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Fayette County Civil War Soldiers
of the
Twenty-first Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry
by Carl Ingwalson
Historical information, notes & comments, in some cases correcting the record. Soldier biographies written by Carl Ingwalson.  Carl will do look-ups in his extensive records of the 21st Iowa and he is always willing to share what he has.

Samuel Wallace Moore was the oldest of ten children born to Rev. William and Catherine (Robbins) Moore. He was born on June 18, 1838 (according to his wife and two biographies), in Hookstown, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Over a period of several years, the family emigrated from Pennsylvania to Ohio, Wisconsin and finally, in 1854, to Illyria Township in Fayette County.

Samuel received a common-school education and early in life showed a great interest in religion. He was only seventeen years old when he joined his father’s church. Three years later he began preaching. Licensed as a preacher in the United Brethren Church, Rev. Moore was assigned to a circuit in Linn County and spent a year traveling. On July 3, 1861, he married Mary Dresser. Their only child died in infancy.

During the Civil War, infantry regiments had ten companies each with a Captain, 1st Lieutenant, 2nd Lieutenant, five ranks of Sergeant and eight ranks of Corporal. On August 14, 1862, twenty-four-year-old Rev. Moore became 1st Corporal Moore when he enlisted in the army. Enlisting at the same time as a 3rd Sergeant was his brother-in-law Josiah Hardy who had married Samuel’s sister, Mary Jane, in 1860.

On August 22nd, they and ninety-five other men were mustered in at Dubuque’s Camp Franklin as Company D. On September 9th, ten companies were mustered in as the state’s 21st regiment of volunteer infantry. On a rainy September 16th, they walked through town to the levee at the foot of Jones Street and boarded the sidewheel steamer Henry Clay and two barges tied alongside. Due to low water at Montrose, they transferred to the Hawkeye State, reached St. Louis on the 20th, left by rail on the 21st and arrived in Rolla the next morning.

They left Rolla on October 18th and walked south to Salem, Houston, Hartville and, after a wagon train was attacked on November 24th, back to the more secure Houston. That’s where they were on December 12th when David Jewell was discharged due to a spinal problem and Sam Moore was promoted to 5th Sergeant to fill the vacancy. They were still there on January 1st when Sam was promoted to 3rd Sergeant to take the place of his brother-in-law Josiah Hardy who was jumped from 3rd to 1st Sergeant.

On January 8, 1863, they learned that a Confederate force under John Marmaduke was advancing on Union forces in Springfield. A relief force was quickly assembled (twenty-five volunteers and one officer from each company) with Lieutenant Colonel Dunlap to command them. They were joined by a similar number from the 99th Illinois. Unaware that Marmaduke had attacked Springfield on the 8th and then moved in their direction, the relief force left Houston on the 9th and, on the night of the 10th, camped along Wood’s Fork of the Gasconade River. Camped nearby was Marmaduke. On the morning of the 11th, bugles alerted each to the other’s presence, there was brief skirmishing and they then moved to nearby Hartville where a battle was fought for most of the day. Regimental casualties included three killed in action, one who would die the next day and at least thirteen with wounds that were less severe. Sam Moore was one of the volunteers from Company D and sustained a slight arm wound.

The Hartville detail rejoined those who had stayed in Houston and, on January 27th, the regiment started a movement south to West Plains. Sam and Josiah were among the sick who were left behind but, by the time a special muster was taken on April 10th, they were both present at Milliken’s Bend where General Grant was organizing a three-corps army to capture Vicksburg. The corps including the 21st Iowa started south along the west side of the river on the 12th. Sam was present, but Josiah was absent and on board the hospital steamer Nashville. Josiah would soon be admitted to the Lawson General Hospital in St. Louis, while Sam continued with the regiment and, on May 1, 1863, participated in the Battle of Port Gibson. They were held in reserve during the Battle of Champion’s Hill on the 16th, but were among the first to arrive at the Big Black River on the 17th where entrenched Confederates hoped to keep a large railroad bridge open long enough for all of their comrades to cross. Colonel Merrill of the 21st Iowa, Colonel Kinsman of the 23d Iowa, Henry Howard and Sam Moore discussed an assault. On May 30, 1899, Merrill recalled the assault in letter to his sister:

At Black River bridge, I was in command a part of the time of a Brigade consisting of the 21st, 22nd and 23rd Iowa and 99th Illinois and 2nd Iowa Battery. Col. Kinsman of the 23rd Iowa and myself were ordered to prepare to charge the ‘Rebel Works.’ They consisted of water in front of earth works and trees cut down and the limbs cut pointed, requiring slow work to separate the pointed limbs, wade the creek and mount the earth works. Colonel Kinsman and myself, my adjutant Howard and Sergeant Moore, the latter a Methodist Clergyman, were consulting as to the plans of the charge, Colonel Kinsman to the right and my regiment to the left. Before we four separated Sergeant Moore gently struck up the tune of Old Hundred, ‘Be Thou O God Exalted High,’ and all of us, quartett [sic], joined, my Adjutant Howard, a broad chested young man with a grand old bass, all singing tenderly. It was one of the most impressive and solemn scenes of my life time, but sadder things were to follow. Before I gave the order to charge the works, Sergeant Moore was shot in the neck and lay dead. In ten minutes our commands were struggling to capture the Works. In less than an hour Col. Kinsman, Adjutant Howard and myself lay near each other in the care of surgeons. Both Col. Kinsman and Adjutant Howard died before morning, and myself left to tell the sad story. I have rarely told this except to the Regiment at our Reunions. It seems too sad to talk about, but after thirty-six years it is like yesterday to me.

Eight days after the assault, Josiah Hardy, still in the St. Louis hospital, died from the effects of chronic diarrhea. Josiah is buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. Like some of the others killed at the Big Black, Samuel Moore was likely buried locally and reinterred in the Vicksburg National Cemetery after the war as one of the cemetery’s many “Unknowns.”

On June 13, 1863, Samuel’s widow, twenty-year-old Mary, signed a handwritten application for a widow’s pension indicating she was still living in Illyria Township, but received her mail at the post office in Highland, Clayton County. Witnessing the application were Samuel’s father and Mary Hardy, widow of Josiah. On January 4, 1864, Mary was admitted to the rolls at a rate of $8.00 per month, payable quarterly. In March, she received her husband’s final pay and the $75.00 balance of his enlistment bounty.

Rev. William Moore, Samuel’s father, died on April 27, 1873. Samuel’s mother, Catherine Moore, died on September 17, 1907. They are buried in Illyria Cemetery. No further information has been found about Mary E. (Dresser) Moore, Samuel’s widow, but she was young when he died and it seems likely that she remarried.

~ Compiled & Contributor: Carl Ingwalson
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