This Carte de Visite of Belle Tisdale's Uncle Joel Eugene Pratt (1847-1932) is the only photo we have of one of Belle Tisdale's relatives in Civil War uniform. The interesting thing about this photo is that it was taken in New Orleans at E. A. Piffet's National Gallery of Art in New Orleans. The two tax stamps on the back date it to between August 1864 and August 1866. New Orleans during the Federal occupation would not have been a place to walk into a photographer's studio in a Confederate uniform, so it must have been taken after the end of the war.
Joel Eugene Pratt was Belle's mother's youngest brother. He was just eight years older than Belle. He was listed in Andrew B. Booth's 1920 Records of Louisiana Confederate Soldiers and Confederate Commands, Vol. 3, page 195 as E. J. Pratt, Private in Company I, Ogden's Louisiana Cavalry. Booth's Records database is also available at Ancestry.com.
Eugene is also listed in “Louisiana, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865” Index at FamilySearch.org. The microfilm images of the actual muster rolls can be found on fold3.com's “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Louisiana.” NARA microfilm publication M320, roll 29. According to Eugene's pension application of 1915 he enlisted near Clinton, Louisiana, on May 4, 1864 when he was 17 years old.
Eugene's older brother Marion Franklin Pratt (1832-1909) was also listed in Booth's Records in Company I, Ogden's Cavalry, serving as a First Sergeant. Marion had served previously during the defense of New Orleans in Company G, Confederate Guards Regiment, Louisiana Militia, from March 8 to April 30, 1862. On Marion's pension application in 1908 he says he enlisted at Baton Rouge in 1862 and served in Duncan Stewart's Cavalry, Company A, Ogden's Battalion. Muster Rolls say he was taken prisoner on 2 May 1863. He must have been paroled because he says that his unit was consolidated in April 1865 and became Company I, Ogden's Louisiana Cavalry. Marion said he received a flesh wound while fighting near Jackson, Mississippi, and spent 60 days in the hospital there.
Both Marion and Eugene are listed in Union records of prisoners of war as surrendering at Citronelle, Alabama, on 4 May, 1865, and being paroled at Gainesville, Alabama, on
May 12, 1865. (fold 3.com) The only story that has been passed down in the family was of Uncle Marion spending some time at the Confederate Veterans Home at Beauvoir in Gulfport, Mississippi. Check out the website at Beauvoir.org Belle's daughter and my great aunt, Vera Booksh Ventress, had a wooden spoon that he carved while he was there.
|Dr. James William Pratt|
July 2, 1865
Moses & Piffet Studio, New Orleans
Records for James W. Pratt (1828-1920) have been hard to find. Kate Craig Couturie in her letter of 1904 says that all three of William Pratt's sons fought in the war. (See 2015 01 15 blog post.) There were several Confederate soldiers by that name, but so far none have turned out to be Belle's Uncle James. We do know that James was a physician, so he may have served in that capacity and was not listed among the soldiers. On 29 April 1863 the Confederate government paid James Pratt in Clinton, Louisiana, $8.00 for one coffin and $2.00 for digging a grave. Also in April they paid him $9.50 for repairing the Quarter Master's Stable and $7.50 for repairing tables at the hospital. Was that Uncle James? An April 1, 1864 receipt from the Confederate Depositary's Office [sic] in Columbus, Mississippi, shows that James Pratt purchased $800 worth of Confederate bonds. Once again we do not know if this is our James Pratt. In the 1890 Civil War Veterans and Widows Schedule, James Pratt of Orleans Parish, Louisiana, is listed as a veteran, but we cannot be sure this is the same James Pratt. Belle's Uncle James survived the war and lived to be 91 years old.
Besides Belle's father, Benjamin Franklin Tisdale, and her cousin, Nathan Tisdale, whose service in defense of the city of New Orleans in 1862 has already been detailed, several other Tisdale relatives served in the Civil War and are listed in the Booth's Records of Louisiana Confederate Soldiers and Confederate Commands.
