150 years ago, today and yesterday… another personal Sesqui moment

Posted on September 3, 2011 by


James Draper Moore (distant half first cousin) enlisted in Co. B (Capt. William Firey’s Company), Cole’s Volunteer Maryland Cavalry (Potomac Home Brigade), September 3, 1861. James was born and raised in Clear Spring, Maryland, and was living with his parents at the time of enlistment.

Joseph Lake McKinney (third great grand-uncle) had enlisted in the same company a day earlier. Like James, Joe lived with his father in Clear Spring, but was born in Shepherdstown… a Virginian.

Pvt. J.L. McKinney. Photo taken at McCoy's Ferry, by my guess, between October '61 and before March '62.

Joe McKinney served all three years, until September 1864; his last service being detached duty (August 1864) at Gen. William H. Emory’s headquarters.

Flag of Cole's Cavalry, showing battle honors.

Joe came home, and in years after the war, worked as a conductor on the B&O Railroad. He died on May 12, 1908.

James, having been captured at Loudoun Heights by Mosby’s men in January 1864, did not come home, but died of scurvy at the peak of the population at Andersonville, Georgia.

Finding these two in my family tree led me down a path of realization that all Southerners were not, after all, Confederates. I didn’t regret the find, but rather, came to greatly appreciate how they helped me begin to understand that “Civil War-era Southern” is more dynamic than the legacy of the Lost Cause suggests.

Coming up tomorrow… more discoveries in Winchester National Cemetery… identifying the unknown of Blazer’s Scouts.