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    Civil War Diary of James P. Moore, Company H, South Carolina Palmetto Sharp Shooters, 1864-1865. 4.25" x 3" cloth bound pocket diary; the diary is comprised of 111 unlined pages, of which 108 contain writing, virtually all in pencil; one page is torn in half. The diary includes the pencil that came with it when purchased.

    Moore's diary begins on March 14, 1864 with the entry "Left Greenville Tenn on 30 days furlough." His next entry was at the completion of the furlough on April 17. He did not reach his regiment until April 26. Many of Moore's entries are short, mentioning only his activities, happenings in camp, or distances marched. He also writes in many instances with punctuation. Moore's company participated in the Battle of the Wilderness in early May. On May 5 he wrote his unit marched "in Direction of Fredericksburg fair prospect for a fight this afternoon or in the Morning." The next day his entry was "Fought all day...one killed...and 11 wounded and myself slightly in forehead." On May 7-8 Moore wrote that the fight was "still progressing lay in Line of Battle all day till 8 oclock PM then left for the road leading from Richmond to Fredericksburg traveled all Knight [sic] till 3 oclock in the evening of the 8th inf was then thrown out skirmishing was attacked by 2 lines of battle repulsed the first line but was forced to fall back on breastworks whipped them out and taken 350 prisoners." Moore reports on May 10 that "all things stiring [sic] this morning...Enemy is making dreadful efforts to take our Breastworks continued charging on the left till dark failed on every effort to take them...drove enemy 2 mls on the left." Fighting continued for several days, with Moore writing on May 14, "Pickets fighting Yankees commenced falling back in direction of Fredericksburg about 10 oclock badly whipped all in high glee."

    During the summer of 1864, Moore was in the middle of the Wilderness Campaign, marked by fierce fighting in Virginia between Union forces under General Grant and General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Many of his diary entries mention skirmishing and shelling on both sides, which were locked in a bloody stalemate. The stalemate continued as Grant laid siege of Petersburg, in which Moore's company was involved. On June 26, he wrote "Yankees still shelling the City at the rate of one every Ten minutes." Shelling and sharp shooting were an occasional occurrence as both sides dug in and things became routine in camp. On August 14, Moore wrote of a number of skirmishes that took place around New Market Heights, where Confederate positions were under constant assault by Union forces. "Skirmishing commenced at day light half hour by sundown. Charged by yankee line of Battle...our skirmishers were thrown again to protect our front. We commenced moving to our left 3 hours by seven moved ¼ of a mile closed in two ranks for the sole purpose of resisting the charge. Remained here half an hour and then moved to the right ¼ of a mile...Sharp shooting & cannonading.... " In a lengthy entry on August 15, Moore recorded more activity: "prepared for Battle. The morning prayed...about 12. M. cannonading from New Market then commenced....We remained in our position all day...our Brigade was then deployed along the Breast Works at 4 paces interval." The next day, August 16, skirmishing continued as recorded by Moore, "at about 8 heavy skirmishing commenced on our left & cannonading from New Market...daring [sic] threats has been made by the enemy to charge on our left already but do not."

    The tide turned against Lee's army by spring of 1865, when Union forces finally captured Petersburg and surrounded his forces. Lee surrendered his army to Grant's army April 9 at Appomattox. April 9, 1865 is the last diary entry made by Moore, when he wrote, "the 9th Apr 1865 when Gen Lee surrendered his Army near Appomattox C H Va. remained in person until the 13th when we got our parole & started home."

    James P. Moore (1837-1881) was born in Spartanburg District, South Carolina. On April 13, 1861, he enlisted in Company K, 5th South Carolina Regiment. He served in this company for about a year, when another company was formed, known as the Palmetto Sharp Shooters, which led to the reorganization of Moore's company. Moore was present at the firing on Fort Sumter, which began the Civil War. He then was transferred to Virginia and participated in a number of battles. Moore was appointed corporal, Company H, in April 8, 1862. The following August, he was promoted to the rank of 2nd lieutenant, and later promoted to 1st lieutenant on February 3, 1863. In September 1863, he was promoted to captain, serving in this rank until the end of the war. The Palmetto Sharp Shooters surrendered at Appomattox. After the war, Moore moved to Georgia and worked as a brick-mason. He was so successful in his business that he became financially secure. In 1867, Moore married Honora Elkin.

    The Palmetto Regiment Sharp Shooters was organized in April 1862, with transfers from the 2nd, 5th, and 9th South Carolina Infantry Regiments. Send to Virginia, the Regiment fought with the Confederate army from Williamsburg to Fredericksburg, served at Suffolk and in North Carolina, and then saw action at Chickamauga and Knoxville. Returning to Virginia, it continued the fight at The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor, endured the hardships of the Siege of Petersburg, and ended the war at Appomattox.

    Accompanying the diary are photocopies of document relating to Moore's military career, including muster rolls, requisitions, and receipts, as well as copies of reference material relating to the Palmetto Sharp Shooters. There is also a partial typewritten transcription of the diary, dating from March 14, 1864 to July 3, 1864.

    Condition: Internally the pages are in good condition; the binding's spine is partly missing and is covered with tape; the covers are worn; part of the metal clasp that holds the covers closed is missing; the original pencil that came with the diary is present; the text block has separated from the spine and is loose. Some of the writing is in pencil and faint.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2019
    14th Tuesday
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