June 4: Memorial Service to Honor General Junius Daniel of Halifax

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On Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 2:30 in the afternoon, the General Matt W. Ransom Camp #861, Sons of Confederate Veterans, will host a Confederate memorial service at the grave of Brigadier General Junius Daniel.  This grave site is located within the bounds of the state historic site in Halifax, North Carolina at the Colonial Cemetery.   Attorney and historian Fred D. Taylor of Suffolk, Virginia, will speak on the life and service of the General, who fell in battle at the “Bloody Angle” during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House in May of 1864.

A number of distinguished guests will attend to bring greetings, to include Mrs. Peggy Johnson, President, North Carolina Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy, and Commander Kevin Stone, North Carolina Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans. Additionally, the Ellis Battery, Northampton Artillery and numerous reenactors will also be in attendance.

A display of Daniel related items and relics will be on display.

The public is invited to this event, and we hope you will attend!

For more information, please visit the General Matt W. Ransom Camp SCV Facebook Page.

Man Seeks Information About Local Company of Soldiers

Flag of the RMM

The Daily HeraldThe Daily Herald (Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina)

January 19, 2016

by Jenny Gray

Article Source

On the morning of April 9, 1865, men from the Roanoke Valley fought in the Battle of Appomattox Court House, the final engagement of the Army of North Virginia before surrendering — and thus ending — the Civil War.

The Confederate capital of Richmond, Va., was lost to the South. Retreat was cut off by Union forces. Losing that morning battle brought General Robert E. Lee to the courthouse that afternoon where he signed the documents of surrender and gave up his sword.

Standing there was the company that included members from Halifax, Warren and Northampton counties. Now an area historian wants to know what made them tick.

Attorney, historian and author, Fred Taylor grew up visiting his grandmother on the banks of the Roanoke River. His forefathers operated Eaton’s Ferry, and somewhere along the line he learned of the Roanoke Minute Men, a Littleton-area militia that formed before the Civil War, and fought in that war from the start to the finish.

“For me personally, I’ve always been a history buff,” Taylor said during a recent visit in which he gathered more research on this militia. “A lot of people think history’s boring. It’s abstract. It happened 100 years ago.”

But that’s not how Taylor said he feels. Following in the footsteps of a family member, he started building on the family genealogy about two decades ago and was hooked.

“All this history comes back to my own family,” he said. “My dad grew up on the Roanoke River, and later, Lake Gaston. My grandfather pulled Eaton’s Ferry.”

Then along came the story of the Roanoke Minute Men and Taylor’s hobby turned into something more serious.

“My first big find was the diary of a soldier during the Civil War, and I was related to him,” Taylor said. “I started reading that and seeing how these guys fit into a bigger story.”

His hunt began in earnest last spring as he read more and more accounts of this band of local soldiers. Taylor has assembled a detailed roster of the Company including individual service records and period letters and accounts from the early day of the company, formed in 1864. He has corresponded with and met Roanoke Minute Men descendants and visited state and local archives, gathering more information.

He learned that the Company was among the first to serve in the Civil War.

“They formed as a militia just before the Civil War and eventually went from Littleton to Weldon, and then over to Garysburg to train,” Taylor said. “One-hundred and forty men ended up serving in the unit.”

Taylor said while his book will include military information, that’s not the goal. Troop movements during the Civil War are well documented, but to get to the heart of his subject, Taylor said he wants to make it personal.

“My preference is not talking about battles or generals; I’d like to know more about these soldiers,” he said.

The initial diary, Taylor added, wasn’t about war, per se. It was about how the soldier felt.

“He talked about love and poetry and there were some religious overtones,” Taylor said of the diary. “I don’t think any soldier can be in battle without getting a little closer to their maker.”

Most of these soldiers had never gone more than a few miles from home, Taylor said, and must have been frightened at times.

“My focus has been trying to emphasize their story — that life of the enlisted soldier who left family and loved ones and marched off hundreds of miles away to face enormous odds,” he added. “I think this sort of veterans’ story strikes a chord with anyone, regardless of age or race or what war we are discussing, or even whether or not they like history.”

