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Amasa Gleason Clark

September 3, 1825 - January, 1927

Topic- Mexico City, Push to the Valley of Mexico, Troop Movements and Logistics, Siege and Occupation of Vera Cruz, Scott's Landing at Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Contreras and Churubusco, Molino del Rey and Chapultepec

Amasa Gleason Clark

September 3, 1825—January 28, 1927

Born on September 3, 1825 in Schoharie County. New York, Amasa Clark joined the United States Army Third Infantry, Company I in January 1847. Given the choice of enlisting for the duration of the war or five years, like most young men he choose the duration. After a month's training at Governor's Island, the Third Infantry shipped to Point Isabel, Texas, and then joined the invasion fleet of General Winfield Scott anchored off of the Mexican port city of Vera Cruz. During the first amphibious landing in modern history, Clark landed in the second of three waves under the command of General David E. Twiggs. The Mexican army at Vera Cruz did not oppose the landing and the United States forces completed operations by nightfall without sustaining a single casualty.

Following a nineteen-day siege, Vera Cruz capitulated on March 28, 1847 and Scott's army began the long march up the National Road to Mexico City. U.S. forces reached the pass at Cerro Gordo April 17, and the following day Clark participated in the bayonet charge of El Telégrafo, the linchpin of the Mexican line. In honor of this event, the Third Infantry became the only unit authorized to march with fixed bayonets in all parades.

On reaching the city of Puebla, Clark became ill, but recovered in time to rejoin his division for the campaign against Mexico City, participating in the battles of Contreras on August 19 and at the Convent of Churubusco the following day. On September 12, U.S. artillery began the bombardment of Chapultepec Castle located on the outskirts of Mexico City, seizing it on the 13th. General Santa Anna withdrew Mexican forces from the capital and Clark spent the remainder of the war with troops occupying the city.

After the war, the army informed Clark that he had enlisted for five years instead of the duration of the war. By the time the error had been corrected, Clark had been stationed in various posts around west Texas. Released from the army, Clark spent the next several years occupied in various professions in the area, finally settling in Bandera County where he died on January 28, 1927 at the age of one hundred and one.


Clark, Amasa Gleason. Reminiscences of a Centenarian. San Antonio, Texas 1972.

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