(Submitted & Transcribed by Mary Rhodes)
Col Stephen Moore
A Brief Description of his Life as a Public and Private Citizen
Aug 31, 1891 Wellsville Daily Reporter
Col. Stephen Moore, whose death occurred at his home in this village on Saturday morning, August 29, was born in New Brunswick, N.J. on February 19, 1821. He was one of five children born to Capt. Stephen Moore of that city, all of whom have passed across the river.
His father dying while he was still a young boy, his school days were cut short and at the age of fourteen he entered a store where he served a faithful apprenticeship and continued in business life for twenty six years.
When the war broke out he was a commanding officer of the state militia and was one of the first to offer his service to his country. At the first call, he enlisted for three months and was commissioned as Lieut. Col. of the 3rd, New Jersey militia. At the first Bull Run battle he saved in the panic and retreat the large train of supplies and ammunition in his charge. In his own language, the Col. referring to the incident said, “That on the 16th of July ’61 he was detailed by General Runyon commander of the N.Y. Brigade with a command of 500 men from the 3rd regiment N.J. Vol. to guard an ammunition and provision train from Alexandria to the headquarters of the army at Centreville. I turned over the train in safety at Centreville and was then ordered back with a train of 150 wagons and 15 rebel prisoners. The train I turned over to the Quartermaster department and the prisoners to Gen. Runyon. On the following Sunday July 21st, I was ordered to proceed to army headquarters at Bull Run with a train of 150 loaded wagons. Nine miles from Alexandria I met the retreating forces and was ordered to return to Alexandria with my train and command, by order of Gen. McDowell which was done without loss or accident of any kind.”
At the close of the three months service the Col. returned to New Brunswick, settled up his business matters and enlisted two companies for the 11th New Jersey Volunteers. He was commissioned Lieut. Col. of this regiment, August 1863. He was with his command in every engagement from this time up to and including the battle of Chancellorsville which occurred on the 23rd of May 1863 where 184 out of 400 of his regiment were killed and wounded. Col. Moore was reported killed, but after two weeks of uncertainty and suffering by wife and children, a line on the margin of a newspaper was received with the good news that the husband and father was still among the living. It appears as only by a miracle that he was saved, for his faithful horse was shot just as he fell from its back. He was in fact, prostrated by a sun stroke, from the effects of which he never fully recovered. In a personal letter from Gen. Joseph B. Carr he was complimented for his coolness and bravery in this battle, who regretted the necessity of his retirement from active service, but said “It must ever be a source of gratification to you to know that your affliction was contracted while gallantly performing your duty under a raking and murderous fire, of the consequences of which you appeared to be utterly regardless.
In the fall of 1863 he entered the Veteran Reserve Corps and was commissioned as Major. He held command of Sherburne Barracks at Washington for three months. He served in varied official positions in the Prisons Barracks at Elmira from October 1st 1864 to July 26th, 1865, at the close of the war. During that time 12,121 rebel prisoners were under his charge. In this position, Col. Moore had abundant testimonials to his efficiency as organizer, disciplinarian and commander in the difficult duties which were incumbent upon him. He made the Prison Camp a model of order and neatness. As far as he could he ameliorated the necessary hardships of the prisoners and was ever the honest administrator and the faithful guard of the interests of the government. His record was without a blot, a record that citizen and soldier might alike be proud to earn. From Elmira he returned to his home in New Brunswick where he remained some ten months, when he was ordered to report for service to Gen. O. O. Howard, then in command of the Freemans’ Bureau at New Berne N. C. In May 1866 he was sent to Gen. Ruger at Salisbury, N. C. in the western district, but in a few months was transferred to the department of Gen. Robinson and was stationed at New Berne, where he remained two and one half years, until the Bureau came to an end in January 1869. His duties in this eastern district of North Carolina were intricate and difficult, including as they did the settlement of claims to abandoned plantations and the embarrassing relations between the freedman and their old masters. He was very successful in his work however, and received a splendid testimonial to his fidelity in the shape of a beautiful silver service of some sixteen pieces from the prominent citizens of New Berne. On the 1st of January 1869, he was honorably discharged with rank of Lieut. Col. of the 16th Regt. V.R.C.
In the same year he took charge of the Grove Spring House of Lake Keuka, where he remained seven years. He came to Wellsville in 1876. Was in charge of the Fassett House four years and of the Moore House, (now Commercial) three years. For the last eight years he has been quietly living at his home on Main Street. During these fifteen years the citizens of Wellsville have learned to esteem and honor Col. Moore for his many noble qualities. They all have found him a man quiet, unassuming, retiring, loving home and family, generous and considerate of the feeling of others and always ready with a kind word. He was truly a courtly and refined gentleman in manners and in heart. He was of essential kindliness of disposition. He was staunchly patriotic in feeling, as honorably became a soldier of the Great Republic and the pulse of the old time soldierly instinct ever beat warm and true. He was interested in the organization of the Dexter Post G. A. R. of Wellsville and was unanimously elected its first Commander, which honor his health compelled him gratefully to decline.
The passing years have each drawn from the slender capital of his life force and of late he has failed rapidly, until the end came, Saturday, the 29th of August, 1891.
His passing was as he might have wished. He had faithful loving care and tenderness, and was among those dearest to him. He suffered no pain and passed through no strife or struggle of dying, and his fellow soldiers escorted him to the tomb.
Col. Moore leaves a wife and five children to mourn his loss, Mrs. Wm. Smith of New York City, Mrs. Charles Tharp, Miss Nellie Moore, Thad C. and Stephen Moore of this village.