To gather information, Taylor travels as often as he can while still managing his law practice in Suffolk, Va. He also has used the Internet, creating a website at: fredonhistory.com/roanoke-minute-men

Taylor, whose roots go back to the Jamestown Colony, also has a Facebook presence at www.facebook.com/roanokeminutemen.

Anyone from the Littleton area will recognize many of the surnames on the list of soldiers: Allen, Bobbitt, Holt, Kearney and Newsom, among others.

“Their average age was about 25 years old; literally every 18 to 40 year old, able-bodied man went,” Taylor said. “I’m gong to tell the big picture but I want these people to speak for themselves. And I want to be able to tell what was going on at home.”

He spoke of one of the company’s members, a black soldier named Hilliard Goings. Taylor said he was close to his fellow soldiers, including Newsom Jenkins.

“He served as a pallbearer at his funeral, and went to all the veterans’ reunions,” Taylor said of Goings. “I want to cover it all, and find the motivation to what prompts a young man to leave home and stability to go fight for four years. And what was the effect of that on their families. … I want to get down into the heart of that.”

So Taylor is asking people to help him find these photographs, diaries and letters. For more information about the Roanoke Minute Men project, or to make submissions to this effort, contact Taylor at roanokeminutemen@gmail.com, telephone at 757-705-0950, or by mail to: 160 West Washington St., Suffolk, VA. 23434. All submissions will be properly credited to the owner, he said.

 

Update on the Roanoke Minute Men Project and a Happy New Year!

First, I would like to wish you all a blessed and prosperous new year as we go into 2016!

Now, for an update that many have been asking for …

When I began the Roanoke Minute Men Project in the spring of 2015, I underestimated the response it would create.  For years, I had “tinkered” with writing a history of Company A or the 14th North Carolina Troops, but had never felt like I could add to the histories already out there in the public (such as, The Anson Guard).   But slowly that changed, as I collected more and more accounts that had previously gone unpublished, or those that took up a mere footnote in some other history text.  That gave me the courage to start my journey, and so I began simply with my rough file of notes, a list of soldiers names, and this website to chart my course publicly.

Since that time, I have managed (part-time) to put together a detailed roster of the Company, to include individual service records, which encompasses on its own eighty-five plus pages of text.  This does not include the background and family history data that I ultimately intend to add.

Additionally, I have now collected and transcribed over a dozen period letters and accounts, ranging from the early days of the Company’s formation through 1864 (still looking for an 1865 letter!)   While a dozen letters may not seem like a lot, I started my journey with only three letters, a diary, and several post-War accounts.  Today, I wrap up the year having gone through and transcribed all of those, and have on hand as I type this FIFTEEN (yes, 15!) more letters sitting on my desk to transcribe.   To say I am excited about the stories these letters tell is an understatement, and this progress has helped to encourage my efforts into the new year.

I have also been blessed to correspond with and meet numerous Roanoke Minute Men descendants and family historians who have shared their own research with me, and have had the opportunity to do research at some of the South’s foremost academic institutions and historical archives.  I can not say enough good things about the staffs at the Rubenstein Library at Duke UniversityWilson Library at UNCState Archives of North Carolina, North Carolina Museum of History, Virginia Historical Society, and countless smaller libraries, local historical societies and courthouses that I have had the pleasure to work with over the past year.

From here, I still have a long way to go before I reach the finished product, but in the meantime please do not forget I am always looking for more letters, diaries, family histories, and images of the soldiers themselves to add to this history and honor the story of those brave veterans of the Roanoke Minute Men.

As always, I thank you all for the assistance, input, and kind words you have provided along the way, and I look forward to “charging on” into the new year!

Regards,

Fred

roanokeminutemen at gmail dot com

 

My Latest Project

PRESS RELEASE

DATE:  March 15, 2015

Re:     Research for new book on veterans from Littleton, North Carolina

In December of 1860, a militia company known as the Roanoke Minute Men formed in Littleton, made up primarily of citizens from Halifax and Warren Counties.  This Company enlisted into state service for North Carolina, and later into the Confederate cause, as Company A, 14th Regiment North Carolina State Troops (formerly the 4th North Carolina Volunteers.)  Throughout four years of bloody conflict, this Company saw action from the early days of the War on the Virginia peninsula all the way to the last shots fired at Appomattox.

