Meet Sergeant John Moore, Company B, 16th North Carolina.

By Frederick Walton, 6th NCST Historian

Meet Sergeant John Moore, Company B, 16th North Carolina. At least I think it’s John Moore, here’s why…

Sgt Willie Meadows- Co B

unidentified Early War Photo, mislabeled as Willie Meadows, Co. B., 6th NCST

 

When I first saw this photo last week it was identified as Sergeant Willie Meadows of Company B, 6th North Carolina State Troops.

(see Sergeant Willie Meadows ?? Company B- “Flat River Guards”)

This didn’t seem right to me for several reasons. First the uniform was unlike any I had seen in previous photos of 6th NCST soldiers. Secondly, although he has a “B” on his cap, the letters “MR” below it didn’t make sense to me. Company B was known as the “Flat River Guards”. The letters on his cap should be FRG rather than the “MR”.

Corp Joseph C. Allison Co B 6ncst copy

Flat River Guards- “FRG” Hat Brass (Corporal Joseph C. Allison, Co B, 6th NCST)

Most viewers were in agreement that the picture seemed to be an early war photo, but looking up Willie Meadows service record revealed that he didn’t make Sergeant until 1864, much too late to be considered an “early war” photo.

When expert Bob Williams identified the “MR” as the 6th North Carolina’s Madison Rangers, I was further confused because I didn’t think there was any company called the Madison Rangers in the 6TH N. C.

I was wrong!

A little more research revealed that the Madison Rangers was indeed the nickname of the 6th North Carolina’s company B… the 6th North Carolina VOLUNTEERS, that is. They became the 16th North Carolina Troops on November 14, 1861.

Now that I established that this was not Willie Meadows, I wondered if there was any way to find out who this young man was. I sought the answer by consulting the roster for Company B, 16th NCT and identifying the Sergeants listed. I reasoned that he had to be one of them. There were only 7 sergeants listed, and four of them were named John, so there is a better than 50 % chance that the guy in the photo is John somebody!

If we agree that this is an early war photo, we can eliminate three names that didn’t become Sergeant until Dec ‘62 or later.

  • John W. Randall, 20, Promoted Sgt- 1 May ’63 
  • John Callahan, 29, Promoted Sgt- 22 Mar ’64 
  • Zachariah Peek, 25, Promoted 1st Sgt- 12 Dec ’62 

The lad in the photo is clearly in his mid 20’s, so that eliminates Sergeant John Brown, age 51.

Our sergeant is missing the diamond of a 1st Sergeant, so that eliminates 1st Sergeant Ira J. Profit, age 27.

This leaves us with two remaining choices:

Moore, John A., 1st Lt.
Resided in Madison County and enlisted at age 25, April 29, 1861. Mustered in as Sergeant and was elected 1st Lt. on or about April 26, 1862. Present or accounted for until killed at Chancellorsville, Va. May 3, 1863.

OR

Dalton, William A., Sergeant
Resided in Madison County where he enlisted on April 29, 1861. Mustered in as Sergeant but was reduced to rank of Corporal in September 1861-Feb 1863. Present or accounted for until captured in unspecified battle. Exchanged at Aiken’s Landing, James River, Va., Sept. 7, 1862. Reported AWOL from Nov. 11, 1862 through Aug 31, 1863. Reduced to Ranks prior to Sept 1, 1863. Company records do not indicate whether he ever returned to duty, however he DESERTED to the Yankees prior to March 5, 1865 when he took the Oath of allegiance at Louisville, Kentucky.

Hero or Traitor

Does the sincere face ln the photo look like a hero or a traitor? No disrespect meant to Sergeant Dalton, but, gee whiz, he seems to have a very spotty service record. Who knows what demons he faced during his service, but….AWOL? Desertion?

Whereas Sergeant Moore’s record is exemplary, including the fact that he made the ultimate sacrifice. So wouldn’t it be nice to remember him! That’s one reason I choose him.

Another reason is simple statistics. When 4 out of 7 sergeants are named John…well you can’t go wrong picking John, can you?

