J. P. Clark‘s identity has proven difficult to determine. The government-issue marble tombstone says only “J. P. Clark, CO. C (or it could be an eroded G), 103 PA VOL INF.”
The Clark family was one of the oldest in the area. Susanna Clark married John Turner and is buried in the cemetery beside him. They had no children. Susanna’s parents were Charles and Mary Clark of Scotch Bottoms (now part of Hazelwood). She had several sisters and possibly a brother named John, whose will mentions both John and James Clark. Both James and John are listed as Civil War veterans on the war memorial tablet in the foyer of Mary S. Brown Church.
The information about the Clarks who served in the Civil War is incomplete and contradictory. Part of the reason could be that the men were assigned to different companies and regiments during the war. Another part might be that due to the fact that James and John Clark are common names. Here is what is known to date about James, John, and J. P. Clark:
James M. Clark, C-155 I, Enrolled 8-12-62 at Pgh., M.I. 9-2-62 as Pvt. at Pgh., Discharged 3-3-63, Age at enrollment 38, Remarks: of wounds rec’d in action. The Comm. of Penna. Dept. of Military Affairs “Record of Burial Place of Veteran” form says, “Clark, James M., Dates of service 8-22-1862 to 3-3-1863, Co. A. 155th Pa. Vol. Inf., Cemetery or place of internment Mary S. Brown Memorial #10, no record of headstone or marker.” James Clark is listed on the war memorial tablet in the foyer of the church as “James Clark, Co. A 155 P.V.”
J. P. Clark: Government-issued marble tombstone says, “J. P. Clark, CO. C (or it could be an eroded G), 103 PA VOL INF.” Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Dept. of Military Affairs “Record of Burial Place of Veteran” says, “J. P. Clark, Only record company D, cemetery or place of internment Mary S. Brown Memorial #10.” It is possible the C or G on the tombstone could have been misread as a D. In that case, the J. P. Clark buried in the cemetery could be the John Clark listed on the war memorial as “John Clark, Co. C, 103 P.V.”
John Clark, C-103 I, Enrolled 9-16-61 at Kittanning, Pa., M.I. 9-16-61 as Pvt., Discharged 4-1-63. Age at enrollment 41, Height 5-11, Hair dark, Complexion dark, Eyes hazel, Occup. Farmer, Residence: Allegheny County, Pa., Remarks: Dis. S.C. of D. A handwritten note below the form says, “Wounded Fair Oaks Va., May 31, 1862.” A book, History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5, by Samuel P. Bates has a chart of the 103rd regiment with this entry: “Clark, John, …do… Sept. 16, ’61, 3-year term, discharged on Surgeon’s certificate, Apr. 1, ’63. John Clark is listed on the war memorial tablet in the foyer of the church as “John Clark, Co. C, 103 P.V.”
A Clark family researcher found a John Clark, Co. G, 103rd PA Infantry, who enlisted as a Sergeant on January 10, 1862, at the age of 22. He was captured at Plymouth, N.C., April 20, 1864, and died as a prisoner at Florence, S.C. in Andersonville Prison on February 1, 1865. This researcher states that the 103rd Pa. Vol. Co. G was mustered in Indiana County.
It seems likeliest at this point that J. P. Clark and the John Clark who belonged to Co. C, 103rd Pa. Vol. are the same person.