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
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.
|February 3 to March
Carried Army papers from Jackson, Miss. t
Richmond and returned
|November 15, 1863
||Sold horses and mules
to Army at Athens, Ga.
|April 15, 1864
Sold grain bags to Army at Dalton, Ga.
|December 20, 1864
Major Hottel requests he be appointed a Bonded
Agent and assigned to him
|January 16, 1865
Appointed Bonded Agent in the Quartermaster