Saturday, February 26, 2011

Christopher Columbus Moore Served the Confederacy and the Union (Moore Family, Part 4)

With a name like Christopher Columbus Moore, the third child of nine born to Albert and Sarah McClure Moore must have been destined for a noticeable life in his future. Perhaps like his namesake, who discovered America in 1492, Christopher Columbus Moore (born May 2, 1843 in North Carolina, died September 26, 1920 in Towns County, Georgia) would lead a life worth notice.

When the Civil War broke out, Christopher Columbus Moore was still at home with his parents in the Woods Grove Community of Towns County. He helped his father work on the farm. The political climate in this northern county was both pro-South and pro-Union, with sentiments largely favoring the latter. Few slaves were owned by farmers who, at best, had only small holdings in cultivated acreage.

Christopher Columbus Moore probably walked from his home at Woods Grove to the county seat town of Hiawassee. There, on March 1, 1862, he enlisted in the Confederate Army, joining Company E, 52nd Regiment, Georgia Infantry. For whatever reasons, whether his political leanings or dissatisfaction that he might have been defending slavery, “Lum” Moore (as he was known) was found to be away-without-leave from his regiment several times. Not so good a record, especially for anyone who might have thought of receiving a good conduct medal.

He was at the Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and there he was taken a prisoner of war by the Union on July 4, 1863, along with others in the command of Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton, Confederate States of America. Evidently plans were in the works to allow any of the imprisoned Southern soldiers who would do so sign an oath of allegiance not to take up arms again against the United States, and thus be released from prison. Christopher Columbus Moore signed the vow of allegiance and was released as a prisoner of war on July 6, 1863, only two days after his capture. He was no doubt still in pain at the time he was imprisoned and released. Lum Moore lost his right forefinger in fighting at Vicksburg—a very useful finger to lose.

Following his release at Vicksburg, he probably returned home to Woods Grove for awhile. But then, whether because of his loyalty to the Union or because he could be paid for his services if he enlisted, Christopher Columbus Moore journeyed to Cleveland, Tennessee where he signed up for a year in the U. S. Army on August 5, 1864. Where he served and in what battles is unknown to this writer, but before his year of enlistment was up, the war had ended. Christopher Columbus Moore was discharged from the Union Army at Nashville, Tennessee on July 16, 1865. Evidently his two enlistments were not something he wanted to discuss. Descendants note that their grandfather was silent about the war for the rest of his life.

The same year as his discharge from the Union Army, Christopher Columbus Moore and Mary Elizabeth Swanson were married on December 14, 1865. Her parents were Anderson Clifton and Mary Brown Swanson. She had been born June 29, 1840, the eldest of the Swanson children. Her parents had migrated from Wilkes County, NC to Union County, Georgia in 1849. Lum Moore’s father-in-law had also served as a blacksmith in the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Christopher Columbus Moore and Mary Elizabeth Swanson Moore had eight children:

(1) James (01/07/1867) married Sadie Boyd and Sallie Williams
(2) William Hannibal (04/10/1868) married Jennie Wood
(3) Laveda (04/06/1870) married Albert Welborn
(4) John Andrew (12/25/1871) married Emily E. Teem
(5) Lillie (10/25/1873) married William Nicholson
(6) Lola (10/20/1875) married John Philyaw;
(7) George (04/21/1879) married Pearl Parker
(8) Thomas Arthur (04/09/1882) married Mae Johnson

As we learned from Part 3 of this Moore Family story, Christopher Columbus Moore and his wife Emily looked after his parents in the declining years of their lives, as Lum’s father had specified when he deeded him land along Long Bullet Creek, Towns County, “for taking care of Albert Moore and his wife Sarah and keeping as part of the family during their natural life.” This contract Lum and Emily Moore faithfully kept until Albert died in 1897 and Sarah died in 1899.

The old Civil War veteran of two sides, Lum Moore, lived mainly in Towns County for the remainder of his life, engaging in farming and perhaps harvesting timber from some of his acreage. But there were two brief periods when this couple lived elsewhere. For five years they lived in Habersham County, Georgia at a place called Arnold’s Mill. They also lived briefly in Macon County, North Carolina. Each move may have been because of living nearer some of their married children.

But they moved back to Woods Grove to live out their days. It is interesting that a post office once operated from the old homestead of Lum Moore’s father, and this post office was not called Moore—after the people who lived on that land—and not Woods Grove, as the community then and since has been known, but the post office that operated there for a decade from 1890-1900 was Campagne, Georgia.

