William Thomas Clark

William Thomas Clark was born June 29, 1831, in Norwalk, Connecticut. He reportedly struck out on his own at the age of thirteen. Admitted to the New York bar in 1854, he moved two years later to Davenport, Iowa, where he commenced practice. In 1861 he recruited the 13th Iowa Infantry. He was first lieutenant and adjutant of this regiment until March 6, 1862, when he was appointed captain and assistant adjutant general of volunteers. Until the end of the war, he had staff rank and eventually was promoted to lieutenant colonel and assistant adjutant general, and to brigadier general of volunteers on May 31, 1865. He was brevetted brigadier general for gallant and distinguished services at the battle of Atlanta, where he had served as James B. McPherson's adjutant, and also major general in November, 1865, for gallant and meritorious service during the war. Next, still holding his volunteer commission in the army, he arrived in Texas a. full-blown carpetbagger. After helping to organize a bank in Galveston, he was soon closely allied with the leader of the town's Negroes, who succeeded in 1869 in electing Clark to the United States House of Representatives as an exponent of "reconstructed" Texas. Clark advocated the sale of west Texas lands for the benefit of railroads in which he was reputed to have an interest. Defeated for reelection in 1871 by a conservative Democrat, but certified by the corrupt Republican governor who threw out more than three thousand adverse votes, Clark was subsequently expelled from the House of Representatives by unanimous vote of both parties. He soon obtained a place in the Bureau of Internal Revenue, which he occupied until his death in New York City on October 12, 1905. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Previous Page

Reference:  Generals in Blue.  Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Louisiana State University Press.  Baton Rouge.