But the final data has nothing to do with something as arbitrary as personal feelings or as cold as statistics. What if we had a description? William Dalton has one in his compiled service record from his Oath of Allegiance:

Fold3_Page_3_Compiled_Service_Records_of_Confederate_Soldiers_Who_Served_in_Organizations_from_the_State_of_North_Carolina

Complexion: Fair
Hair: Light
Eyes: Blue
Height: 6’ 3”” (Wow! a giant!)

This doesn’t match our photo at all:

Sgt Willie Meadows- Co B

Sergeant John Moore, Co. B, Madison Rangers, 6th North Carolina Volunteers (16th NCT)

Complexion: dark (albeit with rosy cheeks)
Hair: Dark
Eyes: dark
Height: guessing about 5’11’’ (based on my height when I hold my sword that way)

This, then, has to be our guy…we have run out of choices!

Meet Sergeant…later 1st Lieutenant John Moore…unless you have a better idea?

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Sergeant Willie Meadows ?? Company B- “Flat River Guards”

Faces Logo

The following photographs and information are original members of the “Bloody Sixth”. I am honored to include their stories and images here. If you would like to share a story or photo about your 6th NCST ancestor, please leave a comment and I will be in touch.


Sergeant Willie Meadows ??
Company B- “Flat River Guards”

Image found on the internet at various sites.

Discussion of photograph- Is this REALLY Willie Meadows?

At the time of this writing, this photograph has appeared in several places on the internet, some describing it  as the photo of Sgt. Willie Meadows. To date I have been unable to uncover the provenance that positively links this photo to this soldier, through a family member for example. One on-line auction site simply listed it as “Great Silhouetted Ninth Plate Ambrotype Of A Confederate Sergeant In Thermoplastic Case.”

According to Uniform expert Bob Williams, this image was once in the collection of William Albaugh and was published in. “Even More Confederate Faces” back in 1983. He is ID’d as belonging to the Madison Rangers, Co. B, 6th NCST.

There are several puzzling things about this photo. First is his forage Cap. It has a metal “B” which would correctly indicate his company, but below that are what appear to be “M R”.

Company B of the 6th North Carolina State Toops was known as the “Flat River Guards” and there are several photographs of their members wearing Hardee hats with the letters “FRG”.

Company B of the 6th North Carolina Infantry Volunteers (16th North Carolina Troops) was known as the “Madison Rangers”.  “M R” probably stands for Madison Rangers.

There was indeed a Willie Meadows in Company “B” of the 6th North Carolina State Troops, (see below) but his compiled service records show him as a private and a corporal, through 1864. He is listed as a Sergeant only on the Appomattox Parole listing in April of 1865.

That fact that the Cap has “hat brass” would indicate an early war photo. Veterans learned to remove these “targets” fairly early on. So while this would seem to be an early war photo, Willie Meadows of Company “B”, 6th NCST, was not a Sergeant until the late part of the war, and at that late date, its doubtful he had the proper uniform, anyway.

The upside down Sgt. Chevrons are unusual. While the jacket is similar to an early war NC style sack coat (fatigue jacket) it is not the same pattern. There are too many buttons, too close together and the black shoulder patches are going the wrong way, almost like officers shoulder boards.

A quick Google image search of “Civil War Sgt Chevrons” or “Civil War Sgt stripes” shows pages of photos, but none like the Sergeant stripes in this photo, making this pattern a mystery to me. I also scanned through Greg Mast’s “State Troops and Volunteers” and did not find a similar uniform jacket or upside down stripes amongst his many photos.

None of the known photographs of 6th North Carolina State Troops soldiers, especially several of the Flat River Guards, resemble this particular uniform.

I reviewed the 6th North Carolina Volunteers, which became the 16th NCT and found no Willie Meadows  on their roster. Additional reseach will be required to find out who the Sergeants of the 16th NCT were.

The etched sword, enhanced in the photo with added gilt, looks more like an officers sword, or maybe even a ceremonial sword. It could possibly be a photo studio prop, but he is wearing what appears to be a metal scabbard on this hip. This may be a little overkill for a prop.

