Age: 40, credited to Waterville, VTVITALS
Birth: 06/25/1821, Marietta, OHADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Mountain View Cemetery, Waterville, VT
Check the cemetery for location/directions
and other veterans who may be buried there.
Moses MacFarland (son of Osgood and Mary), married Livonia Leach, at Waterville, Vt. , Oct. 22, 1849. She died May 23, 1889, and Mr. MacFarland married, secondly, Julia Howard, and resides at Waterville, Vt.
During the late rebellion, in Sept. of 1861, Moses MacFarland enlisted in the 8th Vermont Regiment of Infantry, and served as a line officer until the close of the war, June 1865.
He went to Ship Island with his regiment under Butler, was at the taking of New Orleans, was in the Gulf department, including a forty-three-days-siege at Port Hudson. July i, 1864, the second division of the 19th Corps moved with all possible speed to the defense of Washington, driving Early into the Shenandoah Valley. The 8th Vermont participated in every battle under Sheridan, and Company A never went into action without its leader--Captain MacFarland.
At the battle of Winchester he was carried onto the field in an ambulance, then fought all day long, marched twenty miles that night, had nothing to eat during the next day, then went into the fight at Fisher's Hill, fought all day and inarched all night.
On the 8th of Jan. 1863, Capt. Mac Farland, with thirty-five men, drove a force of confederates consisting of eighty-five men and two pieces of artillery from their rifle-pits, taking twenty-eight prisoners, with their commander, who surrendered to Capt. MacFarland his sword and pistols.*
This action, and the strategy made use of that night, in lighting long lines of fires, indicating the encampment of a large army, caused the confederates to desert their fortification, and burn the gun-boat "Cotton," the last in their possession, and the last hope of the confederacy, rather than have it fall into the hands of the northern army, which for the latter was a tremendous victory.
On the 19th of Oct. 1864, was fought the battle of Cedar Creek, nineteen miles from Winchester, Va., one of the most noted of the war, on which occasion, Capt. Mac Farland commanded the 8th Vermont Regiment.
The confederates, led by Gen Early, surprised the Union forces under Gen. Sheridan, at daybreak in the morning, the men being driven from their camp in utter confusion, resulting in a rout of the Union army till they were driven three miles away. Here a stand was made. The 8th Vermont was on the left of the pike, looking toward the enemy at Fisher's Hill, and upon this corps the attack was made. One thousand men, under Capt. Mac Farland, were sent over the pike to arrest their advance till other troops could get into position.
This regiment was now confronted by one division of the confederate army in front, with three divisions of the same on the left, and were soon surrounded on three sides. The captain ordered a retreat, when they found their loss to be sixty-five per cent, of the men engaged, the officers all killed or wounded but three.
This percentage of loss was but once equaled by any Vermont regiment during the war.**
The five children of Moses and Livonia Leach Mac Farland were:
1. Lewis, born Mch. 21, 1851; died Aug. 7. 1851.
2. Henry Moses, born Aug. 5, 1852.
3. Fred Harley, born Mch 9, 1854.
4. Burton, born June 23, 1856; died July 14, 1856.
5. Cora Livonia, born May 25, 1858; died Oct. 9, 1862.
** After the engagement, when he gave these to his own superior officer, he looked them over, with curiosity, then returned them to Mac Farland, saying, "I think your conduct to-day has shown that you are quite as capable of taking care of them as any one.'
** For repeated acts of bravery, Capt. Mac Farland was especially reported, and well deserved promotion; but his colonel was at that time "stumping the state" for the Republican party, and Capt. Mac Farland, being a life-long Democrat, was not favored with the necessary recommendation. Years afterward, this same colonel went out of his way to apologize, and to express regret to the captain, for the wrong committed.
Many officers would have resigned under the circumstances, but Moses Mc Farland was made of different material; there was a higher object in view than self-promotion.
C. M. Little, History of the Clan MaCarlane, (Macfarlane) MacFarlan, MacFarland, Macfarlin, (C. M. Little, TOttenville, NY, 1893), pp. 184-186.
