John Clem.
John Clem at Point Lookout, Tennessee (art ~1863-1880).

Statue of America's Youngest Soldier

Field review by the editors.

Newark, Ohio

John Clem was only nine years old when he ran away from his Newark home and unofficially joined the Union Army. At first no regiment would accept him because of his age, but he eventually found a spot as a mascot of sorts. Two years later, after numerous battles, he was finally allowed to enlist. Clem fought, and killed, with a tiny gun, was wounded twice in battle, and was eventually captured by the Rebs.

Clem survived, stayed in the military, and was the last Civil War vet on active duty when he retired in 1915. He died in 1937 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, his monument labeled "The Drummer Boy of Chickamauga."

In Newark, Ohio, a six-foot-tall bronze statue of Clem from his drumming days stands on a boulder, dedicated to Licking County's war veterans. The sculpture, created by artist Mike Major in 1999, captures the little drummer in mid- rat-a-tat-tat.

Statue of America's Youngest Soldier

Address:
W. Main St., Newark, OH
Directions:
On the west side of downtown, on the northwest corner of W. Main and N. 6th Sts. Turn onto N. 6th and park in the handy Veterans' Park parking lot.
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September 25, 2018

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