28 November 2013
Remembering Our Civil War Heritage and Heroes:
John T. Moore: From Missouri Bushwhacker to Montana Rancher
By Ken Robison
For The River Press
November 27, 2013
This continues a monthly series commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War and the veterans that came to Montana after the war. This month’s feature highlights Confederate Perry J. Moore’s brother John T. Moore who fought throughout the war for the South, came to Montana Territory to find his family, and ranched in the Smith River Valley. Descendants of Montana Civil War veterans are encouraged to send their stories and photos to email@example.com.
When the Civil War erupted in border state Missouri, young John T. Moore joined local Confederates in battleground northeastern Missouri. Moore fought for four long years before his war ended in the Carolinas. Returning with his younger brother Perry J. Moore to their home in war torn Shelby County, the brothers found that their mother and younger siblings had migrated to Montana Territory to escape the violence and hard feelings in Missouri.
The eldest son of John W. and Eleanor Holliday Moore, John Thomas was born April 17, 1841 in Shelby County, Missouri. Father John W. Moore died in 1854 leaving his wife and five children on the family farm. In June 1861, at age twenty, John T. Moore enlisted in Confederate Colonel Martin E. Green’s regiment of volunteer cavalry in northeastern Missouri. John’s enlistment record described him with blue eyes, fair complexion, light hair, and 5 feet 11 inches tall.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Martin E Green was a leading secessionist in northeastern Missouri. In early July Green raised the 1st Northeast Missouri Cavalry Regiment (Confederate), mustered the regiment in Knox County, and was elected Colonel with Lt. Col. Joseph C. Porter and Major Benjamin W. Shacklett.
Col. Green went on the offensive in northeastern Missouri in August, 1861 attempting to scatter Col. David Moore’s 1st Northeast Missouri Home Guard Regiment (Union). Green’s much large force of 2,000 men with a battery of two cannon struck Moore at Athens, Missouri. Col. Moore’s men had received Springfield rifles and bayonets, while the Confederates had few rounds for their cannon, were poorly equipped and trained, and were armed primarily with shotguns and squirrel rifles. As the secessionists, including Private John Moore, advanced, firing became general. After some initial success, the advance faltered as they approached through a cornfield. Major Shacklett was wounded and his demoralized men began falling back. Col. Moore commanded his men to fix bayonets, and ordered, “Forward! Charge! Bayonets!” This counterattack routed the Confederates into headlong retreat.
The 1st Northeast Missouri Cavalry with Private John Moore became part of the Second District/Second Division, commanded by Col. Green, in the Missouri State Guard under command of General Sterling “Pap” Price. Col. Green’s men engaged in a number of skirmishes and engagements after the debacle at Athens. During this period they gained improved training, arms, and equipment.
Now part of Price’s army, Col. Green’s men left northern Missouri with it. In mid September 1861 the 1st Northeast Missouri participated in a successful attack on Lexington, Missouri where they overwhelmed Union forces and captured the Union commander Col. James A. Mulligan. From September 13-20 September General Pap Price’s 15,000 men of the Missouri State Guard laid siege to the river-town of Lexington, defended by just 3,500 men primarily of the 23rd Illinois Infantry. On September 18th, Price’s army mounted a major assault on Mulligan’s heavily fortified defensive works. After the assault failed, Confederate artillery pounded Mulligan’s men. On the 20th, elements of Price’s army used hemp bales soaked in the nearby Missouri River to act as moving breastworks to work their way up the river bluffs toward Mulligan’s position. By early afternoon Mulligan surrendered. Confederate light losses included 25 killed and 72 wounded, while the Federals lost 39 killed, 120 wounded and the rest as prisoners of war.
Shortly after the Battle of Lexington Private John Moore was taken ill with measles. He was left at Johnstown, south of Kansas City in western Missouri. Within six weeks Private Moore was taken prisoner and spent six months in captivity in St. Louis until about mid April 1862. While being taken on a steamboat from St. Louis across the Mississippi River to a Union Prison at Alton, Illinois he made his escape.
Private Moore returned to Missouri and joined Col. Porter’s 1st Northeast Missouri Cavalry by May 1862 when his younger brother Perry, just eighteen years of age, joined the regiment. The 1st Northeast Missouri was in constant activity taking part in many skirmishes and was fully engaged in the Battle of Kirksville on August 6, 1862.
Private John T. Moore later related an account of the capture and execution of Confederate Col. Frisby McCulloch two days after the Battle of Kirksville. Col. McCulloch was charged, tried, and sentenced to death as a bushwhacker, even though he was captured wearing a regular Confederate uniform and carrying letters authorizing him to recruit troops. The colonel and twenty-six of his men were condemned to be executed for having broken previous prisoner paroles. He asked the privilege of giving the word to fire, and his request was granted. So, when all was ready, he gave the word for his own execution and that of his men, saying, “May God forgive you for this cold-blooded murder. Aim at the heart. Fire!” A second volley was necessary. This tragic incident is commemorated in a beautiful poem written soon afterward by Mrs. Baird, of Kirksville, who had five brothers and a husband in the Confederate army.
The Battle of Kirksville helped consolidate Union dominance and ended most bushwhacking in northeastern Missouri. It virtually destroyed Porter’s regiment, which was disbanded and scattered. John and his brother spent the winter in Kentucky as related in last month’s article on Perry J. Moore.
In the spring of 1863 John and Perry Moore made their way to Tennessee and joined the 9th Kentucky Mounted Infantry under Col. W. P. C. Breckenridge and took part in the Battle of Missionary Ridge.
The 9th Kentucky fought its way through the southeast to Bentonville, North Carolina over the next two years being part of the Confederate forces attempting to defeat or harass General William T. Sherman’s March to the Sea. The Moore brothers participated in the major battle at Bentonville, which was the last engagement they were in. The Battle of Bentonville was also the last major action of the Civil War in which a Confederate army was able to mount a tactical offensive. This battle, the largest ever fought in North Carolina, was the only major attempt to defeat the powerful Union army of General Sherman during its march through the Carolinas to the sea in the spring of 1865.
Under exceptionally capable Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, Confederate forces fought well at Bentonville. They could not overcome the overwhelming Union strength and the heavy casualties suffered during the battle. Just over one month later Gen. Johnston surrendered to Gen. Sherman at Bennett Place, North Carolina.
After Bentonville the 9th Kentucky was ordered to join the military escort for fleeing Confederate President Jefferson Davis. When President decided to surrender he ordered his military escort to also do so. The Moore brothers’ war was finally ended when they surrendered May 10, 1865 and swore an oath of allegiance twelve days later.
The United States government furnished transportation for the paroled 9th Kentucky back to Kentucky, and the Moore brothers returned to their home in Shelby County, Missouri. There, they learned that their mother and siblings had moved west the previous year. The message they received was: “Please tell my boys, if they make it home from the War that we’ve gone West to the Mines.”
To John and Perry the “West” was a lot of territory. Apparently, the two parted to find their separate ways to Colorado on their search for their family. John Moore moved on to Nebraska and was hired as a “bullwhacker” to cross the plains to Denver. Not finding his mother in the Colorado mines, the next spring he came to Montana with a large cattle outfit, arriving at Diamond City on August 10, 1866 to finally reunite with his family. He remained at Diamond City until 1870 engaged in the sawmill business with brothers Perry and Sanford and with William H. Sutherlin, later publisher of the Rocky Mountain Husbandman.
During his residence at Diamond City, John Moore married Miss Irene Lewis, daughter of G. S. Lewis, of New York, who came to Montana in 1866. In 1870 Mr. Moore moved to his 3,000 acre ranch near the site of old Camp Baker at the mouth of Sheep Creek. There he had a fine ranch with barns, sheds and other outbuildings, and an excellent residence. He raised cattle and horses on a large scale, having over 1,000 head of cattle and many horses, shorthorn cattle and draught horses being his favorite breeds.
In their later years, John and Irene Moore lived in Long Beach, California. There in 1926 he wrote his “Memoirs,” published July 19th 1926 by the Montana Newspaper Association in Montana’s weekly newspapers including the Judith Gap Journal. John Moore’s account bypassed the early years back in Missouri and the Civil War and focused on the early times and pioneers in Meagher County. The Moore Memoir gave a picture of the fun, as well as some of the hardships of life in Montana in the late 60s and 70s.
Among his many anecdotes, John Moore wrote movingly about his dear wife Irene:
“On August 31, 1869 I was married to Irene Lewis of Diamond City, the dearest little girl that ever crossed the plains in a covered wagon. She passed away on August 14th, 1921, in Long Beach. We had lived together 52 years and I do not think there was ever two people in Montana that lived together that long and thought more of each other than we did.”
He wrote of the arrival of the military in the Smith River Valley:
“In the winter of 1869 and ’70 a company of United States soldiers came over and built a temporary post on the Moore ranch that they called Camp Baker. In the summer of that year they moved ten miles up the river and built Fort Logan. The Moore boys furnished all the lumber for the fort.”
