Brigadier General and Governor of Mississippi
"I am the duly and constitutionally elected Governor
of the State of Mississippi, and would resist, if in
my power, to the last extremity...."
Governor Charles Clark to Union General E.D. Osband, 1865
Charles Clark was born in Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio, May 24, 1811. He
received his education in Kentucky, and moved to Mississippi about 1831, where he taught
school for a time. Later a planter and a staunch Whig adherent of Henry Clay, he served
in the State Legislature in from 1838 to 1844, and in the Mexican War as Colonel
of the Second Mississippi Infantry. In 1860, Clark choose to switch political parties, and
became a Democrat, and a delegate to the conventions in Charleston and Baltimore in
1860, where he supported John Cabell Breckinridge for the presidency. He was early
appointed Brigadier General, and later Major General of Mississippi State Troops. After
the acceptance of the Mississippi Regiments into Confederate Service, he was appointed
Brigadier General to rank from May 22, 1861.
General Clark commanded a Brigade in General Albert Sidney Johnston's army in
Kentucky, and at the battle of Shiloh, where he was severely wounded in the shoulder at
the opening of the battle. Clark returned to command in time to participate in the battle
of Baton Rouge where he lead a Division. Clark was again severely wounded, his hip
being shattered by a minie' ball. Captured on the field, and thinking the wound to be
mortal, the Federals allowed Clark to be taken to New Orleans to his personal physician.
Clark would live, but was made a permanent invalid, having to use crutches or a cane for
the rest of his life.
General Clark returned to Mississippi, and was elected Governor in the fall of 1863.
He served in the office until arrested by Federal authorities in the Spring of 1865. He was
imprisoned for a time in Fort Pulaski, Georgia, but returned to Mississippi upon his
release. Denied any role in politics for the time being, Clark returned to the practice of
law and the management of his planatation "Doro" in Bolivar County, Mississippi.
Clark served as Chancellor of his district from 1876 until his death on December 18, 1877,
at his plantation, where he was buried.