• Born August 7, 1841, in Ohio.
• Parents: Joel Hell and Berthenia Margaret Jones
• Died July 15, 1863, age 22.
• Buried: Mound Hill Union Cemetery, Lot R 11, Section 2, Grave Number 30 (View Headstone)
A student at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
• Enlisted September 24, 1861. Survived eight battles in the Civil War. Elias was a standard-bearer at Chancellorsville, and at Gettysburg he served in Company C, 75th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
• Stabbed by Philip Relchard while home on leave in Eaton , Ohio. Relchard was a Copperhead, which was a vocal group of Southern sympathizers who wanted an end to the war and Lincoln ousted from office. Their name comes from the groups penchant for cutting the Liberty heads from copper pennies and wearing them as lapel pins.
• Very little is known about the stabbing or what precipitated it, or even whether Philip Relchard was tried for the murder. It should be noted, however, that tensions were running high in Ohio in 1863. General Ambrose Burnside, commander of the Department of Ohio, had just issued General Order No. 38, which stated "The habit of declaring sympathy for the enemy will not be allowed in this department. Persons committing such offenses will be at once arrested with a view of being tried . . .or sent beyond our lines into the lines of their friends. It must be understood that treason, expressed or implied, will not be tolerated in this department...." This effort to crack down on Southern sympathizers like the Copperheads could have created an atmosphere conducive to violence - where a Union soldier home on leave could have a fatal encounter with a friend of the Confederacy.
Update: In the book 'Buckeye Blood, Ohio at Gettysburg' by Richard A. Baumgartner, on pages 202-203 it states the following: Pvt Elias Clear was murdered just 2 weeks after surviving the battle of Gettysburg. Him and John T. McGregor were both killed at the same time by Philip Reichard outside of a drinking establishment where several veterans and members of the 75th O.V.I. had met to share a few drinks. During a feigned scuffle Reichard walked over, pulled a knife and slashed one of the joking soldier's arms. Reichard then ran out into the street where he was pursued and stoned by several of the soldiers including Clear and McGregor. Reichard then stabbed them both and they died the following day. Clear and McGregor are buried side by side. Unfortunatly Reichard was bailed from jail by a southern sympathizer and skipped town July 25 while much of Eaton's population was attending the funeral of Gettysburg casualty of Captain James Mulharen. In the book there is also pictured a funeral card for Clear and McGregor.
• The funeral for Elias was at the home of his mother, Margaret Jones-Clear, and the services were by Dr. J.W. Weakley, former Chaplain of the 75th.
• His mother applied for a pension on August 31, 1864, based on her son's service with Company C, 75th Ohio Infantry. Th Apllication number is #63210, and is on file at the National Archives in Washington, DC.