When The War Between the States erupted
in 1861 and the Confederate States called for volunteers, the three
sons of John Nathaniel Moore and Martha Elizabeth Vaughn of Elbert
County Georgia answered the call. William M. and Thomas A.,
the oldest and youngest of the Moore boys, enlisted October 15,
1861 in the Elbert County raised "Goshen Blues", Company
H of what became the 38th Regiment Georgia Volunteer Infantry.
They were joined in this Company by three of their mothers
younger brothers: Jacob David, Alexander and John Henry Vaughn.
The middle son, Isaac Vaughn Moore, had
married and moved to adjoining Madison County. These families
both had come to Northeast Georgia from Virginia where several of
their ancestors had served the colonies in the American Revolution.
As in the case of many volunteer companies raised in the Southern
States, these county raised companies contained many brothers, cousins,
nephews, uncles, a few fathers and sons and many more related by
marriage. Their fathers brother, Joel Washington Moore,
also volunteered later in the war and, despite his advanced age,
he and his young son William served in the Georgia State Troops;
Joel as a cook with Company A 1st Regiment State Troops, and William
with Co F in the Georgia Cavalry Reserves.
The Moore brothers, all farmers, had married
and begun families prior to the war. William had married Keziah
H. David of Madison County and had two children; Isaac and his wife
Elizabeth J. Simmons, also of Madison County, were the parents of
three children by 1860; and the youngest, Thomas, had married Martha
E. Betsy Tucker and was the father of four children
In May 1862, the 38th along with the five
other regiments (mustering a total of 6,000 - 7,000 men) were placed
under the command of Brig. Gen. Alexander Lawton, who as commander
of the Georgia Military District, had proposed formation of an "elite
brigade" of Georgia troops to answer Richmond's call for troops
to repel the threat posed by McClellan's advance from Williamsburg
on the Confederate capital. They were moved by train to Lynchburg
and the Shenandoah Valley. They were to reinforce Stonewall Jackson
as part of a deception planned by General Robert E. Lee to mask
his planned offensive against McClellan's forces around Richmond.
Jacob David Vaughn was not now with the others, having died in Savannah
during the assignment of the 38th on coastal duty. The Lawton
Brigade received its baptism of fire at the battle of Gaines Mill
(June 27, 1862), suffering 492 killed and wounded out of approximately
3,500 soldiers carried into battle. On July 1st John Henry Vaughn
died in Charlottesville. It is not known if he died from disease
or from wounds he might have received at Gaines Mill.
On May 9, 1862 Isaac Vaughn Moore joined
his brothers in the Confederate army by enlisting in Co E of the
37th Georgia Volunteer Infantry. Isaac began a journal or diary
of his experiences the day he enlisted and recorded many interesting
experiences during his three years of continuous service.
William, Thomas and their uncle Alexander
Vaughn served at 2nd Manassas and Antietam, with Thomas being appointed
4th Corporal in October 1862. Thomas was wounded at Fredericksburg,
Virginia December 13, 1862 and hospitalized; he returned to service
In mid-spring 1863, William transferred
from the 38th to Company F 15th Georgia Infantry, another unit formed
in Elbert County and part of General Henry Benning's Brigade. Still
together in the Army of Northern Virginia but now in different Corps,
William, Thomas and Alexander fought at Gettysburg where Alexander
and Thomas were wounded and captured July 5, 1863. Alexander
died at Gettysburg on the 17th of July. The writer believes it is
quite possible that Thomas stayed behind with his uncle, as Thomas
had served previously as a hospital Steward according to his muster
documents. During the battle at Gettysburg, Williams unit
participated in the sucessful assault on Houck's Ridge and the now
famous "Devil's Den" on July 2, and on July 3rd covered
the withdrawal from that position, sustaining heavy casualties.
In the late summer of 1863, Benning's Brigade
boarded trains and moved south with two Divisions of General James
Longstreets 1st Corps to reinforce the Army of Tennessee under
Gen. Braxton Bragg. Here, William would have been reunited
with Isaac, who had served in the campaigns in and around Cumberland
Gap, Tazewell, Southeastern Tennessee and Murfreesboro, except for
the circumstances outlined below.
During the Battle of Chickamauga, the 15th
was part of the assault by Benning's Brigade at the Viniard Farm
on September 20th, while the 37th, which was part of Bate's Brigade,
Stewert's Division, was in heavy action in the late afternoon of
Sept. 19, sustaining over 50% casualties including Issac Moore who
was wounded but saved from more serious injury when the ball stuck
his cap box. Although the two regiments were within a few
hundred yards of each other, Isaac and William probably did not
see each other due to Isaac's wounding. Isaac's diary makes
no mention of them seeing each other.
After Chickamauga, the Confederate Army
laid siege to Chattanooga. In early November, Longstreet's Corp
moved north to attempt to drive Burnsides from Knoxville.
William's unit was engaged heavily in the
fighting at Campbell's Station south of Knoxville but did not participate
in the direct assault on Fort Sanders. After the failed attempt
to drive Burnsides from Knoxville and the defeat of Bragg at Chattanooga,
Longstreet moved north from Knoxville toward Virginia. On January
22, 1864 during this movement, William was detailed to a foraging
party near Dandridge, Tennessee. Here he was captured and sent to
Rock Island Prison, an island prison camp in the Mississippi River
near Rock Island, Illinois. Resisting the offers of amnesty with
enlistment in the U S Armys Western forces (an offer four
thousand Confederate Prisoners succumbed to), William remained at
Rock Island until he was transferred for exchange in March 1865.
The war was over before he could be returned to duty.
In the meantime, after a short stay at his
home to recuperate, Isaac returned to his unit in late October and
served in the remaining campaigns of the Army of Tennessee, Chattanooga
through Nashville. After Nashville, the Army moved south under the
new commander Joseph E. Johnston. In the next four months, the army
marched across the south from Corinth, Mississippi to High Point,
N.C. where in the Public Square on April 27th 1865 the Army of Tennessee
surrendered and stacked arms. The Last entry in Isaac V. Moore's
diary was "May 15th 1865 Monday we reached home at 3 o'clock".
Thomas, in the meantime, was paroled at
DeCamp General Hospital, David's Island, New York Harbor September
1863 and received at City Point, Virginia September 16, 1863 for
exchange, rejoining the 38th later that year. Thomas was appointed
3rd Corporal in 1864 and served with the Army of Northern Virginia
through the bloody campaigns of 1864 and 1865, including The
Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Monocacy, Winchester, Fishers
Hill, Cedar Creek and Fort Steadman, surrendering at Appomattox,
Virginia, April 9, 1865.
After the war the Moore brothers returned
to farming in Northeast Georgia. They all lived to see the 20th
Century with Isaac the last to die 12 days past his 88th birthday,
November 29, 1918.