Submitted by Wilma Clark
May 09, 2008 
Subject: Jacob Clark - Dedication May 17, 2008

Jacob Clark was a remarkable man who led a remarkable life. Jacob had a profound respect for his country and instilled the same patriotism in his children.  One son was a founding citizen of Washington D.C. and fought in the War of 1812.  Two of Jacob’s grandsons fought in the Mexican War, and six grandsons fought on both sides during the Civil War.  One of these grandsons was Confederate Brigadier General Charles Clark, who was elected as the Civil War Governor of Mississippi.

Many decades of research, letters, and journals from several generations went into my being able to complete a chronology and document the life of Jacob Clark, progenitor of our Clark lineage.  When this torch was passed to me to light the way for future generations I contacted the Jefferson County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogy Society and the Ebenezer Zane Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution to help in obtaining the Bronze Marker from the Veterans Administration to honor this brave patriot.  This marker will serve as a beacon to all generations who follow and give them the sense of pride in their forefathers’ heroic and patriotic efforts to maintain our countries freedoms. 

Our sincere and heartfelt gratitude is extended for the many hours of work, dedication, and determination that each and every person within these organizations provided, especially Ms. Flora VerStraten, President of the Jefferson County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogy Society and Mr. George E. Livingston, Historian and Genealogist for the Ebenezer Zane Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Wilma J. Clark
Deltona, Florida

Jacob Nicholls Clark - Revolutionary War Soldier 

When the Revolutionary War began, the Americans did not have a professional army or navy. Each colony provided for its own defenses through the use of local militia. 14 June 1775, Congress voted to appoint Congressman George Washington, of Virginia, as commanding general of the colonial forces, organizing the Continental Army

Jacob Nicholls Clark, born 13 October 1754, followed his brother James Clark into military service in the Revolutionary War in January of 1776.  James enlisted from Baltimore, Maryland in 1775, and Jacob enlisted there also, under Captain Samuel Smith in the First Regiment of the Maryland Line, which was commanded by Colonel William Smallwood

Jacob’s Regiment marched from Baltimore, through Pennsylvania and New Jersey to American Army Headquarters in New York City.  27 August 1776he fought in the Battle of Long Island, which was commanded by Lord Sterling, and then retreated with the troops to Fort Washington, York Island, New York. 

The British and Hessians attacked Fort Washington 16 November 1776, overpowering the Continental Army, and forcing a surrender of Fort Washington to the Hessians.  Jacob and other surviving American soldiers fled across the Hudson River to Fort Lee, New Jersey, only to find that Fort Lee had also been captured 20 November 1776.

After these defeats, the Continental Army was exhausted, demoralized and uncertain of its future.  It was a cold winter and many of the soldiers were now walking barefoot in the snow, leaving trails of blood.  Believing that the need to raise the hopes and spirits of the troops and people was imperative, General George Washington, Commander in Chief, ordered a massive surprise attack on the Hessian held city of Trenton, New Jersey.  

Jacob Clark was with General George Washington on 25 December 1776 when the troops crossed the treacherous ice-swollen Delaware River about 9 miles north of Trenton, New Jersey.  Raging winds combined with snow, sleet and rain on the night of December 25 was but one of many hardships endured by these brave soldiers throughout our country’s first battle for independence.  Remarkably, the following day, Colonel Smallwood’s First Maryland Regiment marched into the Battle of Trenton under the command of Major General Nathaniel Greene, 26 December 1776, and Jacob was once again engaged in battle.  Trenton was declared a victory for the Continental Army when the Hessians surrendered the city.

Jacob now entered into what became known as the Philadelphia Campaign of 1777, a turning point in the American Revolution.  The British won all the major battles, yet they were unable to suppress the rebellion.  This Campaign began with the landing of the enemy at Head of Elk, Maryland and ended with Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.  The British plan was to seize the then capital city of Philadelphia.  25 August 1777 a 265-ship armada, under the command of General William Howe, arrived at Head of Elk with 13,000 British and 5,000 Hessian troops.   Generals Washington, Greene and LaFayette viewed the troops disembarking from their vantage point on Iron Hill, which overlooked the Head of Elk.  Jacob was assigned to guard the baggage train and although he was not engaged in battle, he participated in the orderly retreat into Chester County, Pennsylvania when it was determined that the Continental Army was significantly out-numbered and that victory was unattainable.

