by Patrick McSherry
John J. Moore was a private in Troop L of the 1st
Volunteer Infantry ("Rough Riders").
John Johnson1 Moore was born on October 7, 1879 near the town of Bernice, in Indian Territory (now known as Oklahoma) on the Cherokee Nation. He was the son of J. A. Moore, who was originally from Georgia, and Elizabeth Dirtceller Moore, who was from Oklahoma. Moore was one of at least four children, having two brothers and one sister. On May 14, 1898, Moore joined the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry (Roosevelt's Rough Riders) at Muscogee, Indian Territory. At the time of his mustering in he lived in Vinita, Oklahoma. He was described as being 5' -9 1/2" tall, with brown eyes, black hair, and a dark complexion. By occupation he was a clerk. Moore was not married at the time of his enlistment.
When Moore enlisted he received the usual medical examination. The Muskogee Phoenix newspaper noted that Moore "passed the examination...with high honors, the assertion being made that he is the most perfect example of physical manhood, according to the army requirements, who has been examined in the last several years. He lacked but half a pound in weight of filling the uttermost requirements."
Moore traveled with the Rough Riders to Tampa, Florida. Soon after the regiment arrived at its camp in Tampa, on June 8 Moore was apparently placed on detached service and given the rank of sergeant. It is unclear what his duties were while he was on detached service or where they were performed but perhaps his background as a clerk was found to be useful somewhere else in the command structure. He did not rejoin Troop L until August 19, 1898, and did so as a private. It is speculation, but it would appear that Moore requested to rejoin his troop and was willing to accept a demotion to do so. By the time Moore rejoined his troop, the battles of Las Guasimas and San Juan Hill were over. The Spanish forces in the Santiago area had surrendered and an armistice was agreed to on August 12 ending the war's fighting. When Moore rejoined his company, it had already returned from Cuba and was stationed at Camp Wikoff on Long Island, New York where it had arrived on August 14. Moore was with his troop at the time of muster out on September 15, 1898.
Following the war, Moore went into the livestock business along with his brother Lee R. Moore. Sometime before 1917 Moore had relocated to Fort Worth, Texas where his business was known as Vick Com. Co. Stockyards. In 1922, Moore's company was looking to buy or lease a two hundred acre farm.
In Fort Worth, Moore lived at 2106 North Houston
Street. He was active in the North Fort Worth Baptist Church. In fact,
at the church's July 4, 1922 summer outing, Moore was listed as one of
the speakers. He was also a member of the James L. Wallen Post 139 of
the American Legion and the local masonic lodge. Moore was apparently
proud of his Cherokee heritage. Throughout his life he kept a copy of
the Bible that had been translated into the Cherokee language.
John J. Moore passed away on March 3, 1922 from
influenza. His death certificate notes that he was widowed, and it
appears that he had no children. His body was returned to Oklahoma, and
buried at Hickory Grove Cemetery in the town of Grove.
"Baptists to Picnic at
Mary's Creek," FortWorth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas). July
2, 1922, p 19.
Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas). August 3, 1922 (note thanking
members of the public for the sympathy on the death of an unnamed
Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas). December 27, 1922
(advertisement to purchase/lease farm).
Jones, Virgil Carrington, Roosevelt's Rough Riders. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1971)
"Legion Rites Held for
Veteran of '98," Miami News-Record (Miami, Oklahoma). March 6,
1922, p 2.
Moore, John Johnson,
Muskogee Phoenix (Muskogee, Oklahoma). May 12, 1898, p. 3 (article on the medial exam for John J. Moore).
Pryor Creek Clipper
(Pryor, Oklahoma). November 1, 1917 (article mentioning that Moore of Fort
Worth was visiting family in Oklahoma)
U.S. National Archives, "Compiled military service record of John J. Moore, documenting service in the 1st U. S. Volunteer Cavalry (Rough Riders) during the Spanish American War." https://catalog.archives.gov/id/301170