Christopher Columbus Moore and Mary Elizabeth Swanson Moore died two months apart—he on September 26, 1920 and she on December 29, 1920. Their marked graves are in the Woods Grove Cemetery, Towns County, Georgia.

c2011 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Feb. 24, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Continuing with the James and Albert Moore Families of Early Union and Towns Counties (Part 3)

Continuing with two of the families cited in the article published January 27, 2011 (Part 2) on Moore families in early Union County, we learn that when Towns County was formed in 1856, at least two of the Moore families living in Union in 1850—those of James and Albert—were within the bounds of the new county, Towns.

In 1850, the household the census taker numbered 627 in Union had only two people in residence, James Moore, age 70 and his wife, June Moore, age 67. Six years later this couple at age 76 and 73 respectively found themselves within the new county of Towns, living in the Woods Grove section. They had not moved. The new geography had just absorbed them as citizens of Towns.

James Moore was born July 10, 1779 in Rowan (maybe Iredell) County, North Carolina. His mother and father had migrated to America from Ireland prior to the American Revolution. James Moore married June Stevenson. She was born in 1783. They first made their home in Haywood County, North Carolina on a little farm alongside Crabtree Creek. The children born to them were named Harriet who married Hiram McLean, Clarissa Ann who married David Sellers, Aveline who married Samuel Sellers, and Johial, Terzey and Marcella whose spouses (if any) are unknown, and then the seventh child, Albert Moore who married Sarah McClure (more about this family later).

Sometime prior to the 1850 Union County, Georgia census, James and June McClure left their Crabtree Creek home in Haywood County, North Carolina and moved to the new and burgeoning Union County and settled in the Woods Grove community. Perhaps it was their youngest son, Albert, who convinced his elderly parents to move when Albert and Sarah decided to settle in Union. But James and June Moore did not have many years remaining in their lives in Union/Towns. June Moore died April 17, 1857 and James Moore died May 30, 1862. Their bodies were interred in North Carolina soil at Ely in Clay County in the Old Union Cemetery there.

Albert and Sarah Moore were registered by the census taker as living in household numbered 234 in Union County in 1850. Albert was born in Haywood County, NC on August 7, 1819. He married Sarah McClure, born April 3, 1822, a daughter of John and Sarah Cathey McClure. We learned from Part 2 in this account of this Moore family that seven of their nine children had been born prior to the 1850 census. Later, Albert and Sarah would have two more children. Their children were:

(1) Talitha Caroline (July 19, 1839-May 30, 1930) married on May 15, 1856 to Jehu Parker
(2) Nancy Ann (b. 1842) married Andrew James (“Jim”) Burch on Nov. 4, 1875
(3) Christopher Columbus (May 2, 1843-Sept. 26, 1921) married Mary Elizabeth Swanson on Dec. 14, 1865
(4) Altha (b. 1845) married George Tipton
(5) Andrew Americus (b. 1846) married Mary A. Green on March 3, 1867
(6) Sarah Jane (b. 1848) married a Parker
(7) Mercilla Arlene (b. 1850) married William L. Townsley on August 31, 1870
(8) Tursey M. (b. 1852) and
(9) Clarissa Melvina E. (b. 1854) married M. Henry Brown of Walker County
Albert and Sarah McClure Moore settled into life in the new county of Towns after they were absorbed into it by virtue of where they lived when that county was laid out in 1856. Then the Civil War came, and Albert Moore served with the Confederate forces during the war.

After the war, in early 1871, Albert Moore added to his already-held property by purchasing 150 acres from Marcus Kimsey for $300. The property was in Land Lot 50 of the 17th District along Long Bullet Creek. Records show that Albert Moore sold 80 acres in 1887 to his brother-in-law George W. Tipton for $300, receiving as much as he had paid earlier for the entire tract of land.

In 1895, Albert Moore deeded to his third child, Christopher Columbus Moore (known as “Lum”) the remainder of his land. The deed had a stipulation that Lum Moore would take in and care for his parents, Albert and Sarah McClure Moore, for the remainder of their lives. As was customary in that era, Lum Moore was true to his father’s wishes and provided a good home for his parents until their deaths.

Albert Moore died June 8, 1897 and his wife Sarah died almost two years later on March 18, 1899. They were interred at the Woods Grove Baptist Church Cemetery, Towns County, Georgia near where they had made their home since migrating from Haywood County, North Carolina to Union County prior to 1850.

c2011 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Feb. 17, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

To Nagasaki after the Atomic Bomb Blast

Significant events in the history of our country and World War II—the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan respectively on August 6, 1945 and August 9, 1945—led to Japan’s unconditional surrender signed aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.

