Biography of Joseph Nalle

The National Archives has no biography for Joseph Nalle since he was not in the Army. My biography for him is below, with my entries and references in blue.

Austin Public Library

   Joseph Nalle was born in Culpeper, Virginia in 1843. In the 1860 Census, he was living with another young man with a family whose name does not match either of the men's. His occupation was listed as Clerk. A document late in the war says that he was medically discharged on a surgeon's certificate. Since he is not found in the Confederate service records, he was probably in a militia unit at the beginning of the war and was released before the unit was made into a Confederate unit. What the certificate was related to is unknown, but it was not challenged; he was considered a very small man.
   Nalle has only spotty records in his Citizen File -- in late 1862 to mid-spring 1863 he was paid as a transportation clerk in Jackson, Miss. During that period, he carried papers (probably Quartermaster reports, among others) to Richmond. He latter sold grain bangs and horses in two places in Georgia. His railroad involvement appears to have begun as an assistant to Maj. Hottel, probably when Hottel arrived in Atlanta to run the Transportation Office there. A year later, Hottel recommended his appointment as a Bonded Agent for the Quartermaster Department, a recommendation which was approved and he was appointed in a Special Order issued in January, 1865. Contrary to many articles, Nalle was never an officer of the Confederacy -- he was called "captain" as an honorary title.
   Shortly after the war, Nalle moved to Austin, Texas and started what became a massive lumber business. Within a few years he owned large yards in Austin, Waco and three other towns, processing a thousand railroad cars of lumber each year. He also owned two cotton presses, built at the request of a railroad. His brother, Thomas H. was in charge of the Waco lumber yard until he died in Austin in 1878.
   Nalle's quick rise in business caused him to get involved in local politics. In 1878, he attacked and killed a fellow Alderman in broad daylight, before many witnesses. The trial became an extension of politics and Nalle was found not guilty. A few years later, he ran for Mayor and was barely defeated. He won the next election in a landslide and served as Mayor from December 1887 to December 1889, when he was in turn defeated in a land slide.
   Nalle was married to Sarah Jane Kaiser and had seven children. One son built the Majestic Theatre in 1915, renaming in Paramount in 1930; it remains a very active operation today. Joseph Nalle's name is on the facade of the building
   Nalle died in Austin in March, 1911 and left an estate estimated to be worth 1/2 million dollars. He had been the second richest man in Austin for many years.
December 8, 1862 to March 8, 1863 Transportation Clerk at Jackson, Miss.
NA, RRB 3-8-63
February 3 to March 1, 1863 Carried Army papers from Jackson, Miss. t Richmond and returned
NA, RRB 3-1-63
November 15, 1863 Sold horses and mules to Army at Athens, Ga.
NA, RRB 11-15-63
April 15, 1864 Sold grain bags to Army at Dalton, Ga.
NA, RRB 4-15A-64
December 20, 1864 Major Hottel requests he be appointed a Bonded Agent and assigned to him
NA, RRB 12-20A-64
January 16, 1865 Appointed Bonded Agent in the Quartermaster Department
NA, RRB 1-16A-65
NA, AIGO 1-16-65

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