While recognized as one of the Tar Heel state’s greatest fighting units, no formal unit history has ever been compiled of the men who served in the Roanoke Minute Men – until now – and this work focuses on rare and previously unpublished letters, diaries, family histories, and service records to tell the story of these brave veterans and their families.

Although substantial progress on the history of the Roanoke Minute Men has already been made, historian Fred D. Taylor hopes to engage public support for his efforts and seeks submission of individual family histories, images of veterans both in uniform and as civilians, war-time accounts, and/or  letters of the men who served in this unit.

Family surnames included in the research of this Company are:  Adams, Ales, Allen, Allsbrook, Aycock, Barkley, Bobbitt, Bolton, Boon, Boswell, Brown, Burge, Burrows, Camp, Carlena, Carroll, Cherry, Clements, Day, Deaton, Eaton, Edmonds, Edwards, Felts or Feltz, Floore, Floyd, Forrest, Goodson, Hardister, Hardy, Harper, Harris, Herbert, Hicks, Holt, House, Hurley, Ingram, Jarrald, Jenkins, Johnston, Kearney, King, Lancaster, Latham, Lewis, Lynch, McCarson, McCaskill, Marlow, Mathews, Moore, Morris(s), Munn, Myrick, Nevill, Newsom, Parsons, Pendergrass, Peterson, Pittard, Pryor, Pugh, Riggan, Roberts, Rodgers, Rooker, Scarlett, Shearin, Tucker, Turner, Vick, Walker, Webb, Williams, Wilson, Wright, Yarbrough, and Yeourns.

For more information about the Roanoke Minute Men project, or to make submissions to this effort, please contact Fred D. Taylor at roanokeminutemen@gmail.com, telephone at 757-705-0950, or by mail to:  160 West Washington Street, Suffolk, Virginia 23434.  All submissions will be properly credited to the owner.

Fred D. Taylor, whose family hails from the Littleton, North Carolina, area, is a native of Virginia, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Old Dominion University, a Juris Doctorate from the Mercer University School of Law, and is an attorney by profession in Suffolk, Virginia.

Andrew Jackson Moseley, 1834-1908

From the memorial speech given by D.W. Taylor at the Confederate gravestone dedication for Andrew Jackson Moseley at Jerusalem United Methodist Church, Wise, Warren County, North Carolina.  

The man whom we are gathered here to commemorate was born on August 11th, 1834 in Brunswick County, Virginia, the second son of Hardaway Moseley (of Brunswick County, Virginia) and Harriet Richardson (of Warren County, North Carolina).  He was named after the military hero and then presiding 7th President of the United States, Andrew Jackson.  Little is known of Andrew Jackson Moseley’s childhood, except that he was raised on a farm that his father ran concurrently with a blacksmith shop.  This proved later to serve as the training ground and course of profession that Andrew was to follow for the remainder of his life.  In 1850, the Moseley family was living just across the Roanoke River in the Gasburg area of Brunswick County, Virginia.  Here, he met and married Margaret Caroline Barner, from the nearby community of Ebony, Virginia on April 2nd, 1856.  Shortly thereafter, Andrew’s father died.  Will records show that Andrew purchased from the estate blacksmith materials and livestock of his father’s shop and farm.  Andrew and Caroline’s first child, Sarah Jane, was born on July 20, 1857.

Tax records of 1859 and 1860 show prosperous growth in assets, indicating the beginning of a successful career.  The 1859 records showed that Andrew had 14 livestock valued at $10, 1 clock valued at $5, a $75 horse (rather valuable for the time), and miscellaneous household items worth $50, for which he paid a county tax of $1.36.  The next year, he had obviously re-accessed his career course, directing his efforts toward blacksmithing, as he had sold all of his livestock and invested a considerable amount of his gain into the purchase of a servant to assist in his business.  That year’s tax records shows that he had, in addition to the servant, a horse (or mule) valued at a much lower $20, no livestock, and the same household items as the year before, but at a tax value of $2.34 (almost double that of the previous year).  This however, may not have been a completely wise decision, as the next few years would not only change his financial situation, but would change his homeland and way of life forever.

