SUBMITTED BY: Glenn Land
On October 11, 1897, in an interview with “The Morning Post” (of Raleigh, NC.) James Daniel Moore spoke of his experience during the first day’s fighting at Gettysburg. Listed as only 15 in the 1860 census, he enrolled on 7/15/1861 in his home County of Caldwell, at the foot of Grandfather Mountain. Jimmy was one of the very few original members of the 26th to even survive Gettysburg and the remainder of the war.
At Gettysburg the 26th NC was part of Pettigrew’s Brigade, consisting of the 11th, 26th, 47th, and 52nd North Carolina Infantry. Their worthy Yankee opponent that day was the Iron Brigade “them dammed fellers with the black hats,” was the way they were known to the Army Of Northern Virginia.
During a brief stint as a citizen of Winnamac, Indiana, James believed he actually met the Billy Yank that shot him that terrible day on McPherson’s Ridge. The Iron Brigade was made up of the 2nd, 6th, and 7th, Wisconsin, the 19th Indiana, and 24th Michigan.
James only refers to him by his surname of Hayes. I believe he was probably Luther M. Hayes who served in the 2nd and later the 6th Wisconsin
James account is as follows :
I was present at the Battle Of Gettysburg, a private in Company F of the 26th NC.Regiment. Captain R.M. Tuttle’s Company, Pettigrew’s Brigade. In the first day’s battle, we had 87 men for duty. We lost every man, either killed or wounded except one, named Robert Hudspeth. I was the 85th man shot, wounded in the neck and left leg. Henry Coffey, now living near Lenoir, NC, was the 86th man shot. Our company joined the color company of the regiment on the left, and being at the head of the company, I joined the color guard and was by the colors during the fight. The entire color guard was killed or wounded and a number of officers who picked up the colors and carried them forward were also killed or wounded.
Among them, the young and gallant Colonel Burgwyn. When he was struck he turned around once or twice by the force of the ball and tangling up the colors, fell with them wrapped around him. Colonel Burgwyn was killed after we crossed the branch and about where we struck the second line of the enemy.
Lieut-Colonel Lane was severely wounded towards the close of the fight near the top of the hill. He also had the colors in his hands when he was shot. I was wounded at the top of the hill (Cemetery Ridge) from which the last line of the enemy had been driven. At that time there was only three of us left, and I was congratulating myself that I was safe, when I was knocked insensible (senseless) by a piece of a shell striking me on the neck, and at the same time a ball passed through my leg.
Of the two left of my company, Henry Coffey was wounded just after I fell, leaving only Sergeant Robert Hudspeth surviving unhurt out of our entire company.
This Robert Hudspeth came to see me at the field hospital on the fourth of July (day after the battle) and he informed me “that he had gotten some four or five men who were on detail as ambulance and pioneer corps on the first day and were not in the fight on that day, and they went into the fight on the third day. That that day Tom Cozart of company F carried the flag on the right, and that he and all the others except himself (Hudspeth) were killed or wounded in the charge (Pickett’s Charge on the third day). That Cozart fell with the colors just before reaching the stone fence, and about the time the Confederate line was falling back. Hudspeth himself was knocked down by the concussion of a shell as he was falling back.
After the regiment got back to Virginia, Hudspeth was promoted to a Lieutenancy and the company was recruited up to about thirty men. Shortly after the battle Lieutenant Hudspeth was taken sick with a fever, sent to a hospital and died.
After recovering from my wounds, I returned to the regiment in May, 1864, just before the opening of the Wilderness fights. I was in the fight on the 5th day of May, 1864, when Lieut-Colonel Jones of the regiment received his mortal wound. I attended him and saw him draw his last breath. Owing to the effects of my wounds at Gettysburg I became unfit for Infantry service, and after the campaign was over, rather than get discharged, I was transferred to Company D 1st NC.Cavalry, and joined them near Petersburg, in September, 1864. I served in this command till the end of the war. After the war, fearing I might become involved with the bushwhackers in my county, (the Blalocks) I went to Winnamac, Indiana; and got employment in a store in that town. One evening, while talking to a number of Union veterans in the store, one, whose name was Hayes, remarked that he was in the Battle of Gettysburg, and from his account of himself and his location and command, I satisfied myself that he was with the troops we fought at Gettysburg on the first day.
Hayes stated that his officers encouraged their men by saying the troops in their front were Militia because of the distance of the colors in their line, showing the regiments were large and therefore could not be veteran troops or a command that had gone through a campaign. Hayes was directly in front of the colors of the regiment which charged him.
I was always alongside of our colors, and therefore immediately in front of Hayes. Hayes stood his ground until our colors were within ten or fifteen paces of him, and then firing his last shot retreated. His weapon was a 44-caliber, and so far as he knew, the only one in his brigade; having lost his enfield rifle that morning, he picked up a cavalry carbine on the march. (Buford’s Yankee cavalry brought on the first day’s fight early in the morning). Hayes said all his men were armed with enfield rifles, 56-caliber. When my wound was examined by the doctors at the field hospital, they remarked the wound must have been made by a carbine, not by a enfield rifle ball, as the hole was smaller than the ball from such a rifle would make; and it was with difficulty they probed the wound with their little finger.
From this and other facts that our conversations brought to light, I am satisfied that Hayes was the man who shot me. He was always a good friend to me as long as I resided in his town. I left Indiana to return home in February, 1868, and have lived in North Carolina ever since.
I am now cashier of the First National Bank, Gastonia,NC. and secretary and treasurer of the Modena Cotton Mills at that place.
James D. Moore
October 11, 1897.