Captain George H. Moeser, Co. F.


unioneagleLike many of the 62nd, George Moeser’s parents were born overseas and immigrated to the United States. Arriving from Bavaria, Germany, possibly on the ship Baltimore, in the 1830’s, Captain Moeser’s parents George (b. 1805) and Charlotte (b. 1814) settled in New York City and began their life in their adopted country as a tailor and housewife.  No record could be found of any additional children or relatives crossing with them.  George H. Moeser was born in New York City in 1837 and in 1860 married Lena (Helena) Moeser in Manhattan, New York and together they will have three children, George (b. 1862), Elizabeth (b. 1864) and John (b. 1866).

After the firing on Fort Sumter, George H. enlisted with the 62nd on April 27, 1861 in New York City and was mustered into Company F on July 3, 1861 at the age of 24. He was commissioned a Captain on October 23, 1861.  Captain Moeser fought in the various operations of the Peninsular Campaign and joined the rest of the 62nd in the assault on Fredericksburg, Virginia.  It was here that the Captain was wounded by a gunshot to the left side of his head and right leg.  He was remove from the battlefield and sent to a military hospital near Alexandria, Virginia.

No matter what war or during what time period, military and civilian bureaucracy will muddy the waters and confuse the facts.  While recovering from his wounds in Alexandria, Captain Moeser was reported absent without leave and was dishonourably dismissed from the service under Special Order #53.  Later, after clarification of the confusion surrounding his whereabouts was researched and verified, his rank and privileges were returned to him. He was then honourably discharged from the service.

After The Great Rebellion, George, like hundreds of thousands of soldiers from both sides, returned to their homes and tried to re-establish their lives.  George returned to New York City and established a home for his family on 194thStreet, East Village and opened a grocery, and he would continue to operate a grocery until about 1900.  The Federal Census of 1900 showed that their son, John, had been unemployed as a house painter for about three months and was now living with them. At this time the family was living in Manhattan.

On January 24, 1905, George successfully applied for a pension for his services in the War, but no mention was made of the amount.  On August 6, 1913 Captain George H. Moeser died at home, with Lena following on November 25, 1916.  Both were buried at Saint John’s Catholic Cemetery in Queens, New York.

By Joe Basso

Article originally appeared in ZOUAVE!

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