Clarke L. Hockensmith He Died trying to Save Col. Quantrill

Clarke L. Hockensmith was born February 21, 1843.  The information of when, where and why he joined the guerrillas has been lost to the annuals of time. His brother Henry Newton Hockensmith, also donned the "guerrilla shirt." 

Their mother was Susannah Slusher. She was the daughter of Christopher Huffstuffel Slusher, Jr. and Hannah Ann Meyers.  Susan was born September 1, 1818 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She died on October 17, 1874 in Lafayette County, Missouri. Susan was married to William Henry Harrison Hockensmith. William Henry Harrison Hockensmith was born on October 9, 1813 in Kentucky. He died on May 18, 1884 in Lafayette County, Missouri. Henry was at Lawrence, Kansas, Clark was at Centralia, MO. 

Clarke Hockensmith was an admired member of the band, as well as one of it's top scouts. When General Hindman gave guerrilla Charley Harrison a commission and ordered him to travel to Colorado to recruit men for the Confederacy, Hockensmith was one of the officers and the only guerrilla who accompanied him.

On May 17, 1863 Harrison and his company were attacked near the Verdigris River in Montgomery County Kansas, by Pro-Union Osage Indians under chiefs Little Bear and White Wing. Hockensmith was one of two officers who survived the blood bath. Another time he was tending to the needs of wounded guerrillas Daniel Williams and Sam Hamilton, when they were suddenly ambushed by Kansas cavalry. Somehow Clarke escaped, however the two wounded confederates were butchered.

Hockensmith was one of the Missouri guerrillas who followed Quantrill into Kentucky.On May 10 1865, in the confusion of the attack at the Wakefield farm, Clarke somehow managed to retrieve and mount his horse. However when Hockensmith saw his beloved leader was stranded, he turned his horse around and attempted to save him. Clarke and his mount were killed while trying to pull Quantrill into the saddle behind him. 

Originally buried at Smiley Kentucky, Hockensmith's remains were later relocated to Bloomfield, along aside two former comrades in arms. His brother Henry Newton Hockensmith survived the war and died at the Old Confederate Soldier's Home in Higginsville, Missouri on August 12 1923.

Some of the previously unpublished information utilized in this article was provided by their second cousin three times removed, Tim Hockensmith.              

This photo of Clarke Hockensmith belonged to Frank James, it was acquired from his son Robert.  The tintype was originally published in "Quantrill of Missouri; the making Of a Guerrilla Warrior" by Paul Peterson.        

 ©Patrick R. Marquis, Quantrillsguerrillas.com. "Permission should be requested and agreed to before using this copyrighted essay and/or image."   


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