Marcellus Jerome Clarke was born in Franklin, Kentucky August 25th 1845.
Clarke was 17 when the Civil War started and he enlisted in the 4th Kentucky Infantry, a part of the Confederate 1st Kentucky “Orphan” Brigade. When Fort Donelson fell Clarke was taken prisoner, but escaped. He also saw action while with the 4th Kentucky at the Battle of Chickamauga. Clarke was promoted to Captain and place under the command of Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan.
Morgan was killed September 1864, and Clarke returned to Kentucky where he formed a band, raiding, destroying supplies and skirmishing with Union soldiers. Clarkes’ raids were given credit by the Louisville Journal as the Mundy Gang, and they joined forces with William Quantrill. On February 2nd 1865, Clarke and Quantrill burned freight cars and the depot at Lair Station, Kentucky. A week letter they killed three Union soldiers and took four others prisoner.
On March 12th 1865 the 30th Wisconsin Infantry under command of Union Major Cyrus Wilson surrounded Clarke in a tobacco barn south of Brandenburg, Kentucky. They captured Clarke along with two other men, Henry Medkiff and Henry C Magruder. The men were taken to Louisville where Clarke was tried in secret as a guerrilla. Clarke was told on March 15th 1865 by the Reverend JJ Talbott that he was to be hung that afternoon. Clarke asked the Reverend to write four letters for him and to see that his body was sent to his family in Franklin, Kentucky for burial in his Confederate uniform.