Civil War

  • General

    “General” I know how the first Moïse came to Sumter. My great-grandfather was the first Moïse, that’s Anita’s great-great grandfather, and he had an uncle in Columbus, Georgia, who was a very prominent attorney. He went down and lived on his uncle’s property and studied law under his uncle. They didn’t go to law school then. They read law. That’s the way it is expressed. He went there and when the War Between the States broke out, he put all the money he had into a regiment and completely outfitted the regiment. He led it. He rose to better than major. He never was a general but we all called him “General.” It didn’t make a piece of difference to us whether he was elevated to that state of excellence or not. To us, he was a general. That was the first E.W. His name was Edwin Warren Moïse. He married a lady from Virginia and how they met I do not know. Her name was Esther Lyon. After the War between the States they were married. They were practically penniless and he got a wagon from his uncle and a horse or mule. They rode from Columbus, Georgia, to Sumter in the wagon bringing a one month old baby, who was my grandfather. That’s how they got started in Sumter. Virginia Moïse Rosefield

  • Story from: Rosefield, Virginia Moise |
  • The Confederate Flag

    When my father was in the legislature, even before I started kindergarten, mother and I would go to Columbia and we would stay at the Jefferson Hotel for weeks while they were in session. We’d come home occasionally, but we’d stay there, we’d live there. I knew everybody in that hotel: every bellhop, every elevator operator. I had the run of that hotel. Everybody knew me and if I got too near the front door they would snatch me back. It was a wonderful experience for a little girl to have. I started kindergarten in Columbia. I went to kindergarten every morning to a lady’s house who had about a dozen or so kids. The first thing we did every day, and believe me I learned how to do it, we drew a picture of the Confederate flag. Every day. When we got there all these little chairs were pulled up at a table, and in front of each chair was a picture she had drawn. They didn’t have copies; we had to fill it in and color it. Every day for two years that I was in the kindergarten, we did that first. After that, other things might follow, but always that. We could count on it. Virginia Moïse Rosefield

  • Story from: Rosefield, Virginia Moise |
  • Partners

    He [Edwin Warren Moïse] and Colonel Lee, John D. Lee the first, opened a law partnership. They were very successful. We don’t have a picture of his original home because it burned to the ground. They had to be housed by their relatives in the dead of winter. He had built a big house on Warren Street, further down the block from what we call our family home. He had to rebuild very promptly. He put up a big two-story house on Warren Street nearer to the next street which was Washington at that time, right at the curve of the street. When he died, his will said [that] that house was to be run by his estate as long as any of his children or any member of the family desired to live there. It was the family home. The story goes that he was so desperate for a house that it was built in one month in the dead of winter. Now how they did it, I don’t know. He must have had an army of workmen. It always had a Moïse in it. Lee and Moïse was the name of the firm. It was first my great-grandfather and Colonel John D. Lee—I guess he was the first Lee [though] I don’t know that. His [Edwin Moïse’s] eldest son was named Marion who was my grandfather. Marion Moïse was also a member of the firm. He didn’t live very long. Actually, he committed suicide or at least that is the story. We have never been completely satisfied that that happened because that was out of character in every direction. He was a devout Jew who would not commit suicide. He died by a pistol shot wound. He died in his office and my father found him. It was quite a shock, of course. By then, my father had come along and joined the firm, but he was a very young man when his father died.

  • Story from: Rosefield, Virginia Moise |
  • The Riderless Horse

    The general had a lot of children. In fact, I think they had thirteen. [They] didn’t all live; they had a big family. I grew up in this big family of loving people. We loved all of ’em. It was a great family. They were the most warm, loving people. They scattered all over the whole United States. A lot of ’em did. The oldest child of the general and his wife was my grandfather, Marion, named for General Francis Marion. [The name] Francis Marion has gone through the whole family for years and generations, and Davis DeLeon has gone through the whole family. We just name everybody for members of the family. It’s [a] real cliquey way to do, but that’s the way we do. My grandfather and my great-grandfather were high-ranking officers in the War Between the States. We always called him the “General;” he really never made it. We gave it to him. His son was a major. There are all kinds of good stories about those two men because they were so prominent and so fine. One thing about the “General” was that he was a great horseman. He rode a lot and his family rode a lot. They all had horses. In the book there is a darling picture of one of the aunts in full riding regalia of the day with her horse. The “General” had a very fine horse. When General Wade Hampton became governor of this state—he was a sho’nuf general, I think—he asked my grandfather to serve in his cabinet, which he did. In those days you had to take a train to get to Columbia and for many days afterwards you did. [You would] stay in Columbia during the legislative season. Grandfather didn’t want to leave his wife at home—she was probably having one of those thirteen babies—so he decided he’d go back and forth on the train, which he did while he served on the cabinet. He would ride his horse down to the railroad station, get off, face the horse home, send him home with no rider, and the groom would take care of him and send him back to meet the train. That’s how he got home every night. His horse would come without any rider to meet the train and grandfather would send him home by himself, and he would go right straight to his own barn.

  • Story from: Rosefield, Virginia Moise |
  • Behind Confederate Lines

    Isaac’s [Jacobs] great-grandfather, Tanchum Pearlstine, made and sold buttons during the War Between the States. He peddled behind the Confederate lines.

