He was born in Roswell, Georgia and joined the Confederate States Navy as a midshipman and served on the CSS Nashville in 1861 when it went to England then returned to the Confederacy at Beaufort, N.C.and became the blockade-runner Thomas L. Wragg..
As the Nashville, she was the first to show the Confederate flag in English waters (and later Irvine Bulloch was on the last Confederate ship to show the colors in English waters). She also was the first commerce raider to destroy a Union merchant ship. (And the Shenandoah was the last to do so.)
Later the ship became the privateer Rattlesnake until she was destroyed the monitor USS Montauk by Fort McAllister, Georgia in 1863.
However, Bullock left the ship when it got to Beaufort and was later posted to England for foreign service. He served with distinction on the CSS Alabama and, according to his nephew, Theodore Roosevelt, fired the last two shots from the doomed cruiser in its battle with the USS Kearsarge.