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Moore family Civil War correspondence

 Collection — document-box: Civil War 1, Folder: 25-26
Identifier: 2018-105-w-r

Content Description

This collection contains correspondence from four siblings of the Moore family from Rochester, NY; Franklin, Nelson, Emily, and Clinton to their sister, Helen, and mother, Jane, during the Civil War. Also included are an introduction, Walt Whitman poem, a family history, inventory, photocopied photographs, and transcriptions for each letter written by LtCol. Tim W. Karstrom, a descendant of the family.

All three of the men served in combat, and Emily stayed with her husband, Eli Dusenberry, for what appears to be the duration of the war at Fort Ethan Allen, where Nelson also served for a while. The bulk of the correspondence is from Franklin to Helen, though he and Nelson collectively tell the story of their time either encamped or mentioning the many battles in which they fought; Franklin with the cavalry and Nelson with an artillery regiment.

Included in the conversations are mentions of fake battle news reaching home, illness, skirmishes, and even the 1864 election. Franklin frequently thinks he is about to go home, even from the beginning, but ends up staying through at least 1864, getting sick and hospitalized for a while toward the end. Nelson left their father without consent and wrote his letters with the least literacy, asking Helen to check his spelling. He eventually mentions several skirmishes and battles, including Reams Station where his unit lost 58 men and was "the worst place I ever saw." In his letter of September 23, 1864 he discusses the presidential election and says that any man voting for General McClellan "is a coward as well as a traitor."

Emily mentions some skirmishing around her camp as well, and discusses in one letter some sympathies people hold with the South, and the suspicion that some of the women in camp are spies.

Of note is the letterhead on a letter from Nelson dated September 2, 1862 depicting the great battle between the Monitor and Merrimack, the first two submarines used for warfare. This came just months after the battle so for him to have this sort of stationary shows the importance in morale brought on by the event.


  • 1861 June 17-1865 March 29

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical / Historical

Franklin Moore served with the 19th New York Regiment, and later Company L, 24th NY Volunteer Cavalry.

Nelson Moore left Rochester, NY unpleasantly as his father did not want him to go. He left the same day as his sister Emily's husband Eli Dusenberry, January 18, 1862 and served with the 2nd Corps, 4th NY Artillery, Company C.

Clinton Moore, the youngest brother to join the fight, enlisted against everyone's wishes as well on December 27, 1863 in the 22nd New York Cavarly, and served with the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division. He also served during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign in 1864. According to his obituary he was once shot out of his saddle, recovered in a hospital, and then rejoined the unit (Michael G. Burns, From Rochester to Winchester: The Regimental History of the 22nd New York Cavalry, Heritage Books, 2007). Clinton went on to succeed in the oil business around Bartlesville, Oklahoma with homes in there and Tulsa, OK on the national Registry of Historic Places.

According to the donor, Roger Moore (grandfather?) participated in the French and Indian Wars and "his generation...then became the backbone of the American army under George Washington."

For a mostly complete family history, please review the family history in the collection, provided by the donor.


.2 Linear feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection contains correspondence from four members of the Moore family to their sister and mother during the Civil War, as well as an introduction, inventory and family history created by the donor.


This collection is arranged chronologically. The collection was donated in a binder, and that binder has been removed with the original order kept intact.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Lieutenant Colonel Timothy W. Karstrom.
Finding Aid for the Moore family Civil War correspondence
Andrew Harman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States