MCFARLAND, Captain Moses of Waterville, son of Osgood McFarland and Mary (Bartlett) McFarland, eighth child in a family of 12, was born in Marietta, Ohio, June 25, 1821.
He is of Scotch-Irish descent, tracing his genealogical line to the Clan MacFarlane which Sir Walter Scott refers to in "Cadyow Castle" as "The wilde MacFarlane's plaided Clan." Their ancestral estate, "Arrochar," dating back to early in the thirteenth century, remained in the possession of the clan until its sale in 1784.
When three years of age Mr. McFarland removed with the family to Waterville, making the journey by ox team conveyance. Since coming to Vermont in 1824, he has resided continuously in Waterville, giving him the unique distinction of the longest residence in town of anyone since its settlement. He is also the oldest man in town, and, although nearly eighty-five years of age, is still unusually vigorous and active.
October 22, 1849, he married Livonia A. Leach, who was born in Waterville, May 29, 1820, and died May 22, 1889. The issue of this marriage were five children: Lewis, born March 21, 1851, died August 7, 1851; Henry Moses, born August 5, 1852; Fred Harley, born March 9, 1854; Burton, born June 23, 1856, died July 14, 1856; Cora Livonia, born May 25, 1858, died October 9, 1862. For his second wife he married Julia Howard, with whom he now resides in Waterville. From this marriage there has been no issue, but in 1905 they adopted a bright little girl, Ila May, born May 4, 1900.
Mr. McFarland is a member of Warner Lodge, No. 50, F. & A.M., and, though advanced in years, still takes an active interest in the affairs of the lodge. He was the first member to be received after the lodge received its charter.
In religious belief, he is a Universalist and about fifty years ago he aided largely by personal means and effort in the erection of a church in Waterville for the use of the society to which he belonged.
Politically, he has always been a Democrat of the true Jacksonian type. This made him a war Democrat supporting Lincoln in 1861, as well as a gold, or sound money Democrat in more recent years.
As the grandfather, Major Moses McFarland, fought with General Wolfe at Quebec and gave his services to the creation of the republic in there terrible struggle of the Revolution, so the grandson, Captain Moses McFarland, responded to the call to arms when the life of the republic was threatened. He enlisted in the War of the Rebellion in September, 1861, serving as a line officer in the Eighth Vermont Regiment until the close of the war, being mustered out of the service in June, 1865. His regiment was assigned to the Gulf Department, under General Benjamin F. Butler. He was at the taking of New Orleans and participated in the forty-three-days' siege of Port Hudson. On the 8th of January, 1863, Captain McFarland with 35 men drove a force of Confederates consisting of 85 men and two pieces of artillery, from their rifle-pits, taking 28 prisoners, including their commander, who surrendered to Captain McFarland his sword and pistols. After the engagement he gave the weapons to his superior officer, who looked them over with curiosity and returned them to Captain McFarland, saying, "I think your conduct today has shown that you are quite as capable of taking care of them as anyone." This action and the strategy made use of that night, in lighting long lines of fires, indicating the encampment of a large army, caused the Confederates to desert their fortifications and burn the gunboat Cotton, the last of their fleet in these waters, giving the Union forces a victory of no small significance.
In July 1864, after the return of the regiment to New Orleans from furlough granted on reenlistment, it was ordered to report for service under General Philip H. Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and participated in every battle in the following campaign in the valley. At the battle of Winchester Captain McFarland was carried to the field in an ambulance, and, against the orders of General Thomas, fought all day and marched 20 miles after the battle, pursuing the enemy fleeing up the valley. On October 19, 1864, was fought the battle of Cedar Creek, 20 miles from Winchester, Virginia, one of the most noted of the war, during a part of which battle, after the wounding of Major Mead, Captain McFarland commanded the regiment. The experience of the Eighth Vermont in this battle was on of the most sanguinary of the war. Out of a total of 164 men engaged, in less than an hour of the early morning of that terrible, day, the regiment lost 110 men killed, wounded or prisoners, and 13 out of 16 commissioned officers. This percentage of all was but once equaled by any Vermont regiment during the war.
