An example of John Gurnish’s knowledge of his Civil War source material can be seen this summer, when he re-enacts at Gettysburg, Pa.
He will portray local Union soldier David Y. Clark.
“He was born on Nov. 20, 1841, in Suffield, Ohio,” Gurnish said. “His parents were born in Connecticut. They were farmers.
“David enlisted on Sept. 30, 1861 in Company G, 29th Ohio Volunteer Infantry at Akron, Ohio, as a private. He was 5 feet, 9 inches tall, of light complexion, blue eyes and light-colored hair. David was slightly wounded in the shoulder at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863. He was appointed corporal three days later.”
Gurnish said Clark “was present at the Battle of Gettysburg in July and re-enlisted with his company at Wauhatchie, Tenn., on Dec. 18, 1863. He went home on veteran furlough from Jan. 5 to Feb. 5, 1864.”
“Clark was appointed sergeant May 9, 1864, and first sergeant on Feb. 28, 1865. He was present for duty through the end of the war, except for short periods when he was in the hospital in March 1862 and October and November 1864 for fever and debility.”
Gurnish said Clark had a wife, Lavinia E. Moatz, and two children. The family moved to Michigan in 1875. He applied for a veteran’s pension in 1880 and died March 22, 1915.
— Jim Carney