A Wicked Affair: The Story of Clum & White, Part 1
Even as a boy he had been trouble. As a man, the bad reputation followed him still, and it was well deserved. Edward F. Clum had gotten into scrapes with the law in more than one state, but this time he couldn’t escape. There was a hangman’s noose with his name on it.
Ed Clum was born in Germantown, New York in July 1844. His father, Ferdinand, was a well-to-do farmer who was highly regarded in the little community of Walworth, New York, where Ed grew to adulthood. Yet Ed was a wild child whose temper could not be curbed. His parents despaired of him, and had hoped Ed’s older brother, Chauncey, would be a good role model. Then the war came and Chauncey went off with the 33rd New York Infantry to fight. It took him two weeks to die, two agonizing weeks of pain from the wound he received at Antietam. Chauncey couldn’t help Ed now.
Ed most probably knew John Jay White even before they enlisted in Co. B, 9th New York Heavy Artillery together. After all, they lived just two miles apart in Walworth. Ed and Jay even enlisted in the 9th on the same day – December 7, 1863. To all who knew them, they were an odd pair. Ed was coarse, and would have been forgettable had it not been for his bad temper. Jay was more refined, more intellectual, and had a charm that belied his inner demons. Who would have suspected that this singular friendship would lead to murder?
Stay tuned for Part 2 of A Wicked Affair!