His belt buckle is hidden by the sword, so no clue there and the buttons are obscured by the added gilt. Sadly there is no way to identify this as a North Carolina uniform, Much less as Willie Meadows.

If anyone can provide further explanation or provenance, I would love to share it with my readers.


Sergeant Willie Meadows  
Company B- “Flat River Guards”

Resided in: Orange County
Prior Occupation: unknown
Enlisted: May 1, 1861, for the war
Where: Orange County
Age at enlistment: 23
Rank at enlistment: Private
Service Record:

  • Note: he is listed as W., Willie, Wilie, and Wiley on the Compiled service records
  • Wounded in the leg at Malvern Hill, Virginia, July 1, 1862.
  • Appointed Corporal on April 1, 1863.
  • Captured at Fredericksburg, Vir­ginia, May 4, 1863, and confined at Fort Delaware, Delaware, until paroled and exchanged on May 23, 1863.
  • Captured at Rappahannock Station, Virginia, November 7, 1863, and confined at Point Lookout, Maryland, until paroled and transferred to Aiken’s Landing, James River, Virginia, Sep­tember 18, 1864, for exchange.
  • Paroled at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, April 9, 1865. Rank given on parole as Sergeant.

 


Source Notes:

1)  Jordon, “North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865

2) The National Archives Publication Number: M270; Publication Title: Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of North Carolina; National Archives Catalog ID: 586957; National Archives Catalog Title: Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Confederate Organizations , compiled 1903 – 1927, documenting the period 1861 – 1865; Record Group: 109;Roll: 0161; Military Unit: Sixth Infantry, North Carolina; Meadows, Willie

 

Additional information or photos would be welcomed to complete 
the record of this honorable soldier. 

Confederates could Whip Germans- The 6th NCST 100 years ago today-

(c) 2017 by Frederick Walton

I was perusing the newspaper this morning…the one for July 3, 1917 that is…100 years ago today. What better way to learn “first hand” the feeling of our country as we made our entry into World War one.

On Tuesday, July 3, 1917 I found the following article on the bottom of page 6, in the Raleigh News and Observer: 

LYON, WILLIAM HUDSON, Sergeant, Company I, 6th North Carolina State troops

William Hudson Lyon enlisted in Wake County at age 18, May 28, 1861, for the war. He mustered in as Private and was promoted to Sergeant on January 1, 1863. He was present or accounted for until captured at Rappahannock Station, Virginia, on November 7, 1863. He was confined at the infamous Federal prison,  Point Lookout, Maryland, until paroled and transferred to Boulware’s and Cox’s Wharf, James River, Virginia, where he was received February 20-21, 1865, for exchange. He was reported present with a detachment of paroled and exchanged prisoners at Camp Lee, near Richmond, Virginia, February 27, 1865.

 

The 6th Regiment did serve under Stonewall Jackson for a while in 1863, which would have been a matter of pride for those who served under him. The belt, mentioned would have been part of an NCO’s accoutrments, that is, used to hold his bayonette and cap pouch. Since Lyon enlisted at the very earliest, he would most likely have been issued a coveted 6th NCST belt buckle. These were ordered  by the founding colonel, Charles Frederick Fisher, at their training camp at Company Shops, North Carolina. (present day Burlington, N. C.) Colonel Fisher, the former president of the North Carolina Railroad, had these specially cast in the railroad shops for his men. They are the only known Confederate buckles that designate a specific regiment. There were a limited number produced. A weak point in the design were the prongs that secure the buckle to the belt. They were prone to break off making the buckle useless or worse, allowing it to fall off and be lost. Several have been found by metal detectors at campsites or on battlefields, but they are a rare and valuable find. It is no doubt that Lyon coveted and protected his throughout his life. I wonder what became of it? It it in some ancestors attic or proudly on display somewhere in Raleigh?

The army didn’t see fit to recruit Jackson’s aging veterans, but their spirit certainly ran in the blood of that present generation of volunteers and draftees who did go to France and whipped the Germans in 1918.