Civil War Diary: James Reed Clark


About ten years ago, my mother encouraged me to go to Mandan, North Dakota to an estate auction. She wanted me to buy some family silver that was made by her great uncle. To be honest, I had never heard of this uncle and I thought it was a bit of a crazy thing to do.  But my mother rarely asked me to do anything, so I went.

It’s a bit of a complex story and I am simplifiying it.

I stayed with some Quakers

After I got over the shock that both I and the only other person bidding were bidding for my mother,

I purchased my great-grandfather’s  1864 diary, and some old family photos. I knew next-to-nothing about our family history. Visiting Mandan was a delight.

John Phillips, my former husband, scanned the diary for me and gave us discs to distribute to family members.  I gave my mother, Jean Jones,  a copy. She transcribed the sometimes nearly indecipherable, lightly penciled pages Even though she is ninety-seven now, she is always willing to take on a challenge.

We are pleased to be working together on this I particularly want to learn more about my great-grandmother, Laura Barlow Reed Clark. Details about women during this time period are scant.

Through the Internet we have discovered or rediscovered relatives and reconnected. Each new contact, and each new snippet of information is thrilling. I almost fell over to discover Lori  who was researching her great- great-grandfather – James Reed Clark as I am Laura researching my great-grandfather and it is the same James Reed Clark.

Neither my mother or I are historians, and both of us would appreciate help on this project.

Great-Great-Great Grandfather James Reed Clark’s CIVIL WAR DIARY

1864  (1865 will follow)

Co. (Company) B  304 Pr (Private)   Fifth Regiment Heavy Arty (Artillery)