This collection contains letters chiefly written by Iowa lawyer, Civil War soldier (and later
second lieutenant), and Iowa State Senator Moses A. McCoid (1840-1904), to his wife Helen, and dating from 1859 to 1884.
Moses Ayers McCoid was born to Robert McCoid and Jean Bain McCoid near
Bellefontaine, Ohio, November 5, 1840. He attended Fairfield University, Iowa and
Washington College (now Washington and Jefferson College) in Washington,
Pennsylvania. He studied law in Fairfield, Iowa and was admitted to the bar in 1861
where he began practicing law. In May of 1861 he enlisted as a private in Company E,
Second Regiment, Iowa Volunteer Infantry.(McCoid was later commissioned a second
lieutenant). The regiment was organized at Keokuk and mustered in May 27, 1861.
Until July 26, 1861, the men were guarding headquarters at St. Joseph, Mo. and later
in the summer and early fall were posted at Bird Point, Ironton, Pilot Knob, and
Jackson, Mo. and Fort Jefferson, Ky. In February 1862, the regiment took part in the
investment and capture of Fort Donelson. It remained on duty there until it moved to
Pittsburg Landing in early March. With his regiment, McCoid fought at Shiloh (April
6-7), advance and siege of Corinth, Miss.; the march to Iuka (September 18-22),
battle of Corinth (October 3-4), Dodge's expedition to intercept Forest (Dec. 18,
1862 - Jan. 3, 1863) and expeditions to Hamburg (Jan. 26, 1863) and to Jacinto (Feb.
25-27.) Following Dodge's Expedition into Northern Alabama in April, the men were
posted on duty at Corinth where they remained until August and then at LaGrange
until November 1. On Nov. 1-11, they marched to Pulaski, Tenn. and remained on duty
there along the Nashville & Decatur Railroad, and at Decatur until May 1864.
While on furlough in September 1863, he married Helen Ireland in Jacksonville,
Illinois. He was discharged in May 1864 and resumed the practice of law in
Fairfield. In 1866 he became district attorney of the sixth judicial district of
Iowa. In 1871, McCoid was elected to the Iowa State Senate; he served from 1872 to
1879. In 1878 he was elected as a Republican to the 46th, 47th and 48th congresses
(1879 to 1885). In 1884 he was unsuccessful in his re-nomination for Congress and
went back to practice law in Fairfield, Iowa where he died on May 19, 1904.
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