By April of 1860, a second child, my great-grandmother (Elizabeth Barner Moseley) was born.  Little could Andrew have known at the time that just 364 days later the political upheaval at national and state levels would reach a crest and the most devastating war in our history would break out.  Also, he could not have known that the two states in which he was to call home would be shattered with greater losses in blood and property than any states before or since that time.

Now with five mouths to feed, and another child on the way, Andrew saw his brother-in-law and many of his friends and neighbors marching off to war.  Undoubtedly like many others of the time, he was torn between his patriotic duties and his immediate family responsibilities.  Nevertheless, he had a skill that was in high demand in the South, as virtually every item of war and survival of an economy must now be made at home.  Thus, Andrew continued on with his blacksmith business for another year.

But the tide of war was nothing like the slight scuffle expected in the beginning, and the troops signed up for a year were beginning to realize that the Federal Government of the United States was a formidable adversary.  Military needs now outweighed economic needs and Andrew was faced with decision to leave his home and family and join the call of his State and Country.  By the time Andrew J. Moseley had joined the Confederate Army, his regiment was a veteran organization of 16 months service, having been originated as a militia company in December 1860 around a nucleus of well-to-do Richmond men.  That company grew rapidly as the threat of war loomed greater.   Twice it was called into action due to suspected threats of attack, and it was twice shelled by Federal gunboats, prior to being formed with other companies and mustered into official service as the 21st Virginia Infantry, in June of 1861.  The remaining companies being comprised of men from Brunswick, Charlotte, Mecklenburg, Cumberland, Buckingham, Pittsylvania, Prince Edward, and Nottoway Counties in Virginia, and the City of Baltimore, Maryland.

The initial officers led by Colonel (later General) William Gilham consisted in part of Lt. Col. John M. Patton, Jr. (Great Uncle of WWII General George S. Patton, III) and the later famous publisher, as Sgt. Major, Virginius Dabney.

Like in most military units, both North and South, hard marching, unsanitary conditions, disease of epidemic proportion and insufficient commissary services immediately began to take a toll on the men.  Just as the men began to toughen and to think that they had survived the worse, they were assigned in November to General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s Brigade.  It was with this brigade, made famous by Jackson’s rapid marches up and down the Shenandoah Valley, surprising and confusing the enemy, that they became known as “Jackson’s Foot Cavalry”.  Their hard marching changed to hard fighting on Sunday, March 23, 1862, where Jackson’s men met Gen. Nathan Bank’s superior force of Federal troops at Kernstown, Virginia, just 2 miles from Winchester.  Here, the 21st Virginia lost 60 men, 22% of the regiment, with one officer killed and four officers wounded, including one of Andrew’s in-laws, Thomas J. Barner, who was wounded in this battle.  Many officers were spared in this conflict as they were at the moment absent on recruiting service.

One such officer was Captain A. D. Kelly, who just three days later, on March 26, signed up Andrew Jackson Moseley, his brother John D. Moseley and a number of their friends into service at Rock Store in Gholsonville, Brunswick County, Virginia.  Given less than one week to set their personal affairs in order and bid their families good-by, the new recruits marched off to meet their new comrades on April 4th.  Andrew’s third child, Bob Moseley, was now just 5 months old.

Andrew and John had just joined their command (as volunteers) when the army was reorganized on April 21st, setting up for the duration of a long drawn out war.  (Incidentally, brother John was back in Brunswick County on April 20th to marry Caroline’s sister and the namesake of Andrews first child, Mary Jane Barner).

Their first trial by fire came on May 8th when they were involved in the Battle of McDowell on Bull Pasture Mountain.  Fortunately, here and later in the Battle of Winchester, the unit suffered little harm, although in the Battle of Winchester they were under heavy artillery and musket fire for over 90 minutes.

