Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements

Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life

By: Ethelene Dyer Jones

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Christopher Columbus Moore Served the Confederacy and the Union (Moore Family, Part 4)

With a name like Christopher Columbus Moore, the third child of nine born to Albert and Sarah McClure Moore must have been destined for a noticeable life in his future. Perhaps like his namesake, who discovered America in 1492, Christopher Columbus Moore (born May 2, 1843 in North Carolina, died September 26, 1920 in Towns County, Georgia) would lead a life worth notice.

When the Civil War broke out, Christopher Columbus Moore was still at home with his parents in the Woods Grove Community of Towns County. He helped his father work on the farm. The political climate in this northern county was both pro-South and pro-Union, with sentiments largely favoring the latter. Few slaves were owned by farmers who, at best, had only small holdings in cultivated acreage.

Christopher Columbus Moore probably walked from his home at Woods Grove to the county seat town of Hiawassee. There, on March 1, 1862, he enlisted in the Confederate Army, joining Company E, 52nd Regiment, Georgia Infantry. For whatever reasons, whether his political leanings or dissatisfaction that he might have been defending slavery, “Lum” Moore (as he was known) was found to be away-without-leave from his regiment several times. Not so good a record, especially for anyone who might have thought of receiving a good conduct medal.

He was at the Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and there he was taken a prisoner of war by the Union on July 4, 1863, along with others in the command of Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton, Confederate States of America. Evidently plans were in the works to allow any of the imprisoned Southern soldiers who would do so sign an oath of allegiance not to take up arms again against the United States, and thus be released from prison. Christopher Columbus Moore signed the vow of allegiance and was released as a prisoner of war on July 6, 1863, only two days after his capture. He was no doubt still in pain at the time he was imprisoned and released. Lum Moore lost his right forefinger in fighting at Vicksburg—a very useful finger to lose.

Following his release at Vicksburg, he probably returned home to Woods Grove for awhile. But then, whether because of his loyalty to the Union or because he could be paid for his services if he enlisted, Christopher Columbus Moore journeyed to Cleveland, Tennessee where he signed up for a year in the U. S. Army on August 5, 1864. Where he served and in what battles is unknown to this writer, but before his year of enlistment was up, the war had ended. Christopher Columbus Moore was discharged from the Union Army at Nashville, Tennessee on July 16, 1865. Evidently his two enlistments were not something he wanted to discuss. Descendants note that their grandfather was silent about the war for the rest of his life.

The same year as his discharge from the Union Army, Christopher Columbus Moore and Mary Elizabeth Swanson were married on December 14, 1865. Her parents were Anderson Clifton and Mary Brown Swanson. She had been born June 29, 1840, the eldest of the Swanson children. Her parents had migrated from Wilkes County, NC to Union County, Georgia in 1849. Lum Moore’s father-in-law had also served as a blacksmith in the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Christopher Columbus Moore and Mary Elizabeth Swanson Moore had eight children:

(1) James (01/07/1867) married Sadie Boyd and Sallie Williams
(2) William Hannibal (04/10/1868) married Jennie Wood
(3) Laveda (04/06/1870) married Albert Welborn
(4) John Andrew (12/25/1871) married Emily E. Teem
(5) Lillie (10/25/1873) married William Nicholson
(6) Lola (10/20/1875) married John Philyaw;
(7) George (04/21/1879) married Pearl Parker
(8) Thomas Arthur (04/09/1882) married Mae Johnson

As we learned from Part 3 of this Moore Family story, Christopher Columbus Moore and his wife Emily looked after his parents in the declining years of their lives, as Lum’s father had specified when he deeded him land along Long Bullet Creek, Towns County, “for taking care of Albert Moore and his wife Sarah and keeping as part of the family during their natural life.” This contract Lum and Emily Moore faithfully kept until Albert died in 1897 and Sarah died in 1899.

The old Civil War veteran of two sides, Lum Moore, lived mainly in Towns County for the remainder of his life, engaging in farming and perhaps harvesting timber from some of his acreage. But there were two brief periods when this couple lived elsewhere. For five years they lived in Habersham County, Georgia at a place called Arnold’s Mill. They also lived briefly in Macon County, North Carolina. Each move may have been because of living nearer some of their married children.

But they moved back to Woods Grove to live out their days. It is interesting that a post office once operated from the old homestead of Lum Moore’s father, and this post office was not called Moore—after the people who lived on that land—and not Woods Grove, as the community then and since has been known, but the post office that operated there for a decade from 1890-1900 was Campagne, Georgia.

Christopher Columbus Moore and Mary Elizabeth Swanson Moore died two months apart—he on September 26, 1920 and she on December 29, 1920. Their marked graves are in the Woods Grove Cemetery, Towns County, Georgia.

c2011 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Feb. 24, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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