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Moore, John (1826-1907) to Mary Moore Kelly

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04195.03 Author/Creator: Moore, John (1826-1907) Place Written: Cincinnati, Ohio Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 22 February 1862 Pagination: 4 p. ; 20.3 x 26.5 cm.

He refers to the Sanitary Commission's pretentious movement, and complains about their nurses. Laments the fact that while he and the Army medical department do all the work, and the government pays all the costs, they receive all the criticism while the Sanitary Commission ends up with all the credit. "The world you see is very much given to humbuggery. Even benevolence sometimes assumes that shape. Allow me to say, however, that the people mean well and freely give their money – give it more freely than I ever knew the bogus chivalry of the south to do, with all their flings and sneers at northern penuriousness." Describes celebrations and a parade, probably for Washington's birthday. "Flags hung out by tens of thousands...There will be a grand and beautiful illumination to night." Read about "Gen. C.F. Smith's storming of Ft. Donelson. There's a soldier for you. He was with us in Utah. For some time past newspaper scriblers have been accusing him of being a secessionist. Let them put him in another difficult position and he will do the same thing again." "All the row about a want of doctors at Ft Donelson resulted from the over anxiety of the Sanitary Commission here….The nurses that went down are about as fit for such duties as I am to be archbishop of Canterbury. They were composed mainly of painters and poets and other fancy gentlemen who thought the trip on the boat would be a pleasant occasion for a 'bust.' They took a good supply of whiskey and other liquors-for the sick? perhaps. I have been busy making preparations for 500 sick and wounded that are to be sent here-will be here, I suppose tomorrow." Written one week after the Battle of Fort Donelson (12-16 February 1862). Union casualties were 507 killed and 1,976 wounded.

After serving in the Utah War, Moore returned east, assigned to the Marine Hospital in Cincinnati until August 1862. As a newly promoted major, he transferred to the Army of the Potomac, assigned as medical director of the Central Grand division, where he participated in the second battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and in Chancellorsville as medical director of the 5th Corps. In June 1863 Moore became the medical director of the Department of the Tennessee, assisting in the battles of Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, and Sherman's march on Atlanta, where he acted as medical director of the armies of Georgia, Tennessee, and Sherman's army, and was given the rank of lieutenant colonel and then colonel. Moore saw the end of the war in Missouri in St. Louis and Vicksburg.

Following the war Moore served two years at Fort Wadsworth and Fort Columbus in New York Harbor then practiced as a surgeon in the New York City area. After short stints in Europe, Virginia, Texas, Washington, and California, he was named Surgeon General in 1886. He retired in 1890 and continued living an active life in Washington, D.C. until his death in 1907.

Kelly is Moore's sister.

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