Five Forks (Va.), Battle of, 1865.
    • 1865 April 16
    Fredericksburg, Battle of, 1862.
    • 1863 January 5
    Gettysburg, Battle of, 1863.
    • 1863 July 30
    Gettysburg Campaign, 1863.
    • 1863 July 30
    • 1863 August 10
    Mosby, John Singleton, 1833-1916.
    • 1863 August 10
    Picket duty.
    • 1863 September 1
    • 1863 April 5
    Raids (Military Science).
    • 1863 September 1
    United States. Congress.
    • 1863 April 5
    United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Scouts and scouting.
    • 1863 April 5
    • 1863 July 30
    War--Psychological aspects.
    • 1863 July 30
    • 1865 April 16