(1842 - 1869)
Home State: Louisiana
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 8th Louisiana Infantry
An unmarried 19 year old printer in Minden, LA, he enlisted as Private in the Minden Blues - Company G, 8th Louisiana Infantry on 7 May 1862 at Monroe, LA.
On the Campaign
He was wounded and captured in action on 17 September 1862 at Sharpsburg. His Lieutenant later wrote of the Company:
... we marched into Maryland, crossing the Potomac at Leesburg. Re-crossing at Williamsport we took Harper's Ferry on the 15th of September; and then crossing for the third time, we fought the destructive battle of Sharpsburg on the 17th. We carried only 18 men into this fight, many having been left behind on the forced march to reach this point in time, and when the wounded were borne from the field, only three of the company were left standing.
The rest of the War
He was probably treated at a field hospital near Sharpsburg, then briefly at US Army General Hospital #5 in Frederick, MD on 10 and 11 October. He was transferred to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, to Fortress Monroe, VA, and finally exchanged at Aiken's Landing, VA on 10 November 1862. He was furloughed home to recover but failed to return to duty when the furlough expired on 1 January 1863. He was listed as a deserter from the 8th Infantry by October 1863.
He enlisted at Minden on 20 October 1863 in Company A of the First Battalion, Louisiana Cavalry (State Guards) and was captured in action at Trinity, LA on 16 November. He was sent to Cairo, IL then on to Camp Morton, IN on 7 December 1863. After almost two years a prisoner he was released on 10 October 1865 on taking the oath of allegiance to the United States.
After the War
He returned to Minden and established the Public Sentiment newspaper and in 1868 was elected to the Louisiana Legislature from Claiborne Parish. During that session he tangled with the original Minden Blues Captain - by then County Judge - John Langford Lewis, who had switched to the Republican cause after the war. Among other "insults", Pratt was responsible for the Judge being removed from the bench. The Judge's youngest son Robert took it as a matter of honor:
The Minden Democrat of the 21st, [August 1868] gives the following account of a duel which came off in this parish last week; A duel between Robert S. Lewis, Esq. and the Hon. C. B. Pratt transpired at the old Overton Fields, two miles south of Minden, on the evening of the 18th inst. The weapons used were Colt's revolvers at twenty paces. Mr. Lewis was the challenging party. Upon the second shot, Mr. Pratt received a flesh wound in the side, the ball penetrating just above the right hip and coming out before touching the spine. The wound, though painful, is not dangerous. It is understood that the meeting occurred in consequence of Mr. Pratt's strictures and denunciation of Col. John L. Lewis (the father of Mr. R. S. Lewis) in a speech recently made in the House of Representatives - with which speech the public are acquainted, as it has appeared in several of the city and country papers.Clarence soon returned to the Legislature, but died in 1869 at age 27 while on a visit to Waco, TX. The cause of death is not known, but the wound from his duel with Lewis probably contributed to his early demise.
References & notes
Service information from Booth.1 The first quote above from G.L.P. Wren in History of The Minden Blues in D.W. Harris' The History of Claiborne Parish, Louisiana (1886). Frederick details from the Patient List,2 as C.B. Pratt. Personal details from Webster Parish Historian John Agan in the Minden Press-Herald [online here and here]. The quote about the duel from the Shreveport South-Western of 26 August 1868. His gravesite is on Findagrave, source also of his picture from a photograph of unknown provenance posted by Edward Wenzell.
10/25/1842; Overton, Claiborne Parish, LA
12/26/1869; Waco, TX; burial in Minden City Cemetery, Minden, LA
1 Booth, Andrew B., Records of Louisiana Confederate Soldiers and Louisiana Confederate Commands, 3 Volumes, New Orleans: State of Louisiana, 1920, Vol. 3, Book 2, Part 1, pg. 194 [AotW citation 22279]
2 National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and Terry Reimer, Frederick Patient List, Published 2018, first accessed 17 September 2018, <http://www.civilwarmed.org/explore/primary-sources/databases/frederickpatient/>, Source page: patient #825 [AotW citation 22280]