Born in January 1846 in 1853 the Clement family moved to Cass County in the Western portion of the state and eventually to Johnson County, Missouri near the town of Kingsville in 1860-61. At 15 Archie enlisted in the 2nd Missouri Cavalry, Missouri State Guard in September of 1861 and served until December of 1861 and returning to Johnson County and shortly there after joining the Partisan Rangers, most probably first with Quantrill’s Company, but he seems to quickly have aligned himself with Bill Anderson, then a Lieutenant under Quantrill.
Archibald Clement was small in stature; some say standing only five feet tall and weighing less than 130 lbs, this caused him to be given the appellation of “Little Archie” he also seemed to be a happy fellow or at least smiled a great deal and was also referred to as “Smiling Archie”. But Archie’s size belied ferociousness, he was apparently consummate killer with little compunction for how he completed the act, he also displayed a penchant for scalping his victim this lead to Archie being referred to as “Scalping Archie”.
By age 17 Archie Clements was a Lieutenant in Bill Anderson’s more or less Independent Company of Partisan Rangers, and was often operating in command of an element on his own. Archie took part in most of the major actions that Andersons Company was involved in, including the raid on the German settlement of Concordia in Lafayette County, Missouri in 1863 where Clement allegedly decapitated a German after forcing him to guide the Partisan’s through militia lines and then placed the Germans head on a fence post as a warning to the other “Dutch”. Bodies of union troops and Missouri State Militia were often found baring notes reading “You come to hunt bush whackers. Now you are skelpt. Clemyent skelpt you. Wm. Anderson”
it probably wasn’t Archie nor Anderson who wrote this particular note as it is doubtful that Archie would misspell his name and Andersons known writing reflects a higher degree of education. Archie continued to raise in command responsibility and his killings increased until he was roundly known as “Anderson’s Head Devil” or Anderson’s Head Demon”
In 1864 during Prices Raid of 64 Archie commanded an element of Anderson’s command that raided Danville. New Florence, High Hill and other points east to near St. Charles Missouri, shortly after this raid Archie took command of Anderson’s Company after Anderson’s death and commanded it throughout the remainder of the war.
The remainder of the of the war for Archie Clement would extend to 1866, Clement did not surrender and was connected to several bank robberies in Western Missouri, despite negotiations conducted on the part of the US by former partisan Dave Poole , Archie along with a contingent of Partisans remained “in the brush” refusing to surrender.
During the election of 1866 Clement with a gang of 100 former partisans attacked the town of Lexington on election day and managed to intimidate the town enough that the Republican party was defeated in the general election. In response to this Gov. T. Fletcher dispatched Major Bacon Montgomery and a Company of Missouri State Militia to engage Clement and his men. True to tactics and form Archie faded into the hills and creek bottoms and avoided a major engagement with Montgomery’s force, Montgomery seemed content to garrison Lexington.
In 1866 the Missouri State Legislature in response to political and sectional violence surrounding the election passed legislation requiring male adults to enroll in the militia, hearing this and seeing a chance to stick his thumb in the eye of the authorities most likely , Archie through Dave Poole sent word to Montgomery that in order to comply with the new law he wanted safe passage in and out of Lexington in order for he and his men to enroll in the militia, Montgomery stating he wished to avoid a major engagement in Lexington gave his permission. On December 13th , 1863 Archie Clement lead his former partisans into Lexington, legally enrolled in the militia and then led them out of Lexington without incident.
However Archie returned to have drinks with a friend at the City Hotel once his men were safely out of town. Archie at the time was wanted for a bank robbery in Liberty Missouri and Montgomery attempted to have him taken into custody on that warrant. When the arrest was attempted Archie drew his revolvers and a gunfight ensued, despite being wounded in the chest Clement made it to his horse and raced down the street firing, until he was shot from his horse in front of the court house.
When the militia reached Archie he had been wounded numerous times and was attempting to **** a revolver with his teeth. One of the Militiamen asked
"Arch, you are dying. What do you want me to do with you?"
To which Clements replied
"I've done what I always said I would do ... die before I'd surrender."
Bacon Montgomery would later say of the Clement incident, "I've never met better 'grit' on the face of the earth."