Captain McFarland has always been a very active man. Before the war and until recent years he has been occupied with various industrial enterprise, to the accomplishment of which he has brought a strong purpose and great energy. He has always been very public spirited, contributing willingly and largely, both in time and money, to the advancement of his town and village. He is a man of strong personality, independent in thought and deed, forceful and resourceful, who has made his imprint on the community in which he has lived so long, in a way not soon to be effaced.
Jeffrey, William Hartley, Successful Vermonters: A modern Gazetteer of Lamoille, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties…, East Burke, Vt.: The Historical publishing company, 1907, pp. 92-95.
Morrisville News and Citizen, March 22, 1911
The subject of this sketch was born at Marietta, Ohio, June 25, 1821, the eighth child in a family of twelve, and died the last of the family, at Waterville, Vt. March 6, 1911.
He was descended from Scotch-Irish ancestry, a strain of blood that has contributed many men of commanding figure to the development and the upbuilding of our country.
His grandfather, Moses McFarland, for whom he was named, was a Major in the Revolutionary War, and fought for his country at Bunker Hill, and was wounded in the battle.
Oct. 22, 1849 he married Livonia A. Leach who died May 22, 1889. By this marriage there were five children, two of whom survive, Henry M. and Fred H. both of Hyde Park. For his second wife he married Julia Howard, who survives him.
In religious belief he was a Universalist, and fifty or more years ago he contributed largely of his means and personal effort to the erection of a church in Waterville, in which services were held for some years. It was also largely through his efforts a few years ago this building became the property of the town, and now serves it well as a Town Hall, in which is also the town library.
He was a Democrat of the old school and though, in the nature of things as they exist in Vermont. not often called to service in public office, he was always interested in all public matters whether pertaining to the country at large, his state, or his town and freely contributed of his means and services for the general good.
He was a member of Warner Lodge No. 50, F. & A.M., of Cambridge, being one of the first to be received into the lodge after it received its charter about 50 years ago. He was ever a zealous Mason. He had great affection for his lodge, and delighted in his old age to do things which he thought might add to its convenience and the pleasure of the brothers. That this feeling was reciprocated by his brother Masons is evidenced by the fact that nearly if not quite one-third of the lodge, forty in number, were present at the Masonic Burial Service.
Captain McFarland was of that wing of the Democratic Party known as the "War Democrats." He was a firm supporter of President Lincoln and his efforts to preserve and maintain the Union. As the grandfather, Major Moses McFarland, fought with Gen. Wolfe at Quebec and gave his services to the creation of the Republic in the terrible struggle of the Revolution, so the grandson responded to the call to arms in that greater struggle for the preservation of what the grandfather had helped to create.
He enlisted in the War of the Rebellion in September, 1861, serving as a line officer in the 8th Vermont Regiment until the close of the war, being mustered out of service, at Burlington in 1865 as Captain of Company A. His regiment was assigned to the Gulf Dept. under Gen. Benjamin F. Butler. He was at the taking of New Orleans, and participated in the forty-three days siege of Port Hudson. On the 18th of Jan. '63. Captain McFarland with thirty five men drove a force of Confederates, consisting of eighty five men and two pieces of artillery, from the rifle-pits, taking twenty eight prisoners, including their commander, who surrendered to Capt. McFarland his sword and pistols. After the engagement he gave the weapons to his superior officer, who looked at them with curiosity and returned them to Capt. McFarland, saying " I think your conduct today has shown that you are quite as capable of taking care of them as any one" This action and the strategy made use of that night, in lighting long lines of fire, indicating an encampment of a large army, caused the Confederates to desert their fortifications and burn the gunboat "Cotton", the last of their fleet in the waters, giving the Union forces a victory of no small significance.
