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W.M. Pratt

W.M. Pratt

Federal (USV)

Private

William M. Pratt

(1837 - 1928)

Home State: Connecticut

Education: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Class of 1857

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 8th Connecticut Infantry

Before Antietam

Son of a successful Meriden businessman, he trained as a civil engineer at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and went looking for business in South America for his father after he graduated in 1857. At the start of the war he returned home eager to enlist, but initially respected his parents wishes that he not. Soon after his mother's death, though, he did enlist, and mustered as a Private in Company K, 8th Connecticut Infantry on 14 May 1862.

On the Campaign

He was slightly wounded on the hand, then by a gunshot to his thigh and was captured in action above the Lower Bridge at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

A Confederate hospital steward removed the bullet on 18 September at a field hospital near the Potomac River. He was rescued by US cavalry troopers soon after, treated as US Army hospitals, and returned to duty. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant of Company G on 23 December 1862 and appointed Adjutant of the regiment on 21 October 1863. He was promoted to Major on 22 February 1865 and Lieutenant Colonel on 12 May. He resigned his commission on 20 October 1865.

After the War

He worked in his father's business but moved his family to Mankato, MN in 1870 for his health. He had a lumber and furniture business there until the late 1870's when he took his business to Dakota Territory. He later returned East, living in North Carolina and New York.

References & notes

Service information from Ingersoll1 and the Historical Data Systems database. Details from Proceedings of the Semi-centennial Celebration of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1874).

He married Sophie Rand and they had three children.

More on the Web

See a most excellent piece about Pratt and his War - source of most of the information above and also his picture, from a photograph in the Connecticut State Library - by John Banks on his Civil War Blog. It comes from his book Connecticut Yankees at Antietam (2013).

Birth

12/12/1837

Death

02/17/1928 Williamsville, NY

Notes

1   Ingersoll, Colin Macrae, Adjutant-General, Catalogue of Connecticut Volunteer Organizations in the Service of the United States, 1861-1865, Hartford: Brown & Gross, 1869, pg. 393  [AotW citation 22737]