General Washington rapidly moved his troops between General Howe’s Army and the city of Philadelphia and prepared to fight what would be one of the largest and bloodiest battles in the war.  By the night of September 10th, the American troops were extended along a six-mile line on the east side of Brandywine Creek.  Washington knew that the British army would have to cross the creek here in order to advance to Philadelphia. The Battle of Brandywine was fought 11 September 1777, and while the Continental Army fought valiantly, the British attack was overwhelming, and the Americans were forced to retreat once again.

After their defeat at the Battle of Brandywine, the Continental Army in order to regroup, marched about 10 miles north of Brandywine and set up camp.  When General Howe learned of their position, he moved his troops toward them in order to encounter a second skirmish with the Americans.  16 September 1777 General Washington and General Howe, waited on opposite sides of the valley to engage in battle, but before a shot was fired, a tremendous cloudburst with torrential downpours of rain, forced both armies to leave the field and wait to fight another day.

The cartridges and powder of the Continental Army were completely ruined leaving them in a precarious position.  For safety, and to replenish ammunition, General Washington ordered all of his troops to the Warwick Furnace, an early ironworks community located in Chester County, Pennsylvania 17 September 1777.   Here, Jacob N. Clark met his future wife, Tabitha Dennis, the daughter of accountant, John Dennis, who worked for the Warwick Furnace.  

Jacob marched on toward Philadelphia as part of an exhausted Army and their next encounter was the Battle of Germantown.  4 October 1777, Jacob raised his rifle in battle, aimed, “taking sight of one of those poor fellows in the British service.”   However, before he could fire, Jacob was himself struck in the forehead by a spent musket ball. The ball penetrated his skull, entering just above his right eye.  The Continental Army retreated back to Perkiomen Creek, traveling through Flourtown, Pennsylvania, taking their wounded into the Episcopalian Church, used as their hospital.  It was likely here, that an army surgeon performed the trepanning operation to remove the crushed portion of his skull.  A silver plate was then inserted over the wound, and Jacob forever after wore a scarf around his head to protect his injury.

In his pension deposition, Jacob states that afterwards he was at the Perkiomen Creek encampment at Pennypacker’s Mills, just outside Germantown.  Today a stone marker commemorates Washington’s encampment here and reads as follows:

Historical Society of Montgomery Co., PA 8 Oct. 1897.

Also in his deposition, Jacob states that he remained under the command of General George Washington and was with his army during the winter of 1777. Washington’s troops were secluded at Valley Forge, an ironworks owned by Isaac Potts, and located fifteen miles south east of the Warwick Furnace, which was owned by his father, John Potts.  Jacob’s name is not included on the Muster Roll at Valley Forge, which can be explained by the fact that General William Smallwood’s troops were, at this time, ordered to Wilmington, Delaware to protect against enemy movements in the Delaware Bay.  Jacob would have been recovering from his critical head injury and likely would not have been moved out with them. He was still technically under the command of General Smallwood and therefore would not have been listed as a soldier on the roll with their regiment, as Smallwood’s army did not remain at Valley Forge.  Family letters, between the grandchildren, state that Jacob often told his family of hearing General Washington go out each morning during that cold winter at Valley Forge “praying to the Almighty to deliver them from their enemies.”  

After Jacob recovered, he was placed in the company of Lieutenant Jacob Norris to act as a recruiting agent for the Army traveling into Hampton County Maryland. In the spring of 1778, General Washington vehemently opposed British Prime Minister, Frederick Lord North’s, new proposal to negotiate peace with the Americans and all recruiting parties were then summoned back to Germantown, Pennsylvania to organize their next maneuvers against the enemy.

Upon his return, Jacob engaged in the Battle of Monmouth, New Jersey 28 June 1778.   That winter, he reenlisted with the Continental Army, under the command of Captain Yates.   Colonel John Hoskins Stone commanded this Regiment.  Jacob states in his pension deposition that he stayed with this Army during the years 1779, 1780 and 1781, being promoted to the rank of Sergeant while serving with Captain Yates in 1779. 