In July, 1864, after the return of the regiment to New Orleans from furlough granted on re-enlistment, it was ordered to report to service under General Sheridan to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, and participated in every battle in the following campaign in the valley. At the Battle of Winchester Capt. McFarland was carried to the field in an ambulance, and against the orders of Gen. Thomas, fought all day and marched twenty miles after the battle, pursuing the enemy fleeing the valley. On Oct. 19, 1864, was fought the Battle of Cedar Creek, twenty miles from Winchester, Virginia, one of the most notable of the war, during a part of which battle, after the wounding Major Mead, Capt. McFarland commanded the regiment. The experience of the Eighth Vermont in the battle was one of the most sanguinary of the war. Out of a total of one hundred and sixty four engaged, in less than an hour of the early morning of that terrible day, the regiment lost one hundred and ten men killed, wounded, or prisoners, and thirteen out of sixteen commissioned officers. The percentage of loss was but once equaled by any Vermont regiment during the war.
Capt. McFarland was a man of indomitable energy and great public spirit. No sacrifice was to great for him to make either by his means or personal effort where the betterment of his town and village was concerned. Whatever his business ventures, in their planning he never lost sight of what, in his judgment, would contribute to the building up of his town, the betterment and beautifying of his village.
On his return from the army on the summer of 1865, with his customary energy and public spirit, he undertook the rebuilding of the places made waste during the terrible years of the war.
In 1860 the leading industry of the village, the woolen mill of Herren and Wells, burned and during the war there hardly a wheel turning by the waters of North Branch. Capt. McFarland undertook a change. He put new life into the sash door and blind shop, and other dormant industries. He started a tannery. He was largely instrumental in bringing to the village the manufacture of axes and other edged tools. He aided materially in re-equipping the vacant woolen mill, only to be severely crippled by the loss of a large quantity of manufactured product in the Boston fire of 1871.
In later years Capt. McFarland necessarily has been less active in business affairs than formerly, but he did not loose his interest in the public good.
Realizing a few years since, the neglect into which the village cemetery was falling, he contributed a fund looking to its betterment. Others have generously added to this fund, a vault has been donated, and an association has been formed; having the care and the beautifying of the grounds actively in charge.
Capt. McFarland was a man of strong character and sterling worth. In his death the town in which he has lived has suffered loss. Independent in thought and deed, forceful and resourceful in action. he made his imprint on the community in which he lived in a way not soon to be replaced. He will be missed because of his activities, his helpfulness, and as a citizen always deeply interested in the public good.
Lamoille Newsdealer: June 13, 1862
THE FOLLOWING FROM LIEUT. MCFARLAND: NEW ORLEANS May 14th '62
Dear Father- You understand that this city surrendered without any resistance, as their dependence seemed to be wholly on Forts Jackson and St. Philips. These two forts are situated nearly opposite each other, and one would think almost impossible for a ship to pass as the river is very narrow, and the big guns look pretty saucy I tell you; but they took advantage of a thick fog, at 2 o'clock in the morning, and as soon as the rebels had found that they had past the forts, they burned a large amount of cotton, took a large amount from the store houses and burnt it in the streets, and burnt 3 or 4 wharves, with large piles of them, and also the steamer Mississippi; which they had built, and nearly finished. How much other property, I do not know. This morning I went with the mail to the Post Office which is in the Customs House, and pretty strongly guarded. On my return I went to the St. Charles Hotel, the headquarters of Gen. Butler, guarded by several cannon placed in front on the ground, and on the second story. The hotel, you understand, is the pride of the crescent city. I went into the market, and I don't think one stall out of six, had anything at all in them, and very little in those occupied.
There is a free market here, established by Gen. Butler, supplied from the amount taken from the rebels, day before yesterday. I see by the papers there was 1700 families supplied from the fund yesterday. It took 70 men for guard, and they had to work hard---many of them--- to keep the starving creatures back. No men came for food. All who came were women, whose husbands are probably in the rebel service. Lots of little boys came into our camp with little bags, to get the crumbs, and pieces of hard bread, and they got a good deal in this way. I never saw a place that showed such unmistakable signs of destruction of property, and suffering among its inhabitants, as it does here. Grass is growing in many of the streets, where there must have been a good business going on before the war.
