I did find some interesting reading concerning the history of Corpus Cristi, Tx and the Noakes family there.
From the research that I had done on Edmond(Edmund)Noakes and his wife Eliza they immigrated to the US sometime between their marriage in 1854 and 1857 when their first daughter was born in Kansas.They had a second daughter in 1860 also in Kansas.
There is a Bible that exists in the family that was a gift from Eliza to Edmond when they were in Selma Alabama in 1864.
In 1869 there 3rd daughter was born in Cananda.A 4th daughter was born in 1873.
From there I found the 4 daughters in the California 1880 census with their mother, but without the father Edmund.
I had been in contact with a decedent of the Noakes family still living in the England a couple years ago and he said that he had letters of correspondence mentioning EdmundEdmond between Richard and Thomas. He goes into some detail about where each of the sibling went.He also mentions that he has several diaries that Richard had kept.
Below is a snipet of the email he sent me.Hopefully with what you and I have we can corroborate this information about the Noakes family.
Many of the children above - travelled to other countries - I guess looking for a "better life"/ looking to expand. The family above were farmers owning land in Jevington, Wannock and Willingdon. They lived at Wannock Manor Farm and some of the travel may have come about from the farming recession of the 1800's and also the opening up of the West Coast of America.
My great grandfather is Richard Noakes - mentioned above.
Thomas John Noakes - the eldest son has a very colourful history - he was the first English settler in the Neuces Strip area of Texas near Corpus Christi - there is much to tell of Thomas. One key thing that Thomas did - is that he kept a number of diaries of his life in Texas. This is where further mention of Edmund comes.
Edmund is mentioned in Thomas's Diaries and is indicated as travelling from Canada and is recorded at Mobile, Alabama at around the same time as you indicate the prison and the bible in Selma, Alabama. I have looked on the map and can see that Selma is approx 100miles from Mobile. This further strengthens my theory that we may have the same Edmund. It would be a pretty big coincidence that 2 Edmund Noakes's were existing in 1864 within 100 miles of each other in Alabama - perhaps more acceptable today, as people travel more easily but not in 1864.
Also, the noakes's were recorded as fairly intelligent people. Amongst other things, Thomas Noakes was also a teacher which could tie in with your notes suggesting Edmund may have been a founder of a school ?
I have been searching for detail regarding Edmund for quite some time - I have a feeling based on the above, that we may have the same person which is quite enlightening ! Rather than letting emotion run away, I am always quite detailed in analysis to try and make sure that information/ detail researched is as factual as possible.
Thomas John served with the Confederates in the Civil war - I know you mentioned the prison and potential civil war connections with Edmond - the two brothers were certainly in contact during this time through written correspondence (this is mentioned in the diaries of Thomas).
I do have more info on the Noakes's but would be keen to understand your connection and any more info - even if it is just "hearsay" quite a lot can be deduced from this.
As indicated before, the noakes family above were travellers :
Thomas John went to Texas Edmund to Canada and the States William settled in Quincy, Illinois (Adams County) Frances went to Quincy, Illinois (Adams County) Louisa went to Queensland, Australia