A Guide to the William Stephen Moss Collection, 1863-1864 Moss, William Stephen, Collection Ms2008-019

A Guide to the William Stephen Moss Collection, 1863-1864

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2008-019


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Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
USA
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2008 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Emily Cook and Amy Vilelle, Special Collections Staff

Repository
Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Ms2008-019
Title
William Stephen Moss Collection, 1863-1864
Physical Characteristics
1 folder; 0.1 cu. ft.
Creator
Moss, William Stephen
Language
English
Abstract
Papers centering on William Stephen Moss, a Confederate prisoner of war during the American Civil War. Includes an identification card, letters from Moss to his mother, a biography written by his son, and a photograph of Moss.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the William Stephen Moss Collection must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: William Stephen Moss Collection, Ms2008-019, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The William Stephen Moss Collection was purchased by Special Collections in 2004.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement and description of the William Stephen Moss Collection took place in March-April, 2008.


Biographical Information

Born 12 October 1839 in Buckingham County, Virginia, William Stephen Moss became a member of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. Moss served in the 4th Virginia Cavalry, Company B from Chesterfield, Virginia. Captured at Germana Ford on 19 September 1863 when scouting the Union Army, Moss was brought to Washington as a prisoner of war. Moss was quickly transferred to "Point Lookout" in Maryland. On 16 August 1864, Moss was again transferred to Elmira Prison in New York-a prison with a reputation for its unhealthy conditions and high rates of scurvy. On one occasion, as related in the biography of Moss written by his son, Moss attempted to escape by tunneling out of prison with common utensils; but, guards thwarted the plot. After the war, Moss opened a general store with his brother (James Knox Polk Moss) and married Cora A. Leadbetter. William Stephen Moss died in 1924.

Biographical information was obtained largely from the biography of Moss found within the collection.

Scope and Content

The materials in the William Stephen Moss Collection include information on the conditions of Northern prisons during the Civil War and Moss's personal life. Letters from Washington, DC; Point Lookout, Maryland; and Elmira, New York stem from Moss's capture at the Germana Ford in 1863. One letter predates Moss's capture. Specifically, in these letters Moss discusses his desire for a prisoner exchange, the disinterest of authorities in prisoners, endemic sickness, and the tradability of tobacco for stamps. Many original POW covers (envelopes) are included and are marked with signed approval and original postage. Also in the collection is a biography written by Moss's son, William D. Moss, and a hand-tinted photograph of an elderly Moss with a hunting dog lounging near a tree.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged by material type. Letters appear chronologically.

Index Terms

    Subjects:

  • Civil War
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865

Contents List

Folder 1
Moss, William Stephen, 1863-1864
  • William Stephen Moss's identification card, n.d.
  • Letter from Culpepper, Virginia, 24 March 1863
  • Letter from Washington, D.C., 22 September 1863
  • Letter from Point Lookout, MD, 1 October 1863
  • Letter from Point Lookout, MD, 21 April 1864
  • Letter from Elmira, NY, 5 September 1864
  • Letter from Elmira, NY, 26 October 1864
  • Letter from Elmira, NY, 2 November 1864
  • "Biography of Wm Stephen Moss: Christian, Citizen, Soldier, Business Leader and Father" by William D. Moss, n.d.
  • Hand tinted photograph of William S. Moss and hunting dog, n.d.