J. Staunton Moore


    J. Staunton Moore (son of Maria Higgins moore, Delia’s aunt) enlisted in May in the Army of the Confederacy and his company was sent down the James River to camp at King’s Mill Wharf, a landing below Williamsburg.  The first morning, they marched up to Williamsburg (after dumping out their coffee grounds to find tadpoles and frogs had been dipped up with the coffee water the night before in dark)!
    They were quartered on straw at the college and in a letter home he said: “I went down to Mr. B’s (Richard Manning Bucktrout’s) where I took supper.” He went on to say the Mr B. was surveying for a battery under construction five miles away (Ft. Magruder) as there was some fear of attack.  (It would be a year before the attack came.)
    On May 31, Staunton wrote from Yorktown saying they had received marching orders “while I was supping at Mr. B’s.”  He said the confederate flag was flying over the earthworks they were “throwing up.”
    After a skirmish at Bethel Church where one man was killed, they were back in Williamsburg in tents at the College.  By June 17, he was back at King’s Mill Wharf four miles from Williamsburg.  En route, they had seen palisades and trenches around Ft. Magruder.  He was here during June, July and August as part of shore and river defense.  He wrote many letters home.  In one, he mentions a frightened soldier shooting at the full moon coming up over the water, but there was no danger of attack as the war had moved west.  At their camp, he tells of wonderful food packets arriving from home with fried chicken and biscuits and butter and honey coming “from grandma.”  He also tells of Delia visiting and sending his mother a piece of a bombshell.
    After the Federals pushed in from the North and West, there was fighting in western Virginia.  The South won at Bull Run and Ball’s Bluff, but reinforcements were near Mechanicsville, VA.  On Christmas, the troops were given a turkey dinner and got boxes from home with mince pie, sausages, cakes and “bounce.”
    After the Battle of Williamsburg in 1862, Staunton was stationed up the peninsula with the confederate forces now in defense of Richmond.  General Lee took charge of the summer battles up the penninsula in 1862.  The confederates were victorious in driving the Federals back.
    During 1863, the main battles were in the south but, in July, Lee pushed into Gettysburg with heavy losses.  The war continued on land and sea.  Staunton wrote that there was no prospect for peace.
    In 1864, U.S. General Grant made another push to Richmond and was again repulsed. 1865 saw all Federal forces concentrated for a final attack on Richmond.  At the battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865, Staunton was one of 5000 taken prisoner just a few days before Richmond was captured and Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865.