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John Mooney was born in 1818 in Liverpool, England. He migrated to America and became a farmer in Mobile County, Alabama and with the outbreak of the American Civil War, being somewhat to old for regular Confederate forces in 1864, at the age of 46 Mooney joined Captain Leaven’s Company of Alabama Reserves; on May 3, 1864 as a Private.  It was later organized into Company C, 4th Regiment  Alabama Reserves. On May 27, 1864 he was shown on Regimental records as being absent in the employ of the Quartermaster’s Department. Muster rolls for July 27 through October 31, 1864 also records his absence, as being detailed out by order of  Major General Maury; on October 9, 1864.  

The Reserves were also known as the 65th Regiment and was organized during the fall of 1864 by consolidating the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Alabama Reserve Battalions at Mobile, Alabama. The men, largely between the ages of sixteen and eighteen, were from Mobile and the counties of Conecuh, Macon, Coosa, and Dale. They were assigned to the District of the Gulf and became part of the town’s garrison. The Regiment moved to East Mississippi in December 1864, where it remained for several weeks repelling Union Raiders, and was then ordered to Montgomery, Alabama.

Ordered from Mobile to North Carolina, the regiment was stopped at Montgomery and ordered to report to General Abraham Buford. It then retired before Union General James H. Wilson's column and participated in the battle there on April 16, 1865. At “Girard”, with a force of some 300 men, it charged into battle, resulting in several of its members being killed or wounded; but the majority of the regiment were captured. Its few remaining members were included in the surrender of the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana; Colonel William M. Stone, Lieutenant Colonel E.M. Underhill, and Major S.F. Strickland commanding the force.

Upon Mooney’s release after the war, the south had pretty much been devastated, far beyond that of the expected military conflict. Homes, towns, courthouses and records had all been put to the torch in Sherman’s attempt to exterminate southern culture; atrocities and genocide had been the order of the day and nothing or no one in the southern states had been exempt. After returning home to Mobile County, Alabama and finding his adopted home ravaged beyond recognition, Mooney immigrated again; this time to New South Wales, Australia. He arrived in Australia and took up farming, as he had done in Alabama, in the Casino region, and on October 6, 1880 married his wife Margaret Mooney. She may actually have been a cousin, as he already had family living in Australia prior to arriving himself. It is assumed the family may have been one of the reasons he had when making his decision to make the long journey to Australia; that and getting away from the war torn devastation of Alabama. Charles and Margaret had no children and she passed away before he did. His death certificate places his age at 74, when he died on December 28, 1903. Charles Mooney was buried in the Casino Cemetery, Church of England Section, with a headstone erected by his sister-in-laws Kate and Julie Mooney.

In 2005 a group in New South Wales placed a small plaque on his headstone to depict his Civil War experience.   There are two cemeteries in Casino, the older site where Mooney's grave is located and a newer, lawn cemetery, on the north west outskirts of town. Mooney’s gravesite is situated almost exactly in the centre of the older cemetery grounds; turn off the highway on to West St,   into Cemetery Lane and park by the stonemason's small shed.

 

Birth, Marriage and Death Records, New South Wales

 Liverpool Record Office, Liverpool, Merseyside, England

Elle Glashoff, photographer and researcher

 Mobile County Archives, Mobile, Alabama

 Mobile County Genealogy, Jabe Fincher

 “Official Records”

 Regimental Histories, Alabama Reserves

 “Units of the Confederate States Armies”, Joseph Crute

 

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