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Alfred Moore Diary

Identifier: MSN/CW 8010

Scope and Contents

A manuscript diary of Confederate States Army lieutenant Alfred Moore, written in 1864-65 as a member of Co. I, 11th Virginia Cavalry. The Moore diary (16 cm.) is a volume of the familiar daily calendar type, bound in blue oilcloth and bearing the printed title Pocket Diary for 1864. An inscription on the back pastedown reads "A. Moore Lt / Co I 11th Va Cav / Dec 31st 1864". Though no other owner's inscription is present, scattered entries in a second hand indicate that the volume was originally the property of a Federal trooper, an unidentified member of the 1st D.C. Cavalry (US). The first of the original owner's entries is for 29 February 1864: "6 Companies [apparently G, H, I, K, L, and M] of the 1st D C Cavelry Embarked from Agusta This morning for Washington" (these companies were organized in Maine in February 1864; hence the departure from Augusta). The only other entries in the Union trooper's hand are for 11 July and 30 July to 5 August 1864, mostly describing his "first expedition" south of the James River, into Prince George County, Virginia, behind the Federal lines besieging Petersburg. On 16 September elements of the 1st D.C. Cavalry were encamped at Sycamore Church and Cocke's Mill when they were surprised by a force of Confederate cavalry under Wade Hampton, whose goal was the capture of a herd of beef cattle stockaded at nearby Coggins Point. Most of the members of the 1st D.C. Cavalry fell prisoner and were escorted back to Petersburg by Moore's 11th Virginia, along with nearly 2500 head of cattle. It was during this episode, doubtless, that the diary changed hands, though we cannot know precisely how. Lt. Moore's first entry is for 12 September, but it seems clear that his account of the famous "Cattle Raid" was written retrospectively, after the Confederates' return to their old camp near Ream's Station on the afternoon of the 17th.


  • Creation: 1864-1865


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

Alfred Moore (b. 1837) was raised on a farm in Fairfax County, Virginia, one of thirteen children of William Halley Moore (1800-1849) and Mary Ann Blackburn (1807-1886). The family was one of substance. In the 1850 Federal census the property—inherited by Mary Moore on her husband's death in 1849—is valued in excess of $8000; the same census indicates that she held 12 slaves. In 1860 Alfred Moore was living on his mother's property, unmarried, working the farm with several of his brothers. On 25 April 1861 Moore enlisted as 1st sergeant in the Fairfax Cavalry (Co. A, Virginia Volunteer Cavalry), organized in Fairfax County by Capt. Mottram Dulany Ball. Surviving records provide us with some details of Moore's Confederate military service before and after the period covered by the diary (i. e., September 1864 to February 1865). On 24 May 1861, one day after the ratification of Virginia's ordinance of secession, Federal troops moving to occupy Alexandria captured Capt. Ball and about 35 members of the company, including Moore. The men were administered the oath of allegiance and sent home to await exchange (which occurred on 21 September 1861). The reorganized company was designated 2nd Co. F, 5th Virginia Cavalry, CSA; on 5 February 1863, still commanded by Ball, it was incorporated into the newly designated 11th Virginia Cavalry as Co. I. Most of the companies in the 11th Cavalry had been recruited in the Shenandoah Valley and points west; Co. I, from Fairfax, was an exception. Moore's presence in Ball's company is indicated by surviving muster rolls of 28 February 1862 and 28 February 1863; both list him as 1st sergeant. (At some point in 1863 he was promoted to 3rd lieutenant.) On 26 February 1863 Moore was wounded in a skirmish with Union cavalry along the Valley Turnpike near Woodstock. He was also hospitalized on at least two other occasions, on 20 November 1863, at Staunton, and on 22 May 1864, at Harrisonburg (for "chronic syphilis"). From June to September 1864 Moore was in command of Company I. For most of the period covered by the diary the 11th Virginia Cavalry was attached to Thomas L. Rosser's Laurel Brigade, Fitz. Lee's-Rosser's Cavalry Division, Valley District, Department of Northern Virginia. Moore was paroled at Winchester, Virginia, 22 April 1865. Around 1869 he married Helen Hunter (b. 1838), and thereafter farmed in Mineral and Hampshire Counties in West Virginia. He died in the 1880s or 90s.


1 volume

Language of Materials



A manuscript Civil War diary of Confederate States Army lieutenant Alfred Moore, written as a member of Co. I, 11th Virginia Cavalry. Moore's entries extend from September 1864 to February 1865: events covered include Hampton's cattle raid and Rosser's raid on Beverly, West Virginia.


The collection is in one folder.

Alfred Moore Diary
George Rugg
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556