And he wrote of some hardships:
“The winter of 1871 and 1872 was one of the hardest winters we ever had in Montana. On the 22nd day of November 1871, the thermometer dropped from 21 above to 40 below in less than one hour. A man by the name of G. F. Snelling, one of the commissioners of Meagher county, went out to look for a cow and was frozen to death two days later 20 miles from home. He had a bunch of fine splinters in his hand, which showed he had been trying to light a fire, as they were partly burned, but he had no more matches.
“We had zero and below weather from the 22nd of November until the middle of February. The snow got to be about three feet deep all over Smith river valley. About the first of January, W. S. Sweet and Bill Gordon moved their band of about 600 cattle from Smith river to the Musselshell valley where there was no snow.
About the first of February G. S. Lewis, father of Len Lewis; Ed Sayre and I started for the Musselshell with 376 head of cattle, got as far as the Dogy ranch, bought a small stack of hay from Jim Brewer and stayed there two days in a storm and fed the hay to the cattle; then drove on to Fort Harvey, got there the 13th, turned the cattle loose on bare ground . . . The 14th of February the Chinook came and took all the snow off the ground in the Smith river valley and we had no bad weather after that. The latter part of March, Mr. Lewis and I went back after our cattle and found them all within five miles of where we left them. We drove 375 head back to Smith river, having lost one head from the time they left home till they got back.”
John Moore wrote about the colorful origins of White Sulphur Springs:
“In 1873, Jim Brewer built a log cabin at the Springs, cleaned out the spring, built a house over it, charged the boys 75 cents each for a bath, sold whiskey and ran one hell of a place. In ’74 it got to be quite a health resort. The neighbors would gather from all over the valley and run horses, drink, gamble, fight and have a good time. On July 4th, 1874, a big crowd from all over the valley were there and had one grand time. Brewer set up a big tent for the ladies to dress in. Sanford Moore was riding a little buckskin horse that was chuck full of buck. He tied him to the rack and went into the house. Jess Edwards, a professional gambler who was known all over the territory as “6 Fingered Jess” got on Sanford’s buckskin and rode up to the race track. When the race was over the boys all started running their horses back to the house and Jess’s mount turned loose bucking, threw old Jess off, tore off nearly all his clothes, got the saddle under him, ran into the guy ropes of the tent, turned it over and left the ladies al standing there looking like a lot of bathing beauties. However nothing like that kept us from having lots of fun and that was what we were looking for.”
Private John T. Moore remained active in his community and a proud member of the United Confederate Veterans and the Nathan Bedford Forrest Camp No. 1390 in Helena. Just months after his Memoir was published, John T. Moore, Confederate veteran and Montana pioneer passed away at age 85 on December 1, 1926 in Long Beach. He rests today in Mayn Cemetery, White Sulphur Springs.
1. John and Perry Moore in their later years.
30 October 2013
Remembering Our Civil War Heritage and Heroes:
Perry J. Moore: From Escorting President Jeff Davis to Montana’s
By Ken Robison
For The River Press
October 30, 2013
This continues a monthly series commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War and the veterans that came to Montana after the war. This month’s feature highlights Civil War Confederate veteran Perry J. Moore who fought for the South, escorted President Jeff Davis before his surrender, and in the aftermath headed west to Montana Territory. His brother John T. Moore will be featured next month. Descendants of Montana Civil War veterans are encouraged to send their stories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perry J. Moore was raised in northeastern Missouri in Shelby County and joined his brother John T. in the Confederate Army to fight through three years of danger. By war’s end the brothers returned to their home to find that their family had moved west to Montana Territory. The brothers followed to settle on the rugged Montana frontier and try prospecting and mining. Perry established a successful ranch in the Musselshell Valley and became active in Democratic Party politics and a leader in the United Confederate Veterans.
The son of John W. and Eleanor Holliday Moore, Perry James was born on May 8, 1844, raised on the family farm, and received a country school education. His father came originally from Delaware and died when Perry was just ten years of age. His mother came from an old distinguished Virginia family and held the family together after the death of her husband. When the Civil War began older brother John joined the Confederate Army while Perry remained on the family homestead until early 1862.
During the spring of 1862, the fighting between Union forces and Confederate partisan ranger bushwhackers in Shelby County and adjoining Knox County exploded. Colonel John M. Glover of the Third Missouri Cavalry, commanding Union forces in northeastern Missouri ordered his men to suppress the bushwhackers and shoot them down. The conflict extended to civilians as well in the guerrilla warfare environment. On April 10th Col. Glover issued Special Order No. 30:
“In every case within your reach where the rebels take a dollar’s worth of property of any kind from a Union man or family, do you take at least twice as much in value from rebels in the vicinity (from parties who took the goods if you can identify them) and hold it for security for return of the property, and hold it until the robbery is made good. You will forthwith levy an assessment and collect it from the wealthy secessionists in the vicinity sufficient to comfortably support the families of those members of the M. S. M. [Missouri State Militia] who were killed by the rebels, and see that they are comfortably supported by this means until further orders.”
Two days later, enclosing a list of 65 names of men in the region, Col. Glover wrote to Captain John F. Benjamin of Shelbyville:
“Captain Benjamin—Sir: I send you a list of names marked (A), who did the killing of militia in this (Knox) county. The others are members of a “bushwhacking” company in this and other counties. Give a list of the names to your commissioned officers, with instructions to hold all such, if arrested. Keep their names as secret as possible; I do not want them to know they are suspected, or we will not be able to catch them. You have two of them, I am told (the Feltz). Hold them safely. We have five or six of them, and on yesterday we killed one of the murderers, William Musgrove. These men are scattered all over the country. You will be as active as possible, and charge your men to be cautious . . . My instructions are not to bring in these fellows, if they can be induced to run, and if the men are instructed they can make them run. [Signed Glover]” And if they “ran” they were shot.
Into this environment of total warfare in May 1862, eighteen year-old Perry J. Moore enlisted in Col. Joseph C. Porter’s Regiment, joining his older brother John. Perry was described as six feet tall with gray eyes, fair complexion, and light hair. Hundreds of men from Shelby County belonged to Porter’s command, while at least a hundred belonged to Union forces against them. Porter’s men lived off the country foraging as they went and served as their own quartermaster and commissary.
In guerrilla fashion Porter’s men roamed the countryside until July 18th when Union forces from Newark attacked resulting in a bloody engagement with about 180 casualties for Federal troops and just 20 for the rebels. Despite this initial victory, arrival of Union reinforcements forced Col. Porter to retreat. By July 19th, Porter’s men including the Moore brothers had fought a battle and marched 65 miles in less than twenty-four hours. The 200 men had not eaten in 36 hours and were exhausted, yet the Federals kept the pressure on them. The pursuing Federal commander Col. McNeil was asked where Porter was, and replied, “How can I tell? He may be at any point within 100 miles. He runs like a deer and doubles like a fox. I hear that he crossed the North Missouri, going south, to-day, but I would not be surprised if he fired on our pickets before morning.”
Ten days later on July 28th Porter’s harassed men suffered another defeat by troops of Col. Odon Guitar, a snarling Missouri Unionist “tiger.” Retreating again, Porter managed to evade, while building up his force until by early August it numbered around 3,000 men. Feeling confident, Porter occupied Kirksville, county seat of Adair County in northeastern Missouri, and set up defenses. Union forces, under Col. John McNeil, known as “a savage fighter,” attacked on August 6th. McNeil sent ten men to reconnoiter Porter’s defensive positions in the town. The scouting force “charged into the very heart of the town, around the square, and through the streets, developing the fact that every house was a Trojan horse, and every garden fence an ambuscade, while the court-house was a castle, with its lower windows boarded up and loop-holed and all its rooms filled with sharpshooters. After receiving the fire of a thousand shot-guns, rifles and revolvers . . .” yet losing just one man, the cavalrymen rode to safety to report to their commander.
As the fight began, Porter’s fatal miscalculation became clear—he had no artillery, while Col. McNeil had five cannon. Methodically, the Union artillery tore the frame “Trojan horse” houses to fragments and crushed brick walls as if they were eggshells. The Confederates fell back. Slowly the Federals advanced under cover of their artillery, yet out of range of Confederate shotguns. Demoralized by the artillery fire, the Confederates began to give way. The Federals skirmished slightly, then stood off and battered the Confederates to pieces with their artillery. Finally, the Federals charged, creating panic among the rebels and driving the whole force in terror from the field.
The Battle of Kirksville August 6-9 devastated Porter’s men. Confederate losses were never clear, but numbered as many as 200 killed, 400 wounded, and 250 prisoners at the cost to the Union of 8 killed and 33 wounded. Porter and his men fled from the battlefield suffering large-scale desertions among officers and men. With this catastrophic defeat Porter disbanded his regiment, and his surviving men broke into small groups to escape.
Perry Moore in company with his brother John and a young man named John B. Suttle, dressed themselves in civilian clothes. crossed the Mississippi River in a skiff a few miles below Quincy, Illinois, walked out into the country a few miles, boarded a train at a water tank and rode on to Madison, Indiana on the Ohio river. From there they made their way by foot into Kentucky and spent the first night with Jesse James’ grandfather, John M. James.
The Moore brothers and Suttle planned to continue moving south to join some command in the Confederacy. Confederate general Braxton Bragg had abandoned Kentucky, moving south of the state, and leaving it wholly in Union hands. As the Moores and Suttle proceeded south they were passed from one southern sympathizer to another until they reached the home of a man named Pendleton who had sons in Colonel John Hunt Morgan’s 2nd Kentucky Cavalry. He advised them to remain quiet and wait for an expected raid by Morgan.
After waiting in vain for some weeks, the Moores and Suttle joined a man who was moving north with beef and got as far as Indiana and Illinois. From there they returned to Kentucky, and finally after many hairbreadth escapes and much exposure, traveling by night and hiding by day, they all got across the Cumberland River and joined the 9th Kentucky Cavalry, under command of Col. W. C. P. Breckenridge. The 9th Kentucky was assigned to the Second Brigade of Brig. Gen. Morgan’s Division of Cavalry. With this command they joined Bragg’s army and went on south, being in the retreat from Murfreesborough to Chattanooga, skirmishing on the way and around the latter place before the Battle of Chickamauga September 19-20, 1863.
At this time Perry Moore became ill with typhoid fever and sent to a hospital in Georgia, where he remained six weeks, after which he rejoined the regiment, then in Alabama. The 9th Kentucky soon reunited with Gen. Bragg’s army a few days after the disastrous Battle of Chickamauga, but in time to take part in the Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25th, after which they were fighting almost every day for thirty days.
The 9th Kentucky spent the winter in scout and picket duty at Tunnel Hill in front of the Army of Tennessee and encamped at Dalton, Georgia. During that period while intercepting a baggage train, Perry Moore was shot in the left knee. After eight weeks in a hospital, he again joined his regiment in the spring of 1864, and from that time he and the 9th Kentucky were in very active service under Cavalry Corps commanders Gen. Joseph Wheeler and Johnson, advancing and retreating, always fighting, from Dalton to Atlanta.
On May 7, 1864, Union general William T. Sherman began his Atlanta Campaign. The 9th Kentucky fought and helped defeat General Geary’s Division of Hooker’s Corps at Dug Gap, and fought in engagements at Snake Creek Gap, Cassville, Cartersville, Altoona, Marietta, Roseville Factory, Peach Tree Creek, and finally the Battle of Atlanta. About May 10, the 9th Kentucky crossed the Chattahoochee River, marching North with Wheeler’s Corp to destroy Sherman’s railroad communications.
During the Atlanta Campaign on July 31, 1864 a Union raiding force led by Gen. George Stoneman, Jr. attempted to seize Andersonville Prison to free Union prisoners held there. The 9th Kentucky was engaged in the Battle of Sunshine Church, that led to the defeat and capture of Stoneman, who held the unfortunate distinction of being the highest ranking Union officer captured by the Confederacy.
The 9th Kentucky marched through Tennessee to Virginia to join in the Battle of Saltville where Confederates defeated Gen. Stephen Burbridge. Constantly on the move for engagement after engagement, the 9th Kentucky returned to Atlanta as Sherman began his March to the Sea on November 16, 1864. Over the next months into the spring of 1865, the 9th Kentucky as part of the Kentucky Cavalry Brigade opposing Sherman’s Army in many engagements. On April 11th the regiment moved on to Raleigh, North Carolina where they heard of the surrender of General Robert E. Lee.
By early May 1865, while most Americans believed the war was over and the Confederate States of America was disintegrating, President Jefferson Davis still held out hope for the future of the Confederacy. On April 2 President Davis with a cadre of his advisors and cabinet members fled from the capital at Richmond to Danville in southern Virginia. Over the next month, the dwindling Confederate government continued to move southward pursed by Federal forces. On April 18 Perry Moore’s 9th Kentucky Cavalry joined President Davis and his cabinet to provide military escort for them. At Charlotte, North Carolina. the party halted a few days pending negotiations between Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston and General Sherman.
On May 8, the Davis party with their military escort left Charlotte and moved on to Petersburg, South Carolina on the Savannah River. At Abbeville, South Carolina, the last Confederate council of war was held. At that meeting were President Jefferson Davis, General John C. Breckinridge, General Braxton Bragg, and five Brigade commanders: Generals Dibrell, Furguson, Vaughn, Basil Duke, and Colonel W. C. P. Breckinridge of the 9th Kentucky, who was then commanding the Kentucky Cavalry Brigade. At this council, the members decided that the struggle was hopeless and that any effort to reach the Trans-Mississippi Department would only fail. President Davis cast the only dissenting vote, but finally accepted the resolution.
There, at the Savannah River, President Davis authorized compensation for his advisors from the remaining Confederate treasury. In addition Perry Moore and the other soldiers of the military escort were paid $28 each in specie for services on the Davis escort. The soldiers received an estimated $108,000, part of the last money paid out by the Confederate government from their depleted treasury. Perry Moore retained one dollar of this payment for many years as a souvenir of his role in the end of the Confederacy.
The Davis military escort was then told to surrender to pursuing Union soldiers. On May 10, 1865, the 9th Kentucky Regiment marched to Washington, Georgia and surrendered to Union forces. That same morning the 1st Wisconsin and 4th Michigan cavalries captured President Davis and his party at Irwinville, North Carolina. On May 22, 1865, Perry J. Moore subscribed to the oath of allegiance to the United States, and his war was over.
Perry Moore returned home to Shelby County, Missouri to find that his mother, sister, and younger brother had headed west across the plains to settle in Montana Territory. Because of severe conditions in Missouri, in 1864 Mrs. Eleanor Moore, 20 year-old son Sanford, 26 year-old daughter Nancy, and 12 year-old Willie Johns, son of Mrs. Moore’s step-daughter left their Shelby County family farm to join a wagon train heading for Montana Territory. Despite being widowed and 57 years of age, Mrs. Moore bravely led her family westward. The Moore family drove their four milk cows and finally, one year later, arrived in Virginia City still driving two surviving cows. After spending 1865 in Virginia City, the next spring the Moore family followed a stampede of prospectors to Diamond City in Confederate Gulch where rich strikes had occurred on Montana Bar. There, Mrs. Moore opened a boarding house to support her family.
In July 1865, Perry T. Moore started for Montana Territory when he was hired to drive an ox team from Nebraska City to Denver. There he wintered over and in the spring of 1866 joined a wagon train to Montana. His first destination in the territory was Bannack arriving in July to try his hand at prospecting, and from there he pushed on to Last Chance Gulch and finally on to Diamond City to reunite with his family. Mrs. Eleanor Moore died at Diamond City in November of 1868.
Perry joined brothers John and Sanford to engage in hauling timber to the mines in Confederate and the other gulches in the area. They employed a number of teams and men, and after two years the Moore brothers moved east to the Smith River Valley. There they bought a sawmill in the Dry Range country on the lower Smith River and furnished lumber to Diamond City and Fort Logan.
The Moore brothers also ran a small herd of cattle in the Smith River Valley. Perry Moore was one of the first arrivals at White Sulphur Springs when that town was founded. He and his brother John owned and operated a ranch in the Smith River Valley, twenty-five miles from White Sulphur Springs.
In 1871, an early winter caused some concern for their cattle, and hearing of open range in the Musselshell Valley, John drove the cattle there while Perry and Sanford were in California on a horse-buying expedition. In the spring of 1871 the cattle were returned to the Smith River Ranch with John maintaining operations there. In 1872 Perry and Sanford decided to remain in the Musselshell, and later in the 1880s Sanford took up freighting operations.
In leaving the Smith River area, Perry took up a homestead of 160 acres in addition to 400 acres of desert land along the Musselshell River in central Montana near the later town of Two Dot, and lived there the rest of his life. Over the years, Perry greatly expanded his holdings until his ranch encompassed 12,000 acres. He became one of the leading landowners and for many years was one of the most prominent sheep men in central Montana. The Moore ranch expanded into raising hay, grain, cattle and sheep. In his later years he spent much of his time in California.
A life long Democrat, Perry Moore was elected narrowly to the Fourteenth Territorial Legislature in 1885, representing Meagher County. He served as school trustee at Two Dot for many years, was a past master of the Diamond City Lodge of Masons at White Sulphur Springs, a member of Harlowton Chapter No. 22 Royal Arch Masons, and belonged to Loyal Lodge No. 27, Knights of Pythias, at Two Dot. He was a major stockholder in the State Bank of Two Dot. Perry Moore was a member of the United Confederate Veterans and the Nathan Bedford Forrest Camp, No. 1390 of Helena Montana.
On August 17, 1881, Perry Moore married Miss Nellie Robertson, who was born in 1859 at Prescott, Ontario. Her father, George F. Robertson, came to Canada from Scotland. Perry and Nellie Moore had four children: Nellie, the oldest, widow of Dr. H. B. Tice, who was a physician and surgeon; two sons Perry James, Jr., and George Fulton; and Margaret.
Proud Confederate veteran Perry J. Moore passed away August 16, 1921 in Lewistown and is interred at Mayn Cemetery, White Sulphur Springs.
1. Perry J. Moore and the 9th Kentucky Cavalry provided military escort for President Jefferson Davis as he fled to the Carolinas at the end of the Civil War. This newspaper cartoon depicts Davis at his capture dressed in woman’s clothes, when in fact he was wearing only his wife Varina’s large shawl.
25 September 2013
Remembering Our Civil War Heritage and Heroes:
Dan Dutro: From Drummer Boy to Photographer
By Ken Robison
For The River Press
September 25, 2013
This continues a monthly series commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War and the veterans that came to Montana after the war. This month’s feature highlights Civil War veteran Daniel Dutro who fought in the war before migrating to Montana Territory where he mined and gained fame as a photographer. Descendants of Montana Civil War veterans are encouraged to send their stories to email@example.com. Descendants of Montana Civil War veterans are encouraged to send their stories to firstname.lastname@example.org..
Daniel Dutro was too young to go to war when the Civil War started, but he joined as a drummer boy in 1865. Although he served but one year, he suffered the effects for the rest of his life. His health caused him to turn from mining in Montana Territory to photography. As a result, Dan Dutro gained fame as one of Montana’s greatest photographers.
Born on the Miami River at Taylorsville, Highland County, Ohio on September 17, 1848. He moved with his parents to Bloomington, Illinois, when a child, living there until he was fifteen years old. His father died just before the outbreak of the Civil War, and young Dan offered his services to the Union, but his widowed mother would not give her consent for his enlistment.
During the war the Dutro family moved to Pleasant Hill, Missouri and at age sixteen Dan Dutro, “animated with a flame of patriotism,” determined to become a soldier despite his mother’s continued opposition. He went to Springfield, Illinois to enlist on January 25, 1865 in Company B, 150th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was made drummer boy of his company. After serving through the end of the war and beyond, he was stricken with pneumonia, thought to be fatal, and was sent home in a box car to die, but recovered so thoroughly that he was able to rejoin his unit in Missouri.
The 150thIllinois was assigned to Reconstruction duty as a sort of vigilance committee to wage war against the activities of Confederate guerrillas in Missouri in the postwar years. These bandits included remnants of the Bill Anderson and Quantrill raiders with men like Jesse and Frank James turning from war to crime. In company with his fellow soldiers, Dan Dutro helped break up this coterie of outlaws, and rendered effective service in pacifying war torn Missouri. He was mustered out on 16 January 1866 at Atlanta, Georgia.
Two years later in 1868 Dan Dutro came to Montana Territory and began his long residence there. He made the long trip by the steamboat Andrew Ackley leaving St. Louis, Missouri April 14th and arriving Fort Benton June 17th. He then continued on to Helena to find work. His first employment at Helena was as a hod carrier. At that time he was so slender that it seemed impossible that he could carry the heavy hod, and his fellow workmen watched him to see that harm did not come to him as he tried to make good. As they expected, his strength proved unequal to the task, and he was caught as he fell from the ladder. The contractor, appreciating the grit of the lad, changed his job to that of stone cutting.
By the time he had learned the trade of stone cutting he became expert in mineralogy, and he added knowledge of mechanics and decorating to his other tradecraft. Once more he overworked, and his health broke down confining him to his bed for two years. When he was able to get out and around he realized that he must keep out of doors, so he began prospecting in the Neihart district in the Little Belt Mountains. He became one of the earliest prospectors in that silver-rich area. There he discovered the “Benton” group of mines and a number of others, which were developed into the best silver producers of the region.
Again his health broke down and he was forced to seek work at lower elevations. Retaining partial interest in the mines, in 1881 he moved to Fort Benton where he returned to stone cutting. During this building boom he provided the stone for foundations of several new brick buildings in Fort Benton. By 1883 his health forced him to give that up, and he took up photography.
In November 1883 Dutro bought the photographic studio and stock of S. Duffin and developed into an artist and practical photographer, gaining fame during the final years of the steamboat trade as Fort Benton boomed and construction flourished before the arrival of the railroads. Dutro’s photographic record of the people, places, and buildings of Fort Benton and central Montana are remarkable. He photographed a range of Blackfoot, Cree, and Gros Ventre at a time when their lives were evolving. He photographed a wide span of Fort Benton history, the river, the historic buildings, the street scenes, and the advances in transportation as steamboats were replaced by railroads. He captured many images of the countryside, ranches, and mines. He took many studio portraits of men, women, and children, and the ethnic Chinese. After the defeat of the Metis and Louis Riel in 1885, Dan Dutro photographed Riel’s military commander, Gabriel Dumont and others of the Metis and Cree communities in exile from Canada. He captured important aspects of history of the Missouri River, the changes in transportation, and the evolution from open range ranching. Dan Dutro’s photographs are exceptionally important historically and prized by many families in the area.
Some of Dutro’s photographic techniques show both innovation and humor. When he photographed the Fort Benton School at recess one day in 1885 he had the children form in front of the building. After this session, he pronounced, “it is as hard to keep them quiet as a lot of calves in a corral.” He devised a “novel invention for catching the happiest expression possible, and for taking the pictures of children it cannot be beaten. It is called the ‘compressed air automatic countenance catcher.’” The mind wonders what that was all about!
Among the many Dutro photographs in our Overholser Historical Research Center are two “hanging” photos taken of convicted murderers before their execution. The hangings were public events, and the photos posed the doomed man with various law enforcement and legal community officials.
Dutro’s photographic record of the Fort Benton adobe trading post during the 1880s and 90s provides a valuable record of this decaying historic landmark and proved vital to the reconstruction of Old Fort Benton. In May 1886 in the second year of the fledgling Great Falls Townsite, Dutro visited to take photos of the falls of the Missouri and the new town. The next year he was back for more as the growth of “the future great” began to accelerate. When the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba (later Great Northern) Railroad arrived at Fort Benton, Dutro was there to photograph the driving of the silver spike. He visited the Dan Blevins ranch on Highwood Creek to take photos of his well-known race horses. Holiday treats during this period featured collections of Dutro’s famed photographic sketches of northern Montana.
In 1894 the Chinese community of Fort Benton and other towns in the area were required to comply with provisions of a new law, and Dutro was there to photograph them. Twenty-seven Chinese were photographed in Fort Benton, a dozen at Assinniboine, and twenty at Havre. The next year Dutro was back in Havre to photograph the “Wildest West” show aggregation. While there he also captured Cree Indians just ready to commence their famous sun dance.
By the mid 1890s Dutro’s reputation as an exceptional photographer attracted the interest of a young man who was destined to greatness. In early 1896 Roland Reed came to Fort Benton to apprentice at the Dutro Studio. Dutro and Reed formed a partnership with photographic studios in Fort Benton and Havre during 1896-97. In 1897, Reed went north to photograph the Alaska Gold Rush. He then went to national prominence during a long career photographing Native Americans, especially the Blackfoot Indians. Many of his photographs were published in association with the Great Northern Railroad.
In one of Fort Benton’s greatest preservation disasters, the priceless collection of Dan Dutro’s glass plate negatives, stored for many years in the Benton Record building, were thrown out when the third story of the Record building was razed in August 1929 to develop Fraternity Hall.
During his Helena years, Daniel Dutro had married Caroline McBurney, a daughter of George McBurney, who came from Farmington, New York, where Mrs. Dutro was born on October 17, 1849. The 1880 census recorded the Dutro family living in Helena with children: Alice age 8; Flora age 5; George age 4; and David age 2. Living in Fort Benton, the Dutros were active members of the community. In January 1882, Dan Dutro, as a “patron” of the Benton Public Schools publically supported the School Board in their stand to allow African American children to attend the Benton Schools. He served as president of the Fort Benton library association. Dutro was a founding member of G. K. Warren Post No. 20, Grand Army of the Republic, in Fort Benton.
Around 1900 Dutro’s father-in-law, George McBurney, builder of the McBurney House the first hotel in Deer Lodge County, lost his eyesight, and Dan Dutro ended his photographic career to devote himself to the care of McBurney until the death of the latter. Dutro then resumed mining operations in the Helena area and operated a mine at the mouth of Nelson Gulch, where he built a small stamp mill and foundry. Later, he discovered the “Arrow Head” mine of rich ore. Until his death, Dutro continued to operate his mill and take an active interest in mining affairs. Considering the state of his health Mr. Dutro was a remarkable man and his achievements stand out as a practical demonstration of what a man can accomplish if he only possesses sufficient ambition, no matter what his physical disabilities may be.
Mrs. Caroline Dutro survived her husband and lived at Central Park, Gallatin County, Montana. At the time of Dan Dutro’s death their children were: Alice, married to Rev. H. E. Clowes, of San Diego, California; Flora, married to Arthur P. Knadler, of Central Park, Montana; George, married to Helen, daughter of Robert and Lydia Culbertson; and David V, married to Anna Vaughn, of Dodson, MT.
Civil War veteran drummer boy Daniel D. Dutro died May 8, 1918 at Logan, a railroad town in Gallatin County near Three Forks. He rests today in Forestvale Cemetery, Helena.
1. Dan Dutro prospected and mined whenever his health permitted.
2. Dutro & Reed’s Photographic Studio about 1896, the studio was located on the site of the Chouteau County Free Public Library.