  • Story from: Jacobs, Isaac |
  • Cincinnati

    My grandfather Jacobs married Jeanette Slager from Memphis, Tennessee, must have married her in l860 and when the Civil War was breaking out he wanted to escape from entering the service. There must have been railway trains from Charleston to Cincinnati by that time, I don’t know. That was a northern town and they had a little garrison there and they heard that the Southern troops were coming toward Cincinnati. A directive was issued that all able bodied men had to report to headquarters. My grandfather Jacobs, he didn’t want to have anything to do with the army -he didn’t report. Sure enough the next day a captain and a couple of his soldiers went from door to door and he knocked on my grandparents’ door. My grandmother answered and he asked for my grandfather. She said, “He’s not here.” But the oldest child, a little girl, said, “Yes, he is Mama, there he is under the bed.” Well, the captain didn’t want to embarrass her too much, he said, “It’s a capital offense not obeying military orders. He could be shot for not reporting.” The southern troops did not get to Cincinnati as far as we know. Then after the War they came back to Charleston. In the meantime Uncle Natie had to be born. [Nathan Jacobs was born in Memphis, before the family reached Cincinnati. He was the second oldest child.]

  • Story from: Jacobs, Isaac |
  • Opposed to Secession

    The Mordecai family left Charleston. M.C. Mordecai left Charleston. He was opposed to secession. He left Charleston. The Posnanskis left Charleston. They didn’t stay here, they left. And I think they went to Canada. Because one of the—I don’t remember whether Mrs. Posnanski or Mrs. Posnanski’s mother died in Canada and she was later buried in Charleston. [Rabbi Gustavus Posnanski] was opposed to secession. I don’t recall ever seeing anything that he was opposed to slavery. But he didn’t think the South should secede, that was all. And there were others—that’s the only one that I’m mentioning. I know that he was opposed to secession because his newspaper, he and a couple of other people formed a newspaper, I forgot what the name was, and that was an anti-secessionist newspaper. Didn’t last too long. I think it was called the Charleston Standard. M.C. Mordecai was at one time a state senator. He was in the shipping business. He had a steamship of his own which used to ply between Charleston and the Caribbean area. After the war was over he made a ship available to transport South Carolinians who had died at Gettysburg, to bring them back to Charleston. But he was a state senator. He was pretty well a highly respected man in the community. He had a very big business. In fact, you know that big house next door to the courthouse downtown, the federal courthouse, the little park there, the big building on the corner, the Hollings building is recessed in the back, there’s a courtyard there—right next to that is a big house where the Mordecais lived. It happens to be occupied by a Jewish family now. And there is a Morgen David on the door. They said do you think that was the Mordecai family? I said, no, that was put up by a more recent person.

  • Story from: Breibart, Solomon |
  • Beauregard Caps

    I understand my family came from Prussia. They came to New York and my grandfather, Sanai Wolf Jacobosky, worked for a hat manufacturer, Johnson and Brown on the Bowery and 3rd Avenue. There was trouble in the South and before the Civil War started Grandfather was commissioned to Charleston to work on the Beauregard caps. Beauregard caps was the name of the Confederate hats, named after General Beauregard. I’ve also heard they were called “keppy.” My grandmother, Naomi Emma Jacobosky, was ill with colds and flu, living in the cold North, so they decided to move south with their two little girls, Henrietta Jacobosky (Fass) and Fanny Jacobosky (Friedberg). After the war, Grandpa was given nine hundred dollars in gold and they bought a house on Meeting Street. Business prospered and they loved living in Charleston. Henrietta would work in her father’s cap and tobacco company store and greet people when they came in from out of town. Grandpa was a very patriotic man. When the yellow fever broke out and thousands of people were dying he contracted the disease. When he said, “My pipe does not taste so good anymore,” they knew Papa wasn’t feeling too well. This robust man died at the age of forty-five. Grandma also contracted the disease but a milder case and recovered. Grandpa was the first treasurer of Brith Sholom and when he died his family turned over nine hundred dollars to the shul. On his tombstone is written, “An honest man is the noble work of God.” I’m reading from two different memoirs, Grandma Etta (Friedberg) Gaeser and Cousin Katie R. (Fass) Lesser. It tells you about the earthquake of 1886 and the “Big Fire,” about Henrietta and Fanny growing up as girls in Charleston, marriage making, their girlfriends, songs they liked to sing, and what was going on in Charleston during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

  • Story from: Kass, Carolyn Altman |
  • The Walking Party

    [The Barnetts originally came from] a part of Russia, but it’s now called, I think, Estonia. Where we got that information was, some man told that to Bubba. This man [H. D. Barnett] grew up in this area over in Bishopville or somewhere, an old man. His father walked back from Appomattox with our grandfather, B.J. Barnett. They were all in the Army of Northern Virginia, Lee’s army, and when Appomattox took place and the war was over for that army, they were mustered out and they walked home. [They] walked with some people called the Haynesworths, that live in Sumter, who were a very aristocratic family around here. My grandfather and this man’s something—some ancestor—was in that walking party, and he knew more about the story on my grandfather, which he told Bubba, than we ever heard! He said that [B.J. Barnett] told [his ancestor] that they came from Estonia—but it wasn’t called Estonia then, because that was after President Wilson separated those, they were made little Baltic States—but it was from that area.

  • Story from: Kaye, Ruth Barnett |