Letter – William Moore, 23 July 1863


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Copy of letter written by Private William S. Moore of Company B, 40th TN Infantry, to his wife from Tuscumbia, AL. At the top of the letter is a note written by Moore’s granddaughter, Elsie Moore Guinn, stating that this is a copy of the original letter sent to her grandmother the day before Moore was executed after he was convicted of being a spy for the north.

Moore informs his wife that he is sentenced to be shot the next morning, and that this will be his last letter. He writes that he is not yet ready to meet his God, but will spend what few hours he has to live praying. He has requested the provost to leave his body where his friends may retrieve it, as he wants to be buried with his siblings. Moore vehemently declares his innocence and signs the emotional letter, “Wm. S. Moore, a condemned soldier.”

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Tuscumbia, Alabama

July 23rd, 1863

Mrs. W.S. Moore

Dear Alcy:

It is through a great tribulation and aching heart and trembling hand in order I take to write to you this evening and inform you of the condition I am in. Dearly and much beloved Alcy, how can I bear to pen down to you this evening that I am condemned to be shot. Dear Companion, this is the last letter I expect I shall ever have the chance to write to you in this world. You must do the best you can for yourself and our sweet little children. I shall never see them nor you any more, nut I want you to remember me when i am gone and not bring any one over our little children.

You can bring them up in the way they should go. Tell my blessed old Father and Mother to remember me when i am gone. This will be great terror to them I know, but there is no remedy for me. I must go. Farewell vain world, I am going to my long home in a few hours. Dear friends, it is impossible for me to describe my feelings at this dread and awful moment; as yet I am not satisfied to meet my God, but what few hours I have to live, I shall spend in praying and supplication to Almighty God. I feel like there is a change with me, but I want to feel more reconciled to my God, the Great I Am, of Heaven and earth. I want all my friends and relatives to live in the discharge of their duties that are enjoined upon them and try and make their way to Heaven. I am sorry to leave you all, I love you so well, I love you dearly, but I shall never see you again.

I requested the provost to have my body placed where my friends could get it. I want to be buried by my brother and sister. Oh, how I long to be with those in health is more than I can describe, but woe, woe is me.

Long before this you can see, I’ll be in eternity. Great God, can it be possible that a poor innocent man must be killed! O, God forbid that these things should be.

Dear loving Wife, I want you to try and take care of all those things that are left, and apply them to yours and the children’s benefit as best you can. I want you to love them and teach them to love one another, and educate them as well as you can. Oh; dear loving Wife, the great of great of my affections, how often I have

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thought of you since I left you last Thursday morning, and the tears I have shed since then is almost a fountain; and how often I have thought of my thoughts and feelings.

Dear Love, when I shook hands with you, I felt like it would be the last time, and now I am sure it is the last time. Farewell, Dear Wife, remember me when I am gone. Oh, if I could be with you a little while and commune with you, what satisfaction it would be to me, Alcy. I want you to move back to the old place, and tell Father I want him to see that my children do not suffer for anything to eat.

I must close my last words to you; it breaks my heart, children, farewell. Farewell, loving wife, farewell father and mother, farewell, brother and sister.

William S. Moore

Oh, how can I quite writing when this is the only way I can say anything to my blessed wife and sweet little children that are so near and so dear to me.

Oh, wife, tkae care of this letter, and read it often for my sweet children that have been so good to me, and so kind to me. Oh, dearest kindly Wife, I shall remember you to the last moment of my life. My heart is broken. I am sick and faint. My doom is nigh at hand.

Farewell, beloved wife and sweet little children that are so near my heart. Farewell, farewell, to Alcy Moore and Family.

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Wm. S. Moore

A Condemned Soldier

Tuscumbia, Ala.

July 23rd, 1863

Wm. S. Moore

Letter – Cecil Fogg, 14 August 1863


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Letter written by Private Cecil Fogg of Company B, 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to his father from University Point, TN. Fogg expects to move soon across the Tennessee River. There are rumors of peace, but most think it will take more time for the Confederates to accept the terms set by Abraham Lincoln. Fogg writes that he enlisted due to a “hatred of the South and a desire to end slavery,” and can fight for his country with a clear conscience now that slavery is nearly abolished. He describes an artillery accident involving the 21st Indiana Battery and that a deserter, Thomas McClasky, was sentenced to be shot.

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University Point, Tenn. Aug. 14th [1863]


     I rec’d yours of the 1st a few days ago. I expected we would be moving on before this time, we are expecting to move at any time. It is reported here that part of the Army is moving now. It is thought here that when we move we will cross the Tennessee River. Some men here, with more money than brains, are betting that peace is declared. But the most of us think it will take another month or two, like July has been with the Rebs, before they will come to Lincoln’s terms; though they are coming to it slowly in places. We are all Grant men in this

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army; that is unconditional surrender before peace. As much as we would like to see peace, when I volunteered, it was not so much patriotism as it was hatred of the South and a desire to help end slavery. But now that slavery is about disposed of, I think that I can fight for my country the 3rd year with a clear conscience. I think you were lucky in not losing anything by Morgan. It is the best plan to stay at home in such an emergency, and not run off and leave any thing alone. If they find a house deserted, 10 to 1 they will destroy everything in it. When, if the owner had been there, it might probably have been saved. I know that is the case in the South, and

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from what I can learn, that is the way Morgan’s men done in Ohio. The 21st Indiana Battery in this brigade met with a serious accident one day last week. They had taken out the ammunition from the caisson to dry, and was so careless as to leave some fire in a tree only a rod or two off. Some of the fire blew in among the powder and set it off. There were 3 piles of shell and canister, about 50 loads in each pile – 2 lbs. of powder to each load. It wounded 7 men. One of them died the next day. It is a great wonder that more were not killed. The canister shot were scattered all around over camp like hail. I was sitting in my tent about 20 rods off, and could feel the wind strike against me very sensibly. I looked up

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and just then the 2nd pile went off. The blaze of it went as high as the tree tops, and it was the loudest report that I ever heard. Our new general (Turchin) is getting very popular with us. He has issued an order regulating the price of produce which the citizens bring into camp to sell. The have to sell apples, peaches, and potatoes at $1.25 per bushel now. They used to ask double that. We hear that Thos. McClasky of Morgan[‘s raiders] (a deserter from this co.) has been taken and sentenced to be shot. We have 670 men in our regt. now. It is to be filled up to 1,000 by conscripts. They will be here in a short time. We have had some very warm weather since we came to this camp, but it is cooler up here than where we camped last. Deserters are coming in nearly every day from Chattanooga.                           

Cecil Fogg

Cecil Fogg enlisted in Company B of the 36th OH Volunteer Infantry on August 12, 1861 at Marietta, OH at the age of 20. He served through his three year term of service and re-enlisted for the war, but was mustered out July 27, 1865 based upon a surgeon’s certificate of disability. The 36th served in West Virginia in 1861, and participated in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam as a part of the 9th Corps before being transferred west in January 1863. As a part of the Army of the Cumberland’s 14th Army Corps (George H. Thomas), the regiment fought at Chickamauga and later in the Atlanta and Savannah, GA (March to the Sea) Campaigns.