At the Potsdam Conference held July 26, 1945, leaders of the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union issued an ultimatum to Japan for unconditional surrender. Japan’s leader refused to surrender. President Harry S. Truman made the crucial decision to bomb two Japanese cities. It is almost certain that if that decision had not been made, the United States would have invaded Japan and many more people, both American, our allies, and Japanese, would have died in a bitterly-fought extended war after the peace in Europe had been signed.

RSp3 Grover D. Jones and buddies Harlor, Bridges and Jack Jones,
shipmates, on a mountain outside Nagasaki, Japan, 1945.

Navy Radioman Third Class Grover Duffie Jones and his crew were ordered to Nagasaki Bay for occupation duty shortly following the dropping of the bombs. Their mission was to restore communications. From his autobiography he wrote about this assignment. Because of the significantly historical nature of his (my husband’s) account, I share from it here:

“Occupation duty would be dangerous, even though fighting had ceased. Little did we know how very dangerous the assignment would be, for the aftermath of atomic fallout had not been studied extensively by scientists.”

Deployed from their main troop ship from a harbor in Hawaii, the radio crew and their officers and the radio equipment they needed were loaded onto an LST (Landing Ship Tank) and made the treacherous journey from Hawaii through storms at sea, finally arriving at Nagasaki Harbor.

Grover Jones continues in his journal: “A US Marine crew had arrived at Nagasaki some days before us and had established a base out in the mountains some few miles from the docks. The facility had been a prisoner of war building until the surrender of Japan.

“We were assigned to occupy what had been the customs building about six miles toward the entrance of the harbor. We quickly unloaded and were able to set up quite comfortably in those quarters.”

He follows with details of how they established radio communication. Then about the destruction from the atomic blast in the area where the Marines and Navy detachments were housed, Jones wrote:

“During my stay in Nagasaki, I made only one trip into the edge of the city. That part of Nagasaki was on the outer edge of the area struck by the atomic bomb. It had relatively small damage compared to the worst-hit sections. The people there who had survived the blast had unbelievably high respect for the American armed forces. They had brought an end to the terrible war the country had suffered for several years.

“A short distance from the part of the city we were in was utter destruction. Nothing remained. Within walking distance from the dock was the metal framework of a giant two-story building. It looked as if a giant hand had reached down and pushed the building toward the ground. The metal framework was twisted in every direction. No vegetation survived near the building.

“No warning was ever given to us that atomic radiation was there and might affect our bodies and possibly cause death or disease.”

The Navy detachment was successful in its mission to restore communication from Nagasaki to other American forces and ships in the general Pacific area. With that task completed, Seaman Third Class Grover Duffie Jones and his crew were sent on the long journey through stormy seas on a hospital troop ship back to the United States. They landed in Seattle, Washington in the midst of a bitter winter storm in January of 1946. Even his deployment from Seattle to Jacksonville, Florida for discharge from the Navy was frought with true stories of survival during a blizzard and severe winter weather in his westward travels on his way home.

His niece Betty Wilson salutes her uncle, RSp3 Grover Jones

He was honorably discharged from the U. S. Navy on February 11, 1946. He had been inducted on December 11, 1943 and entered active service on December 18, 1943. His record reads that he had a period of active service of two years, two months and one day. He wrote this at the end of his autobiographical sketch of his Navy service: “I returned home much older than the eighteen-year-old lad who left in the midst of wartime, and, I hope, much wiser for my experiences.”

Throughout several months of 1946, he suffered from a severe attack of painful arthritis, which rendered him unable to walk and in bed most of the time. He suspected, but neither he nor the doctors knew for sure, that the arthritis may have resulted from atomic fallout during his months in Nagasaki Bay. A faithful family doctor in Gainesville, Georgia where he then lived worked hard to pull him through that health crisis. He recovered enough to walk normally, but arthritis in one form or another was an ailment from which he never fully recovered for the remainder of his life to age 85 when he died on January 26, 2011 at Georgia War Veterans Home.

RSP3 Grover Jones was one of “The Greatest Generation,” that lofty, patriotic, brave group of servicemen whose love for God and country stand out as exemplary in the annals of our nation’s history.

c 2011 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Feb. 10, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Rev. Grover Duffie Jones
October 5, 1925 – January 26, 2011

Early on Wednesday morning, January 26, 2011, my beloved husband of sixty-one years departed this earthly life. Ours had been a partnership of sixty-one loving years. I recall here some of the highlights of his life that qualify him as a saintly man, one worthy to be remembered.

