Beyond a charming, jovial exterior, Clay Mosby is the epitome of the dark, melancholy anti-hero. Not entirely power-crazed, not entirely evil; but with a certain element of darkness, Mosby's character has been tainted by tragedy and loss. Rising out of the ashes of his tormented past, he has created for himself a new town, after the fashion of antebellum Atlanta; and a new identity: all-powerful and invincible... almost.
Formerly a confederate Colonel, Francis Clay Mosby fought in the 14th Virginia Regiment, until, upon his capture, he spent a year in a Yankee prison camp- painful memories of which still haunt him. When he finally arrived home, he found his large plantation and boyhood home, Hatten Willows, burned and his young wife, Mary, raped and murdered by Union soldiers. By the time he was 23, he had lost everything he loved, and seen his new nation plummet to nothing. All seemed to be lost...
Although through shady means, Clay Mosby has become the wealthiest and most powerful citizen of Curtis Wells. Acquiring the Pig's Eye in a card game early upon his arrival, he renames and reforms the saloon into the Ambrosia Club, which becomes one of the main sources of his plentiful income.
He also acquires
early upon his arrival an obsession with a local of Curtis Wells, Hannah
Peale, who looks exactly like his dead wife. He pursues her
unwaveringly, even after she makes known her feelings for Newt
Call (later to become his principal rival). After loosing Hannah to
Newt when they marry (remarkably quickly after meeting each other??), Mosby
refuses to give up and sets up permanent residence in Curtis Wells. His
dreams are destroyed, however, when Hannah is killed in an explosion.