Charles Beatty Moore was born in Lewisville. Arkansas, on January 19, 1881, the son of Henry and Katherine Fleming Moore. Of Scotch-Irish ancestry his forebears included two Colonial Governors, the first Governor Clinton of New York and Governor Reading of New Jersey.
His grandfather, James Wilson Moore of Pennsylvania, fresh from Princeton Theological Seminary, went in 1827 as a missionary to the Territory of Arkansas. He founded the first Presbyterian Church in Arkansas at Little Rock in 1828. His large family of boys, with one exception, were educated at Princeton, and without any exceptions all fought in the Civil War on the Southern side. The youngest boy, Henry, sixteen at the war’s end, entered the University of Virginia and there graduated in law, becoming a prominent attorney and planter in South Arkansas. When Beatty Moore wanted to enter West Point he was delayed a year as his father could not reconcile himself to seeing his son in the U. S. Army.
Charles Beatty Moore was educated by private tutors; in the public schools of Texarkana; and at Pantops Academy at Charlottesville, Virginia. From there he entered West Point in 1899, becoming a member of the Class of 1903 via “Old Man Denners” at Highland Falls. After graduation and leave he was ordered to the 22nd Regiment of Infantry at San Francisco and while waiting for assignment was in charge at the mint of bagging, weighing and packing 2,000,000 pesos in gold for the Philippines until October 31, 1903, when he sailed as a 2nd Lieutenant with his regiment to the Philippines. He remained with the 22nd for seven years, serving during that time in the Lake Lanao, Marahui and the 3rd Sulu Expedition, where men were beheaded in their sleep and sentries shot on duty by the Moros. In 1905 he got leave from his regiment to return home around the world. Beatty rejoined the 22nd in San Francisco in time to take an active part at the time of the earthquake and fire of April 18 through the 21st. Here he sustained an injury that hospitalized him.
From April 1907 through May 1908 he was acting Quartermaster of U. S. G. T. Buford, taking food to China during the famine. The following autumn he was in Alaska, where he remained until June 1910. His diary tells of canoe trips down the White Horse and Yukon Rivers and of big game shooting, of dogs, sledges, of frozen faces and hands, and a trip to the Arctic Divide.
In 1911 he was ordered to West Point to the Department of English and History, becoming Acting Assistant Professor and a member of the Tactical Department. His cadets remember him as a strict but fair “Tac”. Sometime during this period he received permission to visit France, where he put in some months perfecting himself in the French language.
As 1st Lieutenant, in 1913, he joined the 27th Infantry, after his tour at the Academy, serving with it in Texas. On becoming a Captain he served with the 4th Infantry and while serving as Acting Adjutant of the 5th Infantry Brigade of the 2nd Division he participated in the relief of Galveston after the flood, and in the battles between Villa and Obregon across the border of Texas in 1915-16. When his duties as Aide were over he served at the Officers Training Camp at Madison Barracks, New York, as Adjutant, and, being promoted to Major in 1917, he was assigned to the 79th Division as Adjutant. He was ordered to France for training, and enroute to G.H.Q. he served with the 18th British Division near Ypres. He then, in February 1918, entered the General Staff College at Langres. Upon graduation Major Moore sailed from Brest to join the 79th Division back in the United States, and shortly afterwards returned to France with that Division. He became G-1, General Staff, of the Division, upon rejoining it.
In August 1918 he was made a Lieