A popular young man, McClatchey was described by a close friend as “a better, more noble generous hearted man never lived, a truer soldier never breathed a breath of life.”
As the action commenced, McClatchey stooped to pick up his cartridge box. A Spencer ball tore into the upper part of his collarbone, shattering it. The bullet then passed out below his shoulder blade, leaving an ugly exit wound. The horribly wounded young man fell and was left behind when the 7th Georgia pulled out.
He lay on the battlefield for the rest of the day, fighting raging around him, until one of the local residents carried him to safety. After the battle, McClatchey was taken to the large Confederate hospital at Gordonsville, lingering for a month before he finally died.
His first battle was also his last.