It is now about two months since I have heard from home, and it seems a long time; but now that the river is clear up to us, and this being a place of so much importance, we think we will stand a better chance to get our mail matter. We are now quartered in one of the large cotton presses, with the privilege of a good yard and shade, so we are quite comfortable; but expect to move to-day to the Mechanic's Institute, near the Custom House.
About the prospect of the war, you can judge as well as we can, for you probably get the news better than we do.
We have to keep our eyes open here. We think it much safer to have our pistols about us than otherwise. The people look surly, and say but little. We have just received orders, that no private be allowed to go outside of our line of sentinels, and that commissioned officers must wear their side arms, and must not go alone. We have to be very careful. I believe there are six regiments here --- not hardly enough to make show in a city of 176,000 inhabitants.
But with the gun boats that lay at the wharves we apprehend but little danger of a rising among the people. I want to hear from you, to know how you get along, how your health is, &c. If you get this, I hope you will be able to write. I am very well myself, but the living will keep the strength up quite well as that in Vermont--no danger of the gout… Flour $20 per barrel, other things in proportion.
Lamoille Newsdealer: July 18, 1862
DES ALLMANDS, LA. July 2, '62
MR. EDITOR: --- My rule is never to make a promise that I don't intend to fulfil; so now I proceed to redeem one that I made to you, that sometime I would give you some facts in relation to the experience of the 8th Reg. You are already aware that on our arrival at New York, we shipped on board of the Wallace. Capt. Lane, to whom I can only deem it an act of justice to say that he is kind, gentlemany, and humane, and manifested a good deal of anxiety for us and our safe arrival at the end of our journey. When we arrived on the 5th of April, it being Saturday, we did not land till Monday, and as change is very desirable point in our institution, we very gladly embraced the change to exchange our dirty smothered berths for the privilege of spreading our blankets on the clean white sand, which is quite preferable to any quarters that we have found on board of transports. The island has been called a healthy place, but it did not appear so to me; The heat was oppressive, much more so than it would have been if the surface had been covered with grass. I have heard much said about the thunderstorms in hot climates, and think they are not apt to be over-rated. We had one shower when it seemed as thought the heavens had sprang a leak and poured its all down together. There were three men killed near us, by lightning, and quite a number more injured.
Our duty on the island was pretty hard, the sand being so deep it was pretty hard drilling, and we had to cut our wood some three miles from camp, haul it to the water by hand and work it along the best we could to the quarters. The harbor presented quite a lively appearance, there being some 30 to 40 vessels, some of the largest size, laying at anchor, going out and coming in.
We went on board the James Hovey just one month from the day that we landed there, bound for New Orleans; but made little progress the first day, as the next morning we came very near going ashore, close by the landing, but soon after daylight the 8th a good breeze sprung up, and we made good progress till half past six when we arrived at the South West Pass, where we waited as patiently as our situation would admit, 65 hours, for a tug, when we joyfully hailed the Steamer Mississippi, which took us in tow and we once more started on our course.
We passed the Gibraltar of America, Fort Jackson, about 5 o'clock and were surprised to see no more marks of that terrible contest on its walls. There was scarcely an impression made in front, but I understand that 9000 shell were thrown, mostly from behind a point of woods some two or three miles from the fort, their guns being elevated so as to do execution on the top of the fort in their descent. I was told by those that were there, that the shells, when they struck the ground would penetrate into it ten feet, and then open a hole in which the rebels threw their dead and buried them. As we passed on nothing occurred till two in the morning when passing a bend in the river both hawsers parted and we cast anchor till morning, which we were very willing to do, as it gave us a better chance to view the country by daylight.
