Charlie and John Moore papers  1839-1864
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The John and Charlie Moore papers (15 items) contain the letters of two cousins serving as captains in the 5th Engineers, Corps d'Afrique, writing to John's father in Hartford, Connecticut. The collection falls into two distinct parts, the first of which includes nine letters written by John Moore, covering his training at Camp Lyon in Connecticut, to his transport and arrival at Ship Island. John Moore's letters are generally well-written, suggesting that he was well educated, however his descriptions of Camp Lyon are routine, focusing mainly on food and requests for stockings, books (James Fenimore Cooper's The Spy and The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish), and other daily needs. Two letters stand out: one describing the unpleasant journey to Ship Island aboard the Steamer Fulton (1862 May 3-5), and another desribing the wildlife that he and his fellow soldiers encountered around Ship Island while gathering logs for construction (1862 March 29).

Moore had trepidations about becoming ill in the South, and on June 16, 1862, he wrote that he had become lame and was being considered for a medical discharge. The presence of an additional letter from Moore, dated April 17, 1864, suggests that he did not receive a discharge. By that time, Moore had been commissioned as Captain in the 5th Engineers, Corps d'Afrique (later designated as the 99th U.S.C.T.), and was involved in Banks' Red River Campaign.

Charlie Moore is less articulate than John, and the letters he wrote while an officer in the 99th U.S. Infantry (Colored) were written while stationed in relatively calm New Orleans. Most of Charlie's five letters discuss bad news he received of Banks' campaign, and rumors of good news of Grant's success in the east. Moore's company appears to have spent much its time overseeing "contrabands" who were working plantations.

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