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Captain Clarence Mauck Letters

Identifier: MSS-2878

Scope and Contents

This collection contains four letters from Gravelly Springs, Alabama pertaining to ordinance returns and bills for Captain Clarence Mauck of the 4th U.S. Cavalry.

Two of the letters are dated January 24 and 26, 1865 and are addressed to Captain Clarence Mauck of Co. "K" 4th U.S. Cavalry, signed by Benjamin Cleyburn, 1st Sergeant, Co. "K". The first of these two letters states that the Return of Ordinance and Ordinance Stores form for Co. "K" (for which Mauck was accountable), had not been received by the Ordinance Office of the War Department in Washington, DC. It also states that a copy of the form is in Mauck's valise that was forwarded to Laurel, Delaware (Mauck's father was a physician in Laurel, Deleaware around this time). The second letters states that the forms for the 3rd and 4th quarters of 1863 and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters of 1864 had been received by the Ordinance Office in Washington.

The third letter is also dated on January 26, 1865 and signed by Benjamin Cleyburn. While it is only addressed to "Sir" it is presumably to Captain Mauck as it also talks about orders requiring "all property inspected on the 29th Nov, and inspection not yet received, to be dropped for want of transportation on the 15th of Dec 1864."

The fourth letter is dated February 26, 1865 and is signed by G.M. Landon. It is addressed to Lieutenant William Bayard and discusses a bill of Captain Mauck's. Landon also invites Bayard to "drop in and take a drink, if you come soon. For I am sorry to say that our "Extract" is running short, and then is not much prospect of filling up again."


  • 1865

Biographical / Historical

Clarence Mauck was born in 1839 in Indiana, first son of Aaron and Elizabeth Longnecker Mauck. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Regular Army 1st Cavalry Regiment on March 27, 1861. He was mustered out of the 1st Cavalry Regiment on August 3, 1861 upon being transferred to the Regular Army 4th Cavalry Regiment. He was promoted to 1st Lietenant on May 9, 1861, Brevet Captain on December 31, 1862, to full Captain on November 5, 1863 and Brevet Major on October 11, 1864. He was wounded near Rome, Georgia on October 13, 1864. After the war, he married Helen Wood in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania on November 26, 1867 and moved to Texas where he took part in the Sioux War of 1876. Mauck died in San Antonio, Texas on January 25, 1881.

Partial history of the 4th U.S. Cavalry: In December 1864, after several years of company, squadron (two company) and battalion (four company) attacks, the 4th U.S. Cavalry was reunited under the command of General James Wilson. Then in March 1865, Wilson was ordered to take his cavalry on a drive through Alabama to capture the Confederate supply depot at Selma. Wilson devoted considerable effort in preparing his cavalry for the mission, and it was a superbly trained and disciplined force that left Tennessee. As the column moved south into Alabama, it encountered the famed Confederate cavalry led by Nathan Bedford Forrest. However, with superior numbers and firepower, Wilson's force defeated the Confederates, allowing the Union troopers to arrive in Selma. On April 2, 1865 the attack on Selma began, led by a mounted charge of the 4th Cavalry. Even though the 4th Cavalry was eventually forced to dismount, they continued fighting and stormed the town. Selma's rich stores of munitions and supplies were destroyed, along with its' foundries and arsenals.

Following the successful attack on Selma, Wilson turned his regiment east to link up with General Sherman. The 4th Cavalry took Montgomery, Alabama and Columbus, Georgia, before arriving in Macon, Georgia, where they learned of the surrender of Lee's and Johnston's armies. After participating in the last battle of the war (the Battle of Columbus), the regiment assisted in capturing the fugitive Confederate President, Jefferson Davis.


1) Wikipedia contributors, "4th Cavalry Regiment (United States)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed Spetmeber 9, 2010).

2) Mock Family Historian "Working Chart" #4, Barbara Eichel Dittig, Danville, CA., February 28, 2007. (accessed September 9, 2010)

3) U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles. Ancestry Library Edition. (accessed September 9, 2010)

4) Heitman, Francis Barnard. Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, 1789-1903, p. 30. (available through Google Books, accessed September 9, 2010)

5) Smith, Sherry L. Sagebrush Soldier: Private William Earl Smith's View of the Sioux War of 1876, University of Oklahoma Press, 1989; p.29. (available through Google Books, accessed September 9, 2010)


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Language of Materials



This collection contains four letters from Gravelly Springs, Alabama pertaining to ordinance returns and bills for Captain Clarence Mauck of the 4th U.S. Cavalry.


purchased from Charles Apfelbaum, 2010

Processed by

Martha Bace, 2010
Guide to the Captain Clarence Mauck Letters
September 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266