True West
Unlikely Saddle Pards Image Credit: True West
Unlikely Saddle Pards Image Credit: True West

Unlikely Saddle Pards

Frederic remington and Powhatan Clarke became eternal friends riding the trails of old arizona.

John P. Langellier

“He doted on stories of his father’s daring exploits in Virginia and Louisiana” as a Civil War Union officer. So wrote renowned historian Peter Hassrick of one of his favorite subjects—Frederic Remington.

The same might be said of the son of another veteran of the bloody conflict that tore the nation asunder from 1861 through 1865, but the patriarch of this man’s family wore Southern gray. This descendant of a Confederate cavalier bore the fanciful name of Powhatan Henry Clarke.

The remarkable paths of Remington and Clarke would cross in the Territory of Arizona as young men—one an up-and-coming artist and the other a courageous cavalry officer—and evolve into a close and mutually beneficial friendship that was cut short too soon.

Born on October 4, 1861, in upstate New York, Remington grew up on the martial tales spun by his staunch Republican father “Pierre” and his father’s comrades. Young Fred must have been in his glory when as a teenager he attended a military prep school in Vermont. He went on to a short-lived academic stint at Yale where at 180 pounds, an impressive weight for the time, he joined the football team. Athletics, horseback riding, and pen-and-ink sketches were also favorite pastimes that eventually put Remington on a path that he and his family could not have imagined.

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