On passing those great plantations, with their splendid mansions peering out amid a forest of rich shade trees, with the neat little villages of houses, two or three rows, all alike, running back from the river, many of them painted, with a row of shade trees also, the question that has been asked comes fresh to mind: can we better the conditions of those inmates. But as politics have nothing to do with our business we pass on to New Orleans. We saw no works of any importance, though at the Ceaders, where Jackson met Packenham there are earth works running back from the river on both sides, and a camp that looks as though it was left in a hurry. We were delighted with the shrubbery all the way from the fort, it being the richest that I ever saw; thousands of Magnolia with their tall branches towering above all the rest, with their large white blossoms were something new to us and rich in bounty.
On arriving at the city we left the ship with the feelings of escaped convicts, for the whole regiment was crowded into a space where not more than five-hundred ought to have been, with one of the most ill natured, morose, sour old Captains that ever need to be, and the last we heard from him he was taking his ease down at the pass, on the bar, and probably will have to stay there till high water in August, where he has the hearty sympathy of us, hoping that in the course of two months he may get his temper softened down a little.
After landing we were quartered for the first week in one of those great cotton presses and then moved to the Mechanic's Institute which we found to be quite comfortable quarters, and on the twenty-third of May we were ordered (that is, three companies of us) to the 4th district, to do police duty while the city police were undergoing a regeneration, which was accomplished in the course of a week, and we returned to our old quarters. This was on Saturday, the 31st, and Sunday, June 1st we were ordered to Algiers, opposite, where are our headquarters for the present. There is a Railroad called the N.O, Opelousas & Great Western, which runs from here to Berwick bay, and Col. Miller of the 21st, Indiana Regt., who occupied this point before us, had taken possession of the road and the two Lieuts. who had charge of the trains were taken prisoners and have not been heard of since. On taking the road there was one company sent to La Fourche, 52 miles from this point where on the 10th of June we were sent with three companies, and remained till the 17th and were ordered back to Algiers, leaving company H. at Des Allmands, 32 miles. They remained there till Sunday, the 22d, and then as the train was proceeding slowly with about 30 of the company on board, some 8 miles from here, they were fired into by a party lying in ambush, and 5 men were killed and 8 wounded. The train with the wounded and two of the dead was sent immediately to Algiers (leaving the dead on the track) when 3 companies, A, I, and E. were ordered up to relieve Co. H. It is a low sunken plain with very bad water, and plenty of mosquitoes. We supposed when we came here that we were to advance at once, and a battery was ordered to support us, but the order was countermanded by Gen. Butler, and as we understand, we are to hold this place till after the fall of Vicksburgh when we are to have some gunboats to operate in the bayou in conjunction with us.
When we were at LaFourche we had a pretty good chance to try the temper of our men three times. Our pickets were driven in, and at one time they reported five-hundred men close upon us, and the officers believed it and told them so, but every man marched out as bold as a lion, and I was surprised to see how cool they took it. One fellow of Co. A, by the name of Geo.E. Mudget, just after the line was formed, told the the Capt. that he thought had better pass along the beans while we were waiting, as we had some cooked for breakfast, while others were discussing the merits of the cook, &c. I feel free to say that Co. A is known wherever they go and none question their pluck. I have seen a good deal written in relation to our fare, which I cannot endorse, and I will say that it is as good as I expected to find it, and that he that goes into the army without meeting with hardships and privations will be very sure to be disappointed. In moving about from place to place, we suffer the most, as it takes some time to get things going. I have had some curious questions asked me in relations to these things, from time to time. One lady, only a few days ago, that lives about 12 miles from your place, wrote to know if I was out of money. She said she had not drawn any of the allotted money, but if I was in need she could raise some for me. Now I think the friends at home have too much trouble about us. We have always a plenty of beef and pork and hard bread, generally of the best quality.
Two of the wounded in the train the other day were both Lieuts., in Co. H, and were thought to be mortally wounded at first, but hopes are now entertained of their recovery.
Courtesy of Deanna French.