Their next duty had them marching prisoners of war up the valley (southward) and then traveling by rail to Lynchburg.  Returning to regular duty, the 21st marched northward along the eastern ridge of the mountains to Charlottesville, where they reattached to their command.

They then looped northeastward to unite with Generals Longstreet and A. P. Hill in support of General Lee’s counter-offensive style defense of Yankee Gen. George McClellan’s Peninsular Campaign in his attempt to take Richmond.  Jackson’s men, now, too well equipped with guns, equipment, and clothing captured at Winchester, for once failed their well-earned reputation as “foot cavalry”, arriving late for each in the series of battles known of as the Seven Days Battles.  Nevertheless, they provided the needed backup support to assure victory for the South, and because of their strenuous trek, Jackson’s men were marched back to Richmond and granted one whole day’s leave.

With a few short rests during the remainder of June and July, Jackson entered headlong into a major battle on August 9th, driving between portions of the Union Army of the Potomac at Cedar Mountain.  After two hours of hard fighting, the 21st Virginia found themselves virtually surrounded by the enemy after the 1st Virginia Battalion on their left flank was routed.  One officer of the 21st reported that “The enemy got in our rear (with)in thirty steps of us before we found it out.”  Regardless, according to Gen. Wm. B. Taliaferro’s official report, “The 21st Virginia Regiment, ….poured a destructive fire upon the enemy and exhibited a degree of heroic gallantry rarely ever witnessed.”  With rifles empty and no time to reload, one of the rare moments of actual hand-to-hand combat followed, with the bayonet freely being used.  This may have been the 21st’s finest hour, but also, the most tragic, with a 50% casualty rate including the loss of their Lt. Col., Richard Cunningham.  Needless to say, the unit fell apart under the tremendous pressure and many men were captured, some of them reportedly being killed after their surrender.

For Andrew Moseley and his surviving comrades, this was a prelude for things to come.  On the 30th of August, in what was to become known as Second Manassas, the 21st Virginia was being held in reserve due to the lack of ammunition.  About 4:00 pm, the Federals stormed their position and the regiment was ordered to charge with empty guns.  Using a railroad cut as natural fortifications, and with only bayonets, rocks and rifles as clubs, they drove back the charge. Two days later, the 21st fought in the nearby Battle of Chantilly in a thunderstorm with torrential rain.  With this the 21st VA headed toward Maryland and the Battle of Sharpsburg.  Andrew, however, headed toward Richmond, Va., and hospitals there disabled from a gunshot wound.  It is not known which of the battles he was wounded in, as the first record shows him in Richmond on September 4th, where he stayed until furloughed home to Brunswick Co., on November 4th through December 29th, 1862.  Incidentally, Jones Clary, the man who was later to be Andrew’s second father-in-law was killed sometime during these same battles.

Despite hand to hand combat and a gunshot wound, the most trying time of his life came during this furlough, as his first child, Sara Jane died on December 14th, just before Christmas.  Returning to Richmond as required, records show Andrew debilitated and hospitalized until March of 1863, when he was declared unfit for further military service.  Though remaining on the 21st VA rolls, on March 23rd, Andrew was detailed by special orders from the Adj. & Inspector General’s Office, CSA to work in Tredegar Iron Works for the remainder of the war.  Again applying his trade as blacksmith, Andrew assisted in the manufacture of Cannon and other equipment for the Confederacy.

Whether by nature of injury or due to special skill it is not known, but about this time, Andrew’s brother, John, was detailed to work in a government shoe factory in Richmond.  Whether they were able to take their families to Richmond, it is, also, not known, but due to the severe shortage in living quarters, shortage of food, and high inflation, it is suspected that the families would have been better off in their home county.  If so, they probably would have been able to visit one another occasionally.  Anyway, Andrew and Caroline’s 3rd child, Allen, was born in November of 1863.