According to his obituary Nathan Tisdale left the defenses at Algiers in April 1862 and took off to find his brothers, Joseph and Richard. They were all sons of Joseph Wade Tisdale I (1808-1848) and his wife Mary Amelia Wilson (1815-1888).
Nathan Tisdale enlisted on April 23, 1862 at Algiers, Louisiana, where he was working as a ships carpenter. He was 30 years old and was a Private in Co. A, 30th La. Infantry. He is listed as present on rolls from April 1862 to December 1862. He served on detached service at Charleston, South Carolina in May and June of 1863 and at Montgomery, Alabama from July 1863 to April 1864. While he was on detached service at Mobile from November 1,1864 to February 28, 1865, he was seriously injured during the Siege of Mobile. He is on the Roll of Prisoners of War of Quintaard Hospital, C.S.A, and was paroled at Meridian, Mississippi on May 14, 1865.
His brother Richard G. Tisdale is listed as a Private in Company F, 5th La. Infantry. He enlisted at age 25 at New Orleans on May 3, 1861 and was in General John B. Magruder's Command in Virginia. He appears on rolls from 1861 through 1863. In July and August 1863 he was sick in Richmond. He was listed as sick in Lynchburg on Rolls from September 1863 to December 1863. The records say he “Left the Regiment sick. Not heard from since. Deserted.” In his pension application of 1906 Richard says, “I was transferred in the fall of 1863 to the Cavalry Service and continued in the Cavalry Service until close of war at which time I was under Brig. Gen.Imbodear[?]...” He says, “I was never taken prisoner until after the surrender. At the surrender our company disbanded at New Market, Va. From there I started on barefoot toward La. About 12 miles from Hartesville, Ga. While on my way home, I was captured by some Union soldiers and carried to Hartesville where I was immediately paroled.” In another statement he says that he made his way from Hartesville in May 1865 “...across the country towards Louisiana and reached home about the 10th of June 1865...” Richard survived the war and the walk home and married Abby Mitchell in Butler County, Alabama on 24 February 1866.
Nathan's brother Joseph Wade Tisdale II was not so fortunate. He was 19 when he enlisted at New Orleans on 12 May 1862. He served as a Private in the same company as Richard, Company F, 5th La. Infantry. He was killed on 1 July 1862, probably at the Battle of Malvern Hill on the James River in Virginia.
Eugene and Victor Tisdale, sons of Benjamin Franklin's brother Nathan O. J. Tisdale and his first wife Maria Louisa McCrae, also served in the Confederate Army and their records can be found at the National Archives and fold3.com.
Eugene was a Private in the 5th Company, Washington Artillery Battalion. He was about 20 when he enlisted 6 March 1862 at New Orleans. He is present on Rolls in April 1862. During May and June 1862 he is listed as “Absent, sick.” He appears again on the rolls from September 1862 to February 1863. In March and April he was in the hospital at Tullahoma, Tennessee. He was admitted to the 1st Mississippi C.S.A. Hospital at Jackson, Mississippi on 1 July, 1863 with variola, an archaic term for smallpox. The Secretary of War ordered his discharge on 7 August, 1863 and he was discharged from service on 28 September 1863.
Eugene's younger brother Victor was 18 when he enlisted as a Private in the 3rd Company, Washington Artillery Battalion on 3 June 1863 at Mobile, Alabama. Victor is listed on rolls from August to October 1863. He was “Absent, sick at Lynchburg, since August 1, 1863.” He returned to his company on Nov. 27, 1863 and is listed on rolls from January 1864 to February 1865. He is on the list of prisoners of war paroled at Lynchburg, Virginia on April 13, 1865.
Belle's uncle, John B. Tisdale, her father's younger brother, served as a Second Lieutenant in Company A, 2nd Regiment, Alabama Volunteer Militia. Another Alabama Tisdale cousin, also named Benjamin Franklin Tisdale, served as a Private in Company C, 46th Alabama Infantry.