19 July 1781 General Washington’s Army was encamped at Dobbs Ferry, New York, on the Hudson River.  It was here that Washington heard of Lord Cornwallis' encroachment at Yorktown, Virginia.  Jacob Clark states that he was ill and remained at Dobbs Ferry when his Regiment moved out for the Siege of Yorktown. Later, partially recovered, he requested a map so that he could rejoin his Regiment in Virginia; however, a Captain instructed Jacob to wait and reassigned him to a scouting party of thirty to forty men who were following the movements of the enemy in New York. 

Jacob, now in the company of this new detachment, marched to the east side of the Hudson River.  On their third day out, they were surprised and captured by a party of British and Hessian soldiers. During that night Jacob escaped under the cover of darkness, but was re-taken three or four miles away, receiving a near mortal wound to his right side from an enemy bayonet.  He was immediately transported to the notorious British prison ship, The Old Jersey, anchored in Wallabout Bay, New York, where he was confined under horrific conditions until the end of the war.  Upon his release, he returned to Baltimore, Maryland naked and destitute.

Shortly after the war, Jacob Clark and his brother James ventured in to the Indian Territory, now known as Jefferson County, Ohio, making them among the first pioneers into Ohio.  They cleared land and built crude dwellings. In April of 1785 Congress forced all settlers out, often setting fire to their meager homes.  Negotiations were ongoing to purchase this land from the Indians, as the Ohio Territory was not yet open to settlement and the Congressional Petition labeled them “intruders”.  Jacob and his brother returned to Maryland, settling in Cumberland to raise their families.  Once grown, all of Jacob’s sons traveled west and settled in Pennsylvania and Ohio.  Jacob and his wife, Tabitha also returned to make their home in Smithfield Township, Jefferson County Ohio. He filed for his military pension from here on 13 May 1833.  Jacob Nicholls Clark died in 1841, at the age of 87.

Sons of Jacob N. Clark and Tabitha Dennis:

James Clark, 11 January 1786 to 26 July 1859, married Charlotte Alter
Jacob Clark, III, 29 May 1790, married Catherine Alter
John Dennis Clark, 09 April 1792 to 10 February 1885, married Teresa Jamieson
Hiram Clark, born 29 March 1795
Lemuel Clark, born 22 July 1797
Benjamin Clark, born 26 July 1799
Dennis Clark, 29 July 1801 to 12 July 1877, married Sarah Agnes Patterson
Daniel Clark, 11 June 1803 to 13 September 1885, married Mary Shaw
Thomas Clark, 19 Aug 1805 to 10 July 1858, married Mary Ann Wareham

Descendents who fought in the War of 1812:

John Dennis Clark (above). Served in Captain George Peters' Co., which was a part of the Washington DC Militia during the War of 1812 and received pension #SC-22527.

Descendents who fought in the Mexican War of 1846-1848:

Charles Clark, son of James Clark, 25 May 1810 to 18 December 1877. Born in Cincinnati Ohio, served as Brigadier General, Commanding the 1st Division 1st Corps Army of the Mississippi.

Jacob Lemuel Clark, son of Jacob Clark III, 17 March 1822 to 26 April 1862. Born in Ohio, served in Co. F 3rd Indiana, from Clifford Indiana. 

Descendents who fought in the American Civil War:


Charles Clark, son of James Clark (above). Elected Civil War Governor of the State of Mississippi.

Charles Clark Farrar, grandson of James Clark, 19 October 1838 to 6 December 1905. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, served with “Bolivar Troops” 1st Mississippi Cavalry and as Adjutant on General Charles Clark’s staff.

Descendents who fought in the American Civil War:


Jacob Lemuel Clark, son of Jacob Clark III, (above).  Served as Captain in the 18th Missouri Regiment.  Died after injuries received at the battle of Shiloh, Tennessee.

George W. Clark, son of Thomas Clark, 29 April 1835 to 12 April 1896. Born in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, served with 100th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, Company G.

Daniel B. Clark, son of Thomas Clark, 27 May 1841 to 22 February 1922. Born in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, he died in Portland Oregon, served with 76th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers Company F. Rank Sergeant. Recruited in Blair County, PA, enlisted 8 November 1861 and discharged 7 November 1864.

