Friday, August 25, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: August 25, 1845 – Marcellus Jerome Clarke (“Sue Mundy”)

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Marcellus Jerome Clarke, who under the nom de guerre Sue Mundy was the best known of the Kentucky guerrillas during the Civil War , was born near Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky, on August 25, 1845 (possibly 1844). He was the son of Brig. Gen. Hector M. and Mary (Hail) Clarke. Both parents died before he was ten, and Clarke was raised by relatives and received a common school education. With his foster brother John Patterson, he enlisted in the Confederate army and was mustered into Company B, 4th Kentucky Infantry, 1st Brigade, at Camp Burnett near Clarksville, Tennessee, on August 25, 1861. Taken prisoner when Grant forced the surrender of Fort Donelson, he was sent to Camp Morton near Indianapolis. He and Patterson escaped and returned to Kentucky, where the Federals captured Patterson, who was wounded and lost his eyesight. Clarke was deeply affected by the incident and vowed never to take a Federal prisoner.

Clarke joined John Hunt Morgan's raiders and fought during many of Morgan's campaigns, first as a scout and later as an artillerist, rising to the rank of captain. After Morgan's death in September of 1864, Clarke returned to Kentucky, where he joined Sam ("One-Armed") Berry, Henry C. Magruder, and others in a guerrilla band that terrorized the state from mid- 1864 until the war's end. The origin of the name Sue Mundy is uncertain, although Clarke's shoulder-length hair and almost feminine beauty gave rise to the tale that he was in fact a woman.

Though the band was guilty of shootings and train robberies, as well as the burning of bridges and at least one courthouse, the crimes attributed to the outlaws were exaggerated. Early in 1865, Clarke and his band joined Missouri's "Bloody" Quantrill for a raid in central Kentucky. Shortly thereafter, Clarke and three others were ambushed in Hancock County. The survivors took refuge in a tobacco barn near Webster in Meade County . When the news reached Louisville, troops were sent and on March 12, 1865, Clarke surrendered. He was taken to Louisville, where a military court found him guilty of guerrilla activities. The next day he was hanged at the old fairgrounds before a crowd of thousands, and his body was returned to Simpson County for burial.

L.L. Valentine, "Sue Mundy of Kentucky," Register 62 (July 1964): 175-205
(Oct. 1964): 278-306.


Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Watson, T., & Brantley, P. (2008). Confederate guerrilla Sue Mundy : A biography of Kentucky soldier Jerome Clarke. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland &.
Special Collections Research Center Closed Stacks - Ask at desk on 2nd Floor for assistance E470.5 .W38 2008

Taylor, R. (2006). Sue Mundy : A novel of the Civil War (Kentucky voices). Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.
Young Library Books - 5th Floor PS3570.A9515 S84 2006

Kentucky's Civil War, 1861-1865. (2005). Clay City, Ky.: Back Home in Kentucky.
Young Library Books - 4th Floor E470.4 .K44 2005

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