Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Amy Clark

Battle of Shiloh
One of the most famous Confederate female soldiers, who served in both cavalry and infantry, was Mrs. Amy Clark. At the age of 30, she enlisted as a private in a cavalry regiment with her husband Walter, so she wouldn’t be separated from him. Also known as Anna, she used the name Pvt. Richard Anderson and fought with Walter until his death at the Battle of Shiloh on April 6, 1862.

A newspaper story from Mississippian on December 30, 1862 reported:

"Among the strange, heroic and self-sacrificing acts of woman in this struggle for our independence, we have heard of none which exceeds the bravery displayed and hardships endured by the subject of this notice, Mrs. Amy Clarke.

Mrs. Clarke volunteered with her husband as a private, fought through the battles of Shiloh, where Mr. Clarke was killed -- she performing the rites of burial with her own hands. She then continued with Bragg's army in Kentucky, fighting in the ranks as a common soldier, until she was twice wounded -- once in the ankle and then in the breast, when she fell prisoner into the hands of the Yankees. Her sex was discovered by the Federals and she was regularly paroled as a prisoner of war, but they did not permit her to return until she had donned female apparel. Mrs. C was in our city on Sunday last, en route for Bragg's command."

She may have re-enlisted after her release from prison because the following August she was seen wearing lieutenant's bars at Turner's Station, Tennessee, and was recognized as the heroic Amy Clarke, causing a sensation among the soldiers. A Texas cavalry soldier who saw her, wrote a letter home to his father saying:

“One of the soldiers directed my attention to a youth apparently about seventeen years of age well dressed with a lieutenant's badge on his collar. I remarked that I saw nothing strange. He then told me that the young man was not a man but a female.”


  1. This is great for my project. She seems like a good person except that she was on the South side.

    1. What do you mean she seemed like a good person except she was on the souths side. How does that make her a bad person she saw her duty and she did it. North or South the women of the Civil War were put through a lot and it is rather strange the only diaries know to exist are of two southern bells. Mary Chestnut of Charleston South Carolina and Sarah Morgan of Baton Rouge Louisiana. Where are the diaries of the North that any woman wrote?