Andrew Jackson Clark, son of Thomas Clark, 28 May 1845 to 21 April 1910. Born in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, served in Co. D 134th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Rank Private. Mustered in 10 August 1862 and out 26 May 1863 and also served in Battery "E", 1st Regiment Light Artillery, 43rd Volunteers from 16 January 1864 to 17 July 1865.

Known living descendents of Jacob Nicholls Clark and Tabitha Dennis:

Mrs. Pat Alves

Mrs. Sharon Flower

Mr. Donald Baughman

Mrs. Dona Gordon

Mr. Francis Berry (USA - WWII)

Mr. Charles Heflebower, Lt. Gen. USAF Retired

Mr. Geoffrey Ehnis-Clark, Esq.

Mr. Charles Clark Jacobs, Jr., Esq. (USMC - WWII)

Mr. Benjamin Palmer Clark

Mr. Calvin Johnson

Mr. Leonard Clark

Mrs. Kay Kopycinski

Ms. Wilma Clark

Mr. Charles Lansdale (US Navy - WWII)

Ms. Lelia Gilchrist

Mrs. Leigh Lechel

Mr. Robert Gilchrist

Mrs. Clara Robertson

Mr. Robert Coryea

Mrs. Madel Jacobs Stringer

Mrs. Wanda Costello


Mrs. Elaine Crane


Mrs. Margaret “Meta” Cronia


Mrs. Bonnie Dassing


Mrs. Betty Duke


General Services Administration, National Archives Record Service, Washington, D.C., Revolutionary War Pension File # S.15379 (Jacob N. Clark) and Revolutionary War Pension File # W. 9182 (James Clark).

2 The Battle of Trenton Order of Battle, Washington's Army that Crossed the Delaware for the Battle of Trenton December 25-26, 1776;  (The New Jersey Historical Society).

The Battle of Brandywine, Second edition (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1992).

George Washington Papers 1741-1799: Series 3b Varick Transcripts, (The Library of Congress).

5 Warwick Furnace Records-Ledgers and Journals, (The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

6 Letter written by Jacob’s grandson, James Madison Clark, to his nephew, Fred A. Clark, Esq., dated August 12, 1886, p.2. (In the possession of Charles C. Jacobs, Jr., Esq.).

7 John F. Watson, Annals of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, 1857, Volume II, Chapter II, Part II, (Historical Society of Pennsylvania).

Letter written by Jacob’s grandson, James Madison Clark, to his nephew, Fred A. Clark, Esq., dated August 12, 1886, p.1. (In the possession of Charles C. Jacobs, Jr., Esq.).

9 George Washington Custis, George Washington, 1732-1799.  The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources, University of Virginia Library. Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington, by his adopted son, (Derby & Jackson, New York, 1860), 229-255.

10 American Prisoners of the Revolution:  Prisoners On Board The Old Jersey-List compiled by 'The Society Of Old Brooklynites' in 1888.

L. H. Watkins, The History of Noble County Ohio, 1877, 49: Charles A. Hanna, Historical Collections of Harrison County, in the State of Ohio, with lists of the first Land - Owners, Early Marriages  to 1841, Will Records  to 1861, Burial Records of the Early Settlements, and Numerous Genealogies, 1900, 48.

Virgil D. White, Index to War of 1812 Pension Files, (Waynesboro, TN: National Historical Publishing Co., 1989).

13  David G. Sansing, Charles Clark Twenty-fourth Governor of Mississippi: 1863-1865, (Mississippi History Now: Mississippi Department of Archives and History).

14 Lola Walton Denton, compiler, Cemetery Records of Bolivar County (Shelby Mississippi Chapter Chairman of Genealogical Records, DAR, 1947), 3.

Bettie Couch Wiltshire, compiler, Mississippi Grave Registrations A-L, (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1991), 118.

Samuel P. Bates, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865, (Harrisburg, Pa.: B. Singerly, 1869), volume III, 587.      

17 Daniel B. Clark obituary, The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon, 24 February 1922 page 16. Bates, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, volume II, 968.

Andrew J. Clark obituary, New Castle News, New Castle, Pennsylvania, Thursday, 21 April 1910, page 4. Bates, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, volume II, 993.     

Author:   Wilma J. Clark- 2030 Dalton Ave, Deltona, FL 32725 –