Stop 7: Frederick R. Wildt and James E. Clark
Two casualties of the Battle of Fredericksburg lie side by side, both from the same unit. James Clark and Frederick Wildt were both members of Company D, 4th Michigan. Both had enlisted in 1861 at the age of 19 to serve for three years. Frederick was first corporal of Company D and James was promoted to first lieutenant in the regiment just prior to the Battle of Fredericksburg. Both would be among the over one thousand Union soldiers killed during the battle. While attacking Marye’s Heights, James rode up to his old company and encouraged them in their advance leading one of his comrades to admonish him to keep down or he would be hit. Those words were hardly spoken when a bullet hit James on the third button of his overcoat, glanced to the left, and killed him.
Frederick was also killed instantly during that attack, shot in nearly the same place as James. Both were taken off the field by their comrades and buried in a lot in Fredericksburg. They were buried side-by-side in separate coffins marked by a carved head board in a service attended by the captain, the company, and the regiment’s chaplain.
Today they still lie side-by-side, reinterred here in the National Cemetery, comrades in death as well as life.
Frederick Wildt is buried in grave #2863; James Clark is buried in grave #2864.