The year was 1862 and the nation was fighting the Civil War. Sudbury, Massachusetts, a small New England farming community, stood ready to support the cause of the Union. Uriah and Mary Moore, a local farmer and his wife, parents of ten children, sent four sons off to fight for the Union. George Frederick Moore was twenty years old when he joined the Thirty-fifth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers in 1862 along with his brother, Albert. Their oldest brother, John, had enlisted in the Thirteenth Regiment and had been serving since 1861. In 1864, a fourth and younger brother, Alfred, joined the Fifty-ninth Regiment. Four cousins also served in the war. This was not the first time this family had sent soldiers into battle. Moore ancestors fought in the Indian Wars, the Revolutionary War, and The Battle of Bunker Hill.
George often wrote home from 1862 to 1865 of battles, travels, lack of rations, and the weariness of a soldier, while his family in turn wrote to George telling him of their love for him, the news of the family and the town, and their view of the war. These eighty-four letters which span the years from August 1862 to the end of the war survived, along with George’s personal diaries from 1863 and 1864, the diary of Sarah Jones, the girl he married, family photos, and documents of George’s life during and after the war. The letters provide an intimate glimpse of the trials, not only of the soldiers, but of the families who sent their boys off to war. The documents are a historical treasure.
When it was decided to turn this collection into a book, the authors looked beyond the letters and diaries to the life of George Moore and his family searching through historical documents contacting libraries, cemeteries, town offices, historical societies, military museums, and Civil War battle sites. Explanatory passages of the Thirty-fifth Regiment accompany the letters. George Moore took part in the battles from South Mountain and Antietam to Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, Campbell’s Station, and the Siege of Knoxville. He participated in the Battles of the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and the assault on Petersburg.
The book is a story of a small New England town, a patriotic family, and the Civil War. It has been a long labor of love, and we are proud to be able to present it to Civil War enthusiasts throughout the country.
This project was supported by The Sudbury Foundation, The Sudbury Cultural Council and The Massachusetts Cultural Council.
To purchase a copy, send check to: Sudbury Historical Society, Attn: BOOK, 322 Concord Road, Sudbury MA 01776. Prices are soft cover ($21.95); hard cover (31.95) Plus $3.50 S & H. Tax included.
For further information on the book, please contact us at GeorgeMoore35thRgt@gmail.com
Excerpts of letters in the book:
Dec 18th 1862
Dear George …the Family were all together at the Old place Thanksgiving day but George Albert and John and partook of a Thanksgiving supper but then to see those vacant seats at the table it would bring to mind those dear ones that used to fill those seats in former times that they are far away in the war perhaps nothing but hard bread and coffee for their supper but I hope that wee shall all set down to a Thanksgiving supper together next Thanksgiving at our new home up in the middle of the Town and then it is consating to think that you were engaged in a good cause
From Your Father
April 30th 1865
Dear George …How dreadful it seems to think such a dear good man as President Lincoln should lose his life by the hands of an assassin. When we first heard of his death, almost every one felt as though our Country was undone, but we feel differently now. It was wrong to place so much dependence upon one man, for Mr Lincoln was only an instrument in the hands of God to carry out this great work which has been accomplished, and his death reminds us that we must look above this world for help in these days of trial. I think there are not many men, if any, who are equal in all respects to Mr. Lincoln, yet it seems as though his heart was too tender to punish treason as it deserves, and perhaps that is why he was relieved from such a painful duty, and a sterner man put in his place.
From your loving Mother
George’s final letter describes the end of the war.
Dear Brother I received your letter a few days ago and was very glad to hear from you. I meant to have answered it yesterday but Rufus wanted me to go to Mt. Vernon with him so I went. Mt. Vernon was Gen’l Washington’s place. it was worth going to see. it is about six miles from here. we walked down. I suppose it was considered a splendid place in its day an in fact it is as handsome place as there is around here now I went through the House and Gardens also to Washington’s tomb. I guess nearly the whole of our Corps has been there. I have some Magnolia leaves from the tree that Washington planted near his house. I will send one in this. tell Mother to put it with the other things we have sent home. I think she said she had a number of things that we have sent perhaps if she keeps them we may tell something interesting about them when we get home.
I saw one of the grandest illuminations a few nights ago that I ever saw in my life. there are two Divisions of our Corps camped here together and they all illuminated their tents by setting a candle on top of each end of the tent and there are nearly 12000 men and a candle to each man and they are in camp on a side hill so we could see the whole camp. it was a splendid sight. then the Regiment turned out with their guns with a candle stuck in the muzzle of them. they marched all around the Camp and the Regts were from different States and as they went by a Mass camp they would cheer for that Regt and Mass boys would go by their camps and give them a cheer and so with other States. it was a pleasant night and not a breath of wind stirring so the candles burned first-rate.
There is considerable talk of our getting home soon but I don’t know whether to think so or not. we may get home before our time is out but not for some time yet we are going to have a review today so I have not time to write much more. Yesterday was my birthday. 23 years old . think of it. shall be an old batch soon. Al comes pretty near don’t he I laugh at him about it. I will now close. give my love to all. write soon and tell me all that is going on in town
From your brother