In Richmond, both Andrew and John were assigned to Company C, 6th Battalion of Local Defense, (later consolidated with the 2nd Battalion, forming the 2nd Regiment Infantry, Local Defense) which was made up of detached military and civil servants for the protection of the Capital City.  This force drilled regularly, and served local military needs as arose, but were fortunate in only being called into a couple of minor alarms on the outskirts of the city.  Their last assignment, however, was that of evacuating Richmond on that fateful day of April 3rd, 1865 when General Lee began his retreat to Appomattox.

Brother John apparently became permanently ill (possibly due to previous wounds) while in Richmond, as records indicate he requested retirement less than a month before Richmond fell.  Unfortunately, neither the request nor its reply survived the burning and subsequent evacuation of Richmond.  However, such a request would have been deemed serious, considering his age, marital status and the tide of war in which he was assigned to service.  Both Andrew and John returned to Brunswick County after the war, but John apparently never recovered from his illness or wound as he passed away on October 27th, 1866.

Andrew and Caroline returned to civilian life during the fateful period of Reconstruction.  During this time, however, they were blessed with two more children, Willie Cleveland, and James Turner.  Unfortunately, to close out this fateful chapter in history, Caroline Barner Moseley passed away in January of 1870, and her Sister Mary Jane Barner Moseley died (of consumption) a short time later in 1871, each leaving small children.

Regrouping his life, in October of 1873, Andrew took a new bride, Susan Clary (daughter of aforementioned Jones Clary) and moved to Warren Co., NC.  There, he assumed the position of overseer on the John Boyd, Jr. Plantation, located on the Eaton’s Ferry/Vaughan road.  Here Andrew supervised the farming operation, a general store, a cotton gin and ran a blacksmith shop, while Susan took care of their already large family.  In their spare time, Andrew and Susan increased their family size by seven more children.  First to arrive of the new union, was Nick (born in 1874), then Foote (born in 1876), Wilson (born in 1878, but whom presumably died at a young age).  Joe was born in 1881, but some relief came to the number of mouths to feed that year.  Sometime around 1880, a young widower from Brunswick County, by the name of Benjamin Ball Taylor, came to work as a farm hand, for Andrew.   Needless to say, he fell in love with the farmer’s daughter and they ran off and were married in 1881.  Andrew and Susan continued their family, possibly they felt it would be more cost effective to raise their on farm help.  Anyway the next to be born was Mary J. in 1885, followed by John Edward in 1891 and finally Thomas J. in 1893.

Sometime after this point disaster struck again, as Susan passed away, possibly during childbirth. We know little of Andrew’s situation with this large family at this point, except that the older children were reaching adulthood and setting out on their own.  Bob was married in 1894 and, both Allen and James began careers in the Navy. Clearly, he still had ties with Brunswick Co., as some of his children married and settled in that area.  It is not known where Susan and Wilson are buried, but it is possible that they were buried on the Boyd plantation, as there was an old cemetery near the Boyd house.  However, none of those graves had markers other than regular field stones.

Further, at this point John Boyd, Jr. had apparently been unsuccessful in maintaining his wealth, as he reportedly fancied (too well) the aristocrat life of the antebellum south.  The vast holdings began to crumble around him and by 1900, the property was purchased by Archer Wilson and Wiley Coleman.  Also, sometime before1900, Andrew had again gathered up his children and started afresh; this time in the community of Paschal, NC, where he again opened a blacksmith shop just a short distance from where we are now standing.  Not to be a widower long, he once again married, this time to a young widow herself, Annie Perkinson Williams, with two young children, Rosa Ann and John Robert Williams.  Together, they had two more children, Macon Gibbons in 1904 and Herbert Glen in 1906.

On February 21st , 1908, at the age of 76, Andrew Jackson Moseley passed away, or to paraphrase the words of his fearless leader and General, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, he “passed over the river to rest on the other side”. 

Andrew Jackson Moseley was a faithful husband, suffering through the deaths of two mates before leaving his last mate in death.  He was a proud father to fifteen children of his own and two step-children.  And, he was a tireless provider, serving his family and serving his country, working until his death in the profession taught by his father.