Clarkson Abbott was born around 1830 in Hackettstown, Morris County, New Jersey, the son of Alexander and Elizabeth (Wilson or Morris).
Clarkson (or Clark) stood 5’10” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion, apparently could not read or write and was about 34 years old and probably working as a farmer in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, Michigan when he reportedly enlisted in Unassigned on January 19, 1864, at Ypsilanti for 3 years, crediting Ypsilanti’s 1st Ward and was mustered the same day.
It appears that Clark was never assigned to a company in the 3rd Michigan and probably never joined the regiment and there is no record of his having deserted or transferred to another unit. There is no further record of his service in the 3rd Michigan Infantry, or any other Michigan unit or Union regiment during the war. As far as we know he never applied for a pension – probably because he never actually served.
It is quite possible that he was the same “Clark” Abbott living in Casnovia, Muskegon County in 1887-90.
He was working as a farmer and living in Casnovia when he married Indiana native Emma Melton (b. 1842) on October 30, 1888, in Trent, Muskegon County. It would appear that Clarkson deserted her soon after. In 1890 there was a woman named Emma Abbott living in Casnovia, who claimed to be the widow of one Clarkson Abbott who had been reported in the veteran census for that year as a civil war soldier although no unit or dates are provided. (Smith K. Lewis, who had served in the 3rd Michigan during the war was also living in Casnovia in 1890.)
Clarkson Abbott (listing his date of birth as 1824 in New Jersey) was reportedly living with the Hogan family in Egleston, Muskegon County in 1900.
On September 30, 1903, Clarkson (b. 1827) married his second wife Maine native Mrs. Melissa Bancroft Beeke or Beebe (1845-1924), in Ravenna, Muskegon County.
By 1910 Clarkson was working as a gardener and laborer and living with his wife Melissa in Crockery Township, Ottawa County.
Clarkson died of “senility” on April 24, 1916 in Crockery, Ottawa County and was buried in Nunica Cemetery.
In 1916 Melissa was listed as Clark’s widow and boarding at 519 Michigan NE in Grand Rapids; in 1919 she was boarding at 17 Michigan St. NE in the city.