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Nicholas Bayard Clinch

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Name  Nicholas Clinch
Role  Planter
Died  March 15, 1888

Major Nicholas Bayard Clinch (1832 to 15 March 1888) was a commander in the army of Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, as well as a planter and inventor.


Early life

Clinch was born in Louisiana in 1832, the seventh of eight children. His father was Brevet General Duncan Lamont Clinch, Sr., a veteran of the War of 1812, Indian fighter, planter, and public servant. His mother was Eliza Bayard McIntosh of Camden County, Georgia, Clinch’s second wife. His older brother was Duncan L. Clinch, Jr, colonel of 4th Georgia Volunteer Cavalry, Provisional Army of the Confederate States. His sister, Eliza Bayard Clinch was the wife of General Robert Anderson, the Union commander who defended Fort Sumter in April 1861.

He graduated from South Carolina College, now University of South Carolina, in 1849, the same year his father died.

Military career

Clinch mustered into the Confederate army as a private in December 1862 and within a year was promoted to 1st lieutenant and regimental adjutant for the 4th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Cavalry, commanded by his older brother Duncan, and rose to captain and commander of Clinch’s Artillery Company, or "Clinch’s Light Battery," which was named for him, in the fall of 1863.

Among other battles, Captain Clinch’s Light Battery fought to defend Fort McAllister near Savannah, GA, during the Second Battle of Fort McAllister (1864) where it was stationed to provide support and to occupy field works along the route from the railroad and river to the fort during the attack by Sherman’s forces on December 13, 1864.

During the siege, he was wounded at least 11 times, slashed by a sword in the face, bayoneted in the neck and arms and shot through the shoulder, continuing to fight after the fall of the fort until his wounds were so severe he could no longer stand. He was taken to a nearby plantation. His wounds were considered mortal, but he was eventually taken to a hospital at Beaufort, SC, where he struggled between life and death for three months, undergoing multiple surgeries. Eventually his brother Houston Clinch took Bayard to the family plantation where he recuperated. Houston told the New York Sun newspaper that Bayard never fully recovered his physical vigor. An obituary published in the New York Sun newspaper said Clinch "was known throughout the south as the most wounded Confederate soldier who lived to tell of the strife." He was promoted to major during his recuperation.

Inventions and later life

In 1883, Clinch applied to the US Patent Office for a patent on a new mounting system for a passenger vehicle called a sulkie which featured a mechanism to isolate the movement of the horses from the passenger seat for a smoother ride. He also patented a push carriage for transporting toddlers and small children; the patent was issued two days before his death.

Nicholas Bayard Clinch died at Green Cove Springs, Florida on March 16, 1888 and he was interred in the Clinch family vault at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia.

He never married and left no children.


Nicholas Bayard Clinch Wikipedia