Title: Confederate Army private, Civil War
Birthdate: October 15, 1842
Death Date: September 17, 1915
Plot Location: Section 2, Lot 10, southwest quarter
Boy Scout Troop #503 from Springfield, Delaware County, came to Mount Moriah Cemetery for their service project in 2016 and uncovered the grave of a Civil War veteran. What made this unique was he was a Confederate soldier.
There had been many of them in the Soldier’s Plot in section 200 since they had been treated at Philadelphia hospitals. All but two had been removed and placed in Philadelphia National Cemetery in the early 1900s. The Scouts found one who lived a long life after the war, only coming to Philadelphia the last month of his life..
Oddly enough, the man who fought for his convictions about slavery and states’ rights was originally from Pennsylvania. Orville was born in Scranton to Irish parents. His family included two more boys and two girls. Sometime in the 1850s Thomas Moat decided to sell the farm and move his family to Tennessee.
Whatever the family’s feelings were about the issues of the day and secession from the Union, Orville enlisted on June 1, 1862 in the 4th Tennessee Cavalry. Six months later he was captured by Union forces just south of Nashville.
Private Moat was taken to Camp Douglas in Chicago but didn’t stay long; he was released as part of a prisoner exchange in March of 1863. He rejoined the 4th Cavalry and fought with them during the Battle of Chickamauga later that year. That was a Confederate victory, but the Atlanta Campaign in the summer of 1864 was not. The Army of Tennessee saw defeat again at the Battle of Franklin and was effectively destroyed as a fighting force for the remainder of the war.
Thomas Moat died in 1863, so after the war the family (except for one daughter that was married) moved to Maryland. The three boys tried to run a farm there but the spark was gone. William moved to Philadelphia in the early 1870s to study medicine at Hahnemann Medical College. By 1880 James had followed that same career path and took his sister and mother to Philly with him. James and his mother both died of pneumonia in the 1890s and the physician who signed their death certificates was his brother, William.
Orville went in the opposite direction; he is listed in the 1880 census as a sewing machine salesman in western Maryland. At age 42, he found a bride from nearby West Virginia who was 17 years younger. They moved near Washington, D.C. where he worked as a produce dealer, then as a life insurance agent. He was also an active member of his local chapter of the United Confederate Veterans, but they never had any children.
When there were health concerns in August of 1915, Orville went to see his family’s doctor, which was his brother William, in Philadelphia. He stayed with him about a month before he died of complications from a bowel obstruction.
He is buried here with his mother, sister, and wife. James’s family plot is in Section 124, and William’s family chose another cemetery.
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