Richard Henry Pratt
Brigadier General, United States Army
Henry Pratt was born at Rushford, New York, December 6, 1840, he grew up
from 1846 in Logansport, Indiana. At the outbreak of the Civil War,
he enlisted in the 9th Indiana Volunteer Infantry and later served with
the 2nd Indiana Volunteer Cavalry and the 11th Indiana Volunteer Cavalry
and was mustered out of the Volunteer Service in May 1865.
After two years in the hardware business, he reentered the Army in March 1867 as Second Lieutenant in the 10th United States Cavalry, a black regiment which had only white officers. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in July. He took part in several Indian Wars on the Frontier and in 1875 was detailed to Fort Marion, St. Augustine, Florida. Over the next three years he was successful in his attempts to educate his Indian prisoners, and in 1878 he was sent to organize an Indian Branch of the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in Virginia. That experiment was less than successful and in 1878 he obtained permission to convert a portion of Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania to an Indian School. The school opened in October 1879 with 82 Sioux children and was formally recognized by Congress in 1882. The course at Carlisle combined academic work with vocational training in a broad range of fields and the unique "outing" system, which placed students in White homes and schools or jobs for a year to further their adjustment to white society. The school was a model for many reservation schools built later. The school grew steadily, and in his 25 years as Superintendent he had charge of some 5,000 Indian children of more than 70 tribes.
He was promoted Captain in February 1883; Major in July 1898; Lieutenant Colonel in February 1901; and Colonel in January 1903. He retired from the Army in February 1903 and in April 1904 he was advanced to Brigadier General on the Retired List. He died at San Francisco, March 15, 1924, and was buried in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Anna Laura Mason Pratt, 1844-1922, is buried with him. His private memorial reads:
"Veteran Of The Civil War
The Carlisle Institute in later years fielded
a formidable football team, coached in 1899-1904 and 1906-1915 by Glenn
S. "Pop" Warner and led in 1911-12 by All-American Jim Thorpe. The school
had an enrollment of about 1,000 at the time of its closing in 1918.
SAN FRANCISCO, California, March 15, 1924 – Brigadier General Richard Henry Pratt, United States Army, retired, founder and organizer of the Industrial School for Indians at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and its superintendent for a quarter of a century died here today.
General Pratt, who has been described by leaders of their race as “the best educational friend the Indians ever had,” was born at Rushford, New York, in 1849. He spent his youth in Logansport, Indiana, and entered the Civil War as a Corporal in the Indiana Infantry. At the end of four years he was a Captain of Indiana Cavalry. After the war he entered the regular army, from which he retired in 1903 with the rank of Colonel, a special act of Congress the next year making him a Brigadier General.
PRATT, ANNA LAURA
DATE OF DEATH: 08/27/1927
DATE OF INTERMENT: Unknown
BURIED AT: SECTION S-W SITE 1405B
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
WIFE OF RICHARD H. PRATT BRIG GENL USA RETD
PRATT, RICHARD HENRY
Photo by Michael Robert Patterson, 1999
Page Updated: 29 October 2000 Updated: 21 August 2001 Updated: 9 January 2002 Updated: 12 October 2002 Updated: 17 August 2003
Updated: 4 September 2004 Updated: 16 July 2005 Updated: 26 November 2005 October 19, 2007 Updated: 15 January 2008
Photo By: M. R. Patterson, October 2007
Photo By M. R. Patteson, 28 June 2003