Calvin Edward Pratt

Calvin Edward Pratt was born January 23, 1828, in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. As a young man he taught school in the neighborhood, meanwhile studying law and taking an interest in the Worcester militia which he joined in 1852. In 1853 Pratt was elected justice of the peace in Worcester, but in 1859 he moved to Brooklyn, New York. In 1861 he and a colleague, at their own expense, recruited and organized the 31st New York Infantry; Pratt was officially mustered in as its colonel on August 14, 1861. In the meantime, however, the regiment participated to a limited extent in the battle of First Manassas: as a part of Dixon Miles's 5th Division it was in reserve at Centreville and helped cover the retreat of Irvin McDowell's army. During the Peninsular campaign Pratt and his command were in Slocum's division of the VI Corps, and at Mechanicsville he was wounded in the face by a rifle ball which was not removed for some thirty years. On September 13, 1862, he was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers, and at Fredericksburg he commanded the 1st Brigade of Howe's division of the VI Corps, which was only lightly engaged. Pratt's resignation from the service dates from April 25, 1863; however, reports indicate that he was concerned with the ferry operation across the Rappahannock at Falmouth on April 29 and 30 which preceded the VI Corps assault on Marye's Heights in the campaign of Chancellorsville. He probably had not yet received notice that his resignation had been accepted, .but seems to have left the army on or before May 1, as he makes no further appearance in the Official Records. General Pratt resumed his Brooklyn law practice; was for a time collector of internal revenue; and in 1869 was elected to the appellate division of the court upon its creation. He died on August 3, 1896, at his farm in Rochester, Massachusetts, on Buzzard's Bay. He was buried in Rochester.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.