The Tenth Texas Field Artillery served the Confederate States of America in the Trans-Mississippi Department throughout the Civil War. Joseph H. Pratt, a railroad builder from East Texas, raised the unit from Harrison, Marion, and Cass counties. A member of the battery later claimed that of the original seventy-two men who joined in Jefferson, only seventeen were present at the surrender in 1865. One hundred seventy-one names appear on the records, but at one point during the war, Pratt lost so many men that he had to recruit from the cavalry. In the autumn of 1862 the artillery was attached to a cavalry brigade commanded by Col. William Henry Parsons, although it seldom operated directly under Parsons.
Early in 1863 the Tenth Texas operated along the Mississippi River, occasionally firing on transports and gunboats. One trooper wrote his parents in February that two gunboats and four transports landed troops in an attempt to capture Pratt, as he was "Playing along the River;" rumors credited him with sinking one Union vessel and crippling another.
When the Tenth Texas Field Artillery left to join Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke's Cape Girardeau raid in the spring of 1863, the local ladies, "feeling that Capt. Pratt ought to be remunerated for his valiant services, presented him with an embroidered night cap done up in style." The Tenth Texas Field Artillery took part in the raid from April 17 to May 2, 1863, as part of Col. George W. Carter's Texas Brigade. Following the raid, Pratt remained in Arkansas, harassing Union vessels on the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers. His gunners covered the crossing on the Arkansas River during the evacuation of Little Rock on September 10, 1863. The men also took part in an unsuccessful assault on Pine Bluff in October.
The Tenth Texas spent most of the war in Arkansas and was attached to different commands at different times. H. C. Hynson or Isaac A. Clare generally commanded sections of the battery. Pratt was promoted to major early in 1864 and commanded the Second Horse Artillery Battalion, consisting of his own Tenth Texas under H. C. Hynson, a battery from Arkansas, and two from Missouri. This unit took part in Sterling Price's invasion of Missouri in the autumn of 1864. During the ill-fated campaign and the retreat to Arkansas, John S. Marmaduke, who led a division under Price, was captured on October 25, while fighting a rear-guard action along the Kansas-Missouri border. The next day Joseph Pratt was seriously wounded; his tombstone indicates that he later died of complications from this wound. Of the other Texans, William Hewitt was captured at Mound City, Kansas, on October 24 (while manning the guns of Capt. S. S. Harris's Missouri battery) and John Coffey was shot at Mine Creek, Kansas, on October 28. Nevertheless, Pratt's battery had done valuable service in the Trans-Mississippi during the war.
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John Q. Anderson, ed., Campaigning with Parsons' Texas Cavalry Brigade, CSA: The War Journals and Letters of the Four Orr Brothers, 12th Texas Cavalry Regiment (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Junior College Press, 1967). A Brief and Condensed History of Parsons' Texas Cavalry Brigade (Waxahachie, Texas: Flemister, 1892; rpt., Waco: Morrison, 1962). Anne J. Bailey, Between the Enemy and Texas: Parsons's Texas Cavalry in the Civil War (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1989). Anne. J. Bailey, ed., In the Saddle with the Texans: Day-by-Day with Parsons's Cavalry Brigade, 1862–1865 (Abilene: McWhiney Foundation Press, 2004). Condensed History of Parsons' Texas Cavalry Brigade 1861–1865 (Corsicana, Texas: Sun-Light Publishing Company, 1903).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Anne J. Bailey,
“Tenth Texas Field Artillery,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 27, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
April 3, 2011
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: