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 Murray County Museum  
MURRAY COUNTRY FAMILIES

Ben Moore, Jr.
1921-1944


The museum's efforts to positively identify this man almost failed, simply because none of Murray's senior citizens, white and black, remembered that one of Murray's war dead in that conflict had been black. Thanks are due Paul Ross and Mrs. Shirley Willis for providing both background and detailed family information, enabling the museum to include this man's story.

Ben's father and mother were Ben and Ethel Moore. The Census of 1920 listed the family as: Ben Moore, age 39; Ethel Moore, age 35; Roy Moore, age 10; Loney Moore, age 7; Annie M. Moore; age 4, and Cora Moore, age 2, living in the Ball Ground District of Murray County. The family of farmers worked on the Carter Plantation.

Ben's grandparents were listed in the 1870 Census as Edenborough Moore, age 24; Irene Moore, age 22; Emily Moore, age 4, Revener Moore, age 2, and Logan Moore, 3 months. This was the first census to list names of free, black citizens.

The 1880 Census added 5 children to the household: Ida, age 8, Lila, age 4, John N., age 3, and twins, age 1 month.

Records from the 1890 Census were destroyed in a fire.

The 1900 Census listed Arritta Moore, then age 50, as head of the household. Two sons were also listed: Elbert Moore, age 18, and Benjamin L. Moore, age 15.

This appears to mean that Sergeant Ben Moore, Jr.'s grandfather had been a slave on the Carter Plantation.

A Negro soldier named Ben Moore, Jr., born 1921, enlisted in the Army from Whitfield County on November 22, 1942. He enlisted at Fort Benning as a Private. The enlistment form indicates that he had completed grammar school, then worked as a farm hand prior to entering the service. He stood 70 inches tall and weighed 162 pounds upon enlistment. He was assigned service number 34557110. At that time the U.S. military was still segregated.

After completing his training, Ben was assigned to the 370th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Infantry Division, one of only two all-black infantry divisions sent to Europe in World War II. Ben's outfit arrived in Italy in the summer of 1944 and was first in combat August 23. They were engaged in combat near Massa Italy, starting October 5th. Sergeant Ben Moore, Jr., was killed in action on October 7, 1944. The unit was credited with eliminating numerous machine-gun nests.

Sergeant Ben Moore, Jr., was buried in Florence American Cemetery, Italy, Plot G, Row 1, Grave 2.

 



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