A Guide to the John J. Clarke Papers, 1861-1865 Clarke, John J., Papers mss 00112

A Guide to the John J. Clarke Papers, 1861-1865

A Collection in
Virginia Military Institute Archives
Collection Number mss 00112


Virginia Military Institute Archives

Virginia Military Institute Archives
Preston Library
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, Virginia 24450-0304
Phone: (540) 464-7566
Fax: (540) 464-7279
Email: archives@vmi.edu
URL: http://www.vmi.edu/archives

© 2002 Virginia Military Institute

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Virginia Military Institute Archives Staff

Archives, Preston Library, Virginia Military Institute
Collection number
mss 00112
John J. Clarke Papers, 1861-1865
Physical Characteristics
The papers consist of 12 items and are filed in one folder.

Administrative Information


There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

John J. Clarke Papers, mss 00112, Virginia Military Institute Archives, Lexington, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

The papers were donated to the Virginia Military Institute in 1958 by Charles Kennon Clarke.

Alternative Form

The Clarke Papers are available in full-text format on the VMI Archives website at: http://www.vmi.edu/archives/manuscripts/00112/00112.html

Biographical/Historical Information

Little is known about the personal history of John J. Clarke. His date and place of birth are unknown; during the pre-war years he was employed as a civil engineer. In April 1861, he was commissioned Captain in the Confederate Army Engineer Corps and served as an engineer until the end of the war, rising to the rank of Colonel. By 1864 he was the Chief Engineer for the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. At war's end Clarke settled in Georgia, where he was Superintendent of the Georgia Central Railroad; records indicate that he was living in Savannah in 1868. He died circa 1889 in an accident in New Jersey.

Scope and Content Information

The collection consists of Clarke's Civil War papers (1861-1865; 12 items). Documents include commissions, military orders, correspondence and dispatches concerning activities in and around Charleston, South Carolina during the period 1864-1865; letter (Feb. 4, 1865) to Col. Clarke from Headquarters discussing proposed training of African-American troops in the Engineer Corps.


The papers are arranged in chronological order.

Contents List

Commission Document, 1861 July 8

For Provisional Army of Virginia; signed by Governor John Letcher.

Commission Document, 1862 February 15

Issued by Confederate States of America War Department; appointing Clarke Captain, Corps of Engineers, Provisional Army Confederate States.

General Orders, 1862 April 14

Clarke appointed Chief Engineer, Peninsula Department, by order of General John B. Magruder.

Dispatch from General Robert E. Lee, 1862 May 18

"In prosecuting the work of obstructing James River you are authorized to seize for the Confederate States any vessels in the river which you may need...."

Dispatch, Headquarters, 1863 November 17

Regarding the construction of a bridge.

Letter to Major J. H. Alexander, 1864 September 1

From Clarke, requesting "Co. B., 23rd Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, Elliott's Brigade, now serving near Petersburg, be ordered to report to me here, for service on boats supplying Fort Sumter."

Letter, From General G. P. T. Beauregard, 1864 December 9

Thanking Clarke for his gift of a pair of spurs

Letter, from Lt. Col. Charles Marshall, 1865 February 4

Conveying Gen. Lee's opinion about Clarke's plan for training of black engineer soldiers.

Circular, 1865 February 15

Confidential detailed directive regarding the withdrawal of troops and materials from Charleston, the harbor forts, and on the defensive lines. From Headquarters, Charleston, SC (Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida)

Roll of Engineer Officers, 1865 March 20

"Engineer Officers and Acting Engineers now on duty with Major John McCrady, Acting Chief Engineer." Charlotte, North Carolina.

Receipt, 1865 March 28

For horse.

Letter, 1865 April 7

Written at Chesterville, SC by Capt. [Smith?]; regarding duty assignments of various officers; surveying and mapping project.