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John Hilyard Family ca. 1909

Friday, May 20, 2016

My Family in the Civil War, Part Twelve: "All of my boys died in the army for their country."

This is the 12th in a series on my Civil War ancestors

Deposition of Susannah Moore
On September 24th, 1884, special examiner Grafton Tyler interviewed Susannah Moore to begin the investigation of her claim for pension. For the most part, I'm going to leave it in her own words, jumping in with extra information where needed.

Q: Are you the mother of Bartlett C. Moore late Bugler Co. I 38th Ind Infy?
A: Yes sir.

Q: How old was your son Bartlett C. Moore when he enlisted?
A: Going on 16 years of age. He was born Sepr 26th 1848 here in Orange County Indiana. He died March 27 1865 in a Hospital in Chattanooga Tenn of chronic diarrhea.

Q: For what do you ask a pension?
A: For the loss of my son Bartlett C. Moore who was my dependence when he went into the Army. He was under age when he enlisted, was not married, and therefore he left no widow or children. My husband Edward W. Moore was not able to support me he could hardly support himself. He was sixty years of age at that time, is now 82 years of the 17th of October 1884. He was in bad health, was laid up with varicose veins in both legs part of the time and we had already sent three sons to the army leaving Bartlett to work on the farm.
The three sons referred to here are Edward, Christopher, and David.

    After Bartlett went to the Army we rented the farm but it was so poor we got but little for us, not enough to support us. Myself, husband and two of my daughters were all of the family. The rent of the farm was a portion of the crop. I do not know how much it was. There was some 300 acres in the farm. I have no idea what that was worth. It was a worn out old place. There was probably some 70 or 80 acres cleared, the balance was all woods. The income from this place was all we had & I know we just barely made a living.
    My husband sold all of this farm for $1,820, so this farm was all my husband ever had at any time, and I never had any property. My husband's farm was assessed higher than it really was worth in 1864, and all the years we owned it our personal property was just the same way. We had this old furniture, 15 or 20 hogs, one cow and a yearling, 2 horses, wagon and farming implements worth no where near what they were assessed at. 
There is extensive documentation in the file of what Edward Moore was taxed during the 1860s and 70s.

    Part of my husbands property he had to take for mortgages and for us to live on and fix up this house we now live in. This house cost us in a trade $1200. The farm was traded for the house and $600 in money but we only got this house really as the mortgage was not lifted on the farm and it all went in the courts and lawyers. All we have is this little house.
I'll go into greater detail on this in a later post, but the Moores traded their 300 acres on Moores Ridge for a small property in the town of Orleans. Part of the deed stipulated that the purchaser of the farm was to pay off a mortgage of $592, which she failed to do. The property went into foreclosure and a lawsuit was filed. 

    We have one son in Washington D.C. but he has never given us one cent or worked for us since he was 17 years of age. I lost three sons in the army.
The son she refers to here is David Bryant Moore. I can't help but sense some bitterness in her statement. I looked into David a bit, and found he enlisted in the Civil War as a sergeant on August 17th, 1862 and mustered out as a major. He then served with General Custer in the Indian wars. He moved to Washington, D.C. where he married and had three daughters, one dying in infancy. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery. It seems he went on to be quite successful. From an unpublished family history I found this description of David: "As a young man, he was a prime favorite with his nieces and cousins in Franklin County, Kansas. One of them remembered him as 'the handsomest man in the world, tall and slender with coal black eyes and hair.' "  I can't help but wonder what caused the rift between him and his parents.
Obituary of David Bryant Moore found on

Q: Did your son Bartlett C. Moore ever send you money while in the Army?
A: No sir. He was never paid anything while in the Army. The understanding was when he left home he would send me money regularly, but he never got any himself & therefore could not send any.
    When he went into the Army he had a horse and he told us to sell it and use the money which we did. Got $60 for it. We really needed this sixty dollars and it would have been very hard for us to have got along without this help. Our two girls were in no condition to assist us and they never have. After Bartlett died, we got from the government some $400, our boy's bounty and the pay due him from the time he enlisted until he died.
The thought of them selling their boy's horse to make ends meet seems so sad. But the reality of caring for and feeding a horse in the condition they were in makes it seem like a necessary and prudent choice.
My husband went to Chattanooga Tenn also to Vicksburg Tenn [sic] and brought two of our dead boys home, & then to Missouri for another & he died after getting home. All army [of my] boys died in the army for their country.
I hadn't really thought about how the fallen soldiers made it home for burial. I knew Edward and Bartlett Moore were buried at Moores Ridge Cemetery, I'd seen the graves. But how did they get there?  I found a very general article at the Encyclopedia of Death and Dying website explaining that families would often make the trip to retrieve the bodies themselves, or pay someone to do it for them. Now we know that Edward Moore, with his varicose veins and other ailments, made the trip himself to "bring his dead boys home."

Q: Wasn't your husband fully able to support you without the help of your son Bartlett C. Moore in 1864?
A: No sir, he was not. We had the farm but what good was that without help to work it.
[Some questions omitted here]
Q: What is your husbands income at this time?
A: Nothing whatever. We have a little garden that we sell the truck from, about three acres & this little house is all we have. We sell the little we raise in the garden to keep us alive. You can see how we live and what we have tis all we have, but we are thankfull.
I'm making a trip to the Orange County, Indiana courthouse soon. I hope to find the address of Edward and Susannah Moore's property in Orleans and see if it is still standing.

Q: Do you understand you have the privilege of being present in person or by atty during this special examination of your case?
A: Yes sir.
Q: Do you desire to be present and will you be present?
A: I desire to leave it entirely to the government. I will give you the names of persons I desire you to see for me.
                                                                                     Susannah  X  Moore

Susannah seemed to trust in the truth of her story and expected it to stand. At age 80 she had seen more loss than any mother should ever know. 

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