We met at Truett McConnell College, Cleveland, GA in the first year of that school’s operation. I recall the first “official” visit he made to Union County in the winter of 1948. He was editor of the school yearbook, then called the “Gannetaha.” He, another yearbook staff member, Jane Lindsey of Morganton, and I were on an ad-buying trip to Blairsville for the yearbook. We went by my Aunt Avery and Aunt Ethel Collins’s house in Choestoe to eat lunch and also by my father’s house for Grover and Jane to meet him. My Dad, always getting right to the point, said, “Are you one of the preacher boys at Truett McConnell?” At that time, though Grover said later he was dealing with the call to preach, he responded no to my father’s question. As it turned out, my father’s query was a prediction, for Grover did surrender to the call to gospel ministry.

We graduated in the first class from Truett McConnell College in May, 1949. We worked, he with Meadors Distribution Company contacting various stores as a route salesman in North Georgia and I in my first year of teaching at Choestoe School. We were wed at Choestoe Baptist Church on December 23, 1949.

Grover and Ethelene at her father’s house – 1950

In 1950, Grover announced his call to preach. We entered Mercer University, Macon, in the fall of 1950 to complete our last two years of college. Antioch Baptist Church at Blairsville called him as pastor, and we made trips twice a month where he fulfilled his preaching appointments and weekend visitation to members. By request of Antioch Baptist Church, he was ordained at Choestoe Baptist Church on August 19, 1951. This was the beginning of his work as a saintly and humble pastor, continuing at Antioch, then at Harmony Baptist Church, Eatonton; Union Hill at Gray; Mt. Hebron at Hartwell (his first full-time pastorate), McConnell Memorial at Hiawassee, and First Baptist Church, Epworth. For 21 ½ years he did the work of a pastor. From those six pastorates, many testify to his godly influence upon their lives and salute him as a saintly man.

His seminary training at Southern and Southeastern Seminaries was not on a full-time basis but might be described as “piecemeal,” as he went to “J” terms (January, June, July). Those studies were geared to assisting in-service pastors hone their skills in the pulpit and delve more deeply into the Scriptures. He became known for his saintly insights into the Word and his compassionate care for members of his congregation.

In October, 1972 he began another direction in his work. He became director of missions for the Morganton Baptist Association, Blue Ridge, Georgia. Later, the Mountaintown Association was added to his assignment, as well as being representative of the Georgia Baptist Convention to the Gilmer-Fannin Association.

Retirement Celebration – June 1988
Other minister, Dr. Maurice Crowder, was host of Grover’s "This Is Your Life"

For 16 ½ years he worked in associational work until he retired June 30, 1988. Even then, he could not give up the work he loved and for four years was a North Georgia consultant to churches and associations for the Georgia Baptist Convention. His gentle way with people combined with wisdom and insight, served him well in the capacity of denominational representative, speaker and consultant.

1983 - with his grandchildren Paula, Matthew, Elizabeth, B. J., Christie, Crystal, and Nathan

In the meantime, he was a saintly father and grandfather. Son Keith was born in Macon in 1952 and daughter Cynthia in Anderson, SC (while we were at Hartwell, GA) in 1957. They grew up, married, and gave us seven wonderful grandchildren. Grover was a loving father and grandfather, continuing his saintly qualities in family relationships and seeking to demonstrate Christian qualities before them by precept and example. Even though he was ill when his five great grandchildren began to come along in 2006 and since, all of his descendants rise up and call him saintly.


His battle with health began shortly after he was discharged from the US Navy following World War II. A vicious arthritis attacked him in the summer of 1946. He dealt with that malady for most of the rest of his life. In 1993 his heart received a physical makeover with five bypasses heart surgery. In January, 1996 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He spent from early 2007 through his death January 26, 2011 in the special care unit of Georgia War Veterans Home, Milledgeville. Through sickness his saintliness was still in evidence. But even more evident was provision for his care during the sixteen years of his journey with Alzheimer’s.

Grover and Ethelene's 50th wedding anniversary, December 23, 1999

As his beloved wife of sixty-one years, I attest to his goodness and compassion. I gratefully acknowledge his devotion as my life companion and the facets of his ministry and wide influence. We brought his body back to the enfolding hills of Choestoe for burial. But in my heart of hearts I know that he is not dead. His influence will live on in my heart and in the hearts of those especially touched by his kind and compassionate ministry. To God be the glory.

c 2011 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Feb. 3, 2011 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.