Craven County Digital History Exhibit

Colonel Clarke--a la Capt. Jinks, n.d.

Title: Colonel Clarke--a la Capt. Jinks

Creator: Anonymous

Subject: Clarke, William J., 1819-1886
              Reconstruction--North Carolina

Description: Poem about William John Clarke

Publisher:

Date: possibly 1874

Type: Text

Format:   pages.

Identifier:

Source: Donation.

Coverage:

Rights: Permission to use this item must be obtained from the New Bern-Craven County Public Library, 400 Johnson Street, New Bern, NC 28560.

[Click on image above for a larger image]

[page one] 

            [From the Sentinel.]

 Colonel Clarke---
                        a la
                  Capt. Jinks.

                   ___________

  I’m Colonel Clarke of the State melish,
  And I strut like Saul the son of Kish,
  I feel quite proud of my high posish,
      As Colonel in Holden’s army.

  I teach the niggers how to drill,
  How to drill, I’ll teach them still,
  I’ll teach the niggers how to drill,
      as soldiers in Holden’s army.

Spoken.__Yes, my countrymen; for the third time I gird on my sword at the call of my native State.  Feeble and sore-broken, suffering daily, and often excruciatingly, from wounds received in two wars, I had hoped to spend the few remaining years of my life in the quiet of domestic retirement; but Gov. Holden has called and I obey the summons, proud to feel that

I’m Colonel Clarke of the State melish,
And I strut like Saul the son of Kish,
As proud as sin of the high posish,
     I hold in the Governor’s army.

I volunteered to Mexico,
of course that was some years ago,
And gained some laurels then, you know,
     As Captain in the Army.

[**]

[**]

When I got on my epaulette,
My epaulette, a bran new set,
When I got on my epaulette,
     I thought I’d die for the army.

Spoken.__But my feelings then were nothing to what they were when the Governor appointed me in his State troops.  As I said in my late circular, I entered upon this last campaign with earnest prayers to Almighty God to direct me in all my doings with his most gracious favor, and further me with his continued help, in an honest and energetic endeavor to restore peace and tranquility, law and order, in North Carolina, not forgetting that

I’m Colonel Clarke of the State melish,
And strut like Saul the son of Kish,
Exalted to the high posish
     Of a place in Holden’s army.

I next became a good Confed,
And longed to take Abe Lincoln’s head,
As “our beloved” did, tis said,
      As I fought in the secesh army.

The stars and bars at last “played out,”
My coat I then turned inside out,
The stars and bars they soon played out,
      And I came home from the army.

Spoken__Yes, I turned my coat, (not the spiketail I wore in the late campaign), inside out__had to do it, or not get an office under the Radical administration.  But the Governor, God bless him, in great difficulty forced upon him to get somebody to command his negro State Troops, remembered me, and, as I said in my circular, the civil arm was paralyzed and a reign of terror inaugurated in our midst, and therefore, no course was left me but to raise a military force, and march at its head to Ralaigh, as

[***]

[***]

Colonel Clarke of the State melish,
As proud as Saul the son of Kish,
Exalted to the high posish
      Of Colonel in Holden’s army.

But now I’m done with warlike sport,
No doubt you’ve heard the late report,
I’m Judge of the Superior Court,
      For my services in the army.

My honors come so fast and thick,
So fast and thick, I hope they’ll stick,
My honors come so fast and thick,
      For service in Holden’s army.

 Spoken.__Some thought I would decline the Judgeship and hold on to the Senatorial seat to which I was elected while out on my last campaign;  but if any thought or hoped such a thing, he must have been Greene.  Such a military career as mine is not chronicled in every generation, and there is no more fitting reward for such glorious military exploits as I have performed, especially in suppressing the great riot in Raleigh on the day of the election, than to clothe the war-worn and sore-broken form of the veteran hero in the judicial ermine.  But no wreath of civic honor will every extinguish the ecstacy that glowed in my breast on that day, when, for the third time, I girded on the sword at the call of my native State, and felt that

I, was Colonel Clarke of the State melish,
As proud as Saul the son of Kish,
And gloried in the grand posish
      Of Colonel in Holden’s army.

 [page two - blank]

 


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Images scanned by John B. Green, III.  Text prepared by John B. Green, III and Victor T. Jones, Jr.
This page last edited on 20 Nov 14.

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