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Alfred Moore - Introduction and Index

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Introduction to the Alfred Moore Diary

By George Rugg

Alfred Moore (b. 1837) was raised on a farm in Fairfax County, Virginia, one of thirteen children of William Halley Moore (1800-1849) and Mary Ann Blackburn (1807-1886). The family was one of substance. In the 1850 Federal census the property—inherited by Mary Moore on her husband's death in 1849—is valued in excess of $8000; the same census indicates that she held 12 slaves. In 1860 Alfred Moore was living on his mother's property, unmarried, working the farm with several of his brothers.

On 25 April 1861 Moore enlisted as 1st sergeant in the Fairfax Cavalry (Co. A, Virginia Volunteer Cavalry), organized in Fairfax County by Capt. Mottram Dulany Ball. Surviving records provide us with some details of Moore's Confederate military service before and after the period covered by the diary (i. e., September 1864 to February 1865). On 24 May 1861, one day after the ratification of Virginia's ordinance of secession, Federal troops moving to occupy Alexandria captured Capt. Ball and about 35 members of the company, including Moore. The men were administered the oath of allegiance and sent home to await exchange (which occurred on 21 September 1861). The reorganized company was designated 2nd Co. F, 5th Virginia Cavalry, CSA; on 5 February 1863, still commanded by Ball, it was incorporated into the newly designated 11th Virginia Cavalry as Co. I. Most of the companies in the 11th Cavalry had been recruited in the Shenandoah Valley and points west; Co. I, from Fairfax, was an exception. Moore's presence in Ball's company is indicated by surviving muster rolls of 28 February 1862 and 28 February 1863; both list him as 1st sergeant. (At some point in 1863 he was promoted to 3rd lieutenant.) On 26 February 1863 Moore was wounded in a skirmish with Union cavalry along the Valley Turnpike near Woodstock. He was also hospitalized on at least two other occasions, on 20 November 1863, at Staunton, and on 22 May 1864, at Harrisonburg (for "chronic syphilis"). From June to September 1864 Moore was in command of Company I. For most of the period covered by the diary the 11th Virginia Cavalry was attached to Thomas L. Rosser's Laurel Brigade, Fitz. Lee's-Rosser's Cavalry Division, Valley District, Department of Northern Virginia. Moore was paroled at Winchester, Virginia, 22 April 1865. Around 1869 he married Helen Hunter (b. 1838), and thereafter farmed in Mineral and Hampshire Counties in West Virginia. He died in the 1880s or 90s.

The Moore diary (16 cm.) is a volume of the familiar daily calendar type, bound in blue oilcloth? and bearing the printed title Pocket Diary for 1864. An inscription on the back pastedown reads "A. Moore Lt / Co I 11th Va Cav / Dec 31st 1864". Though no other owner's inscription is present, scattered entries in a second hand indicate that the volume was originally the property of a Federal trooper, an unidentified member of the 1st D.C. Cavalry (US). The first of the original owner's entries is for 29 February 1864: "6 Companies [apparently G, H, I, K, L, and M] of the 1st D C Cavelry Embarked from Agusta This morning for Washington" (these companies were organized in Maine in February 1864; hence the departure from Augusta). The only other entries in the Union trooper's hand are for 11 July and 30 July to 5 August 1864, mostly describing his "first expedition" south of the James River, into Prince George County, Virginia, behind the Federal lines besieging Petersburg. On 16 September elements of the 1st D.C. Cavalry were encamped at Sycamore Church and Cocke's Mill when they were surprised by a force of Confederate cavalry under Wade Hampton, whose goal was the capture of a herd of beef cattle stockaded at nearby Coggins Point. Most of the members of the 1st D.C. Cavalry fell prisoner and were escorted back to Petersburg by Moore's 11th Virginia, along with nearly 2500 head of cattle. It was during this episode, doubtless, that the diary changed hands, though we cannot know precisely how. Lt. Moore's first entry is for 12 September, but it seems clear that his account of the famous "Cattle Raid" was written retrospectively, after the Confederates' return to their old camp near Ream's Station on the afternoon of the 17th. Kept diligently until . . . . 1865 entries at beginning of volume . . . . missing leaves . . . . illegibilities.

Bibliographic note:

Index of Diary

Front pastedown, 1rTitle page (1r)nd
1v, 2rCalendar for 1864 (1v); List of Sundays (2r)
2v, 3rPostage rates (2v); Diary (3r)Jan 1-3, 1865
3v, 4rDiaryJan 4-9, 1865
4v, 5rDiaryJan 10-15, 1865
5v, 6rDiaryJan 16-21, 1865
6v, 7rDiaryJan 22-27, 1865
7v, 8rDiaryJan 28-Feb 2, 1865
8v, 9rDiaryFeb 3-8, 1865
9v, 10rDiaryFeb 9-18, 1865
10v, 11rDiaryFeb 21, 1865
11v, 12rDiaryFeb 29, 1864
12v, 13r[blank]
13v, 14rInventorynd
14v, 15rAddressnd
15v, 16r[blank]
16v, 17rJuveniliand
17v, 18r[blank]
18v, 19r[blank]
19v, 20r[blank]
20v, 21rCipheringnd
21v, 22rCipheringnd
22v, 23r[blank]
23v, 24r[blank]
24v, 25r[blank]
25v, 26r[blank]
26v, 27rCipheringnd
26v, 27rCiphering (26v and 27r); Diary (27r)Jul 11, 1864 (Diary)
28v, 29r[blank]nd
29v, 30r[blank]nd
30v, 31rCiphering (30v); Diary (31r)Jul 30-31, 1864
31v, 32rDiaryAug 1-6, 1864
32v, 33r[Blank]nd
33v, 34rAccounts and cipheringnd
34v, 35r[blank] (34v); Accounts (35r)nd
35v, 36r[blank] (35v); Ciphering (36r)nd
36v, 37r[blank]nd
37v, 38rDiarySep 12-17, 1864
38v, 39rDiarySep 17-23, 1864
39v, 40rDiarySep 24-29, 1864
40v, 41rDiarySept 30-Oct 5, 1864
41v, 42rDiaryOct 6-11, 1864
42v, 43rDiaryOct 12-17, 1864
43v, 44rDiaryOct 18-23, 1864
44v, 45rDiaryOct 24-29, 1864
45v, 46rDiaryOct 30-Nov 4, 1864
46v, 47rDiaryNov 5-10, 1864
47v, 48rDiaryNov 11-16, 1864
48v, 49rDiaryNov 17-22, 1864
49v, 50rDiaryNov 23-28, 1864
50v, 51rDiaryNov 29-Dec 4, 1864
51v, 52rDiaryDec 5-16, 1864
51v, 52rDiaryDec 17-22, 1864
53v, 54rDiaryDec 23-28, 1864
54v, 55rDiary (54v); Accounts (55r)Dec 29-31, 1864
55v, back pastedownAccountsnd

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