John Bullock Clark Sr.

John Bullock Clark, Sr., was born on April 17, 1802, in Madison County, Kentucky, the son of Bennett and Martha (Bullock) Clark. Two of his uncles were Kentucky Governor James Clark and Virginia Congressman Christopher Clark. In 1818 the young Clark's family moved to Missouri. Clark studied law in Fayette, Howard County, and became a successful lawyer. A born politician, Clark served as county treasurer (1823 to 1825), clerk of the county courts (1824 to 1834), and state representative (1850 to 1851). Healso found time to become major general in the state militia and serve as a colonel of Missouri volunteers in the Black Hawk War. In 1840 Clark was the Whig party nominee for governor but he later left that party over the slavery issue to become a proslavery Democrat. As a Democrat, Clark was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1857, serving until his expulsion in 1861.

Clark was a strong secessionist and a leader in the state's secession movement. Clark's own comments deserve quoting at length: "While insisting that the best course was to stand by the union, I had, nevertheless, always said that when war did come I would go with the South.... That Spring [of 1861]... I was worth a million [dollars]. On my place there were 160 slaves, seventy of them men. My law practice was worth $ 10,000 to $ 15,000 a year. When I came back after the war was over, I hadn't a bed to sleep on. My wife had been forced to find a temporary home with friends."

Appointed brigadier general of the 3rd Division of the Missouri State Guard in May, 1861, Clark fought at the battle of Wilson's Creek, during which he was wounded. He was soon elected to represent Missouri in the Confederate Provisional Congress. He won election to the First Confederate Senate and the Second Confederate House. While in Congress he was a strong supporter of the administration and of more Draconian prosecution of the war. Differences with Missouri's exiled Governor Reynolds led to Clark's failure to be reelected to a second Senate term. Clark "embarrassed Governor Reynolds by his drunkenness and rowdy behavior in the Confederate capitol," his offenses including "mendacity... and the attempted seduction of Gen. Albert Pike's mistress." A fellow soldier, however, called him a "brave and genial old gentleman."3 Clark was elected to the House, after Governor Reynolds stopped his reelection to the Senate, by the votes of the Missouri troops in Major General Sterling Price's army. Price, a bitter opponent of Reynolds, openly backed Clark.

Clark stayed in Richmond until the end of the war. The federal government offered a $10,000 reward for his capture, but he disguised himself, adopted an alias, and fled to Mexico. Clark remained in Mexico until he heard that the federal authorities no longer wanted him. Crossing the border into Texas, Clark was promptly arrested and imprisoned at Fort Jackson. Eventually freed by President Johnson, Clark did not return to Missouri until five years after the war. He resumed his law practice in Fayette and attempted to restore his fortunes. He made one final effort to win a nomination for the U.S. Congress, but suffered defeat at the hands of his own son, Confederate Brigadier General John B. Clark, Jr., who went on to have a long congressional career. General Clark died in Fayette on October 29, 1885, and is buried in Fayette Cemetery.

General Clark's command of a brigade of the Missouri State Guard as well as his service in a campaign qualify him to be considered a Confederate general.

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Reference:  More Generals in Gray.  Bruce S. Allardice.  A companion volume to Generals in Gray.  Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge. LA.