John Lincoln Clem

NAME: John Lincoln Clem

BORN: 1851


OCCUPATION: Civil War soldier


Clem was one of the youngest soldiers in the Union Army. Initially he made an unsuccessful attempt to sign up with the Ohio 3rd. He later joined another unit as a drummer boy. It is difficult to determine which units he joined early on. Clem supposedly fought in the Battle of Shiloh, earning the nickname, Drummer Boy of Shiloh. Other battles included Chickamauga, in which he wounded and captured a Confederate colonel, and the Atlanta Campaign, in which he was twice wounded.

Clem was officially mustered as a musician with Company C, 22nd Michigan on May 1, 1863.

At one point, Clem was actually captured, but later released.

In 1871, Clem was commissioned as a second lieutenant with the 24th Infantry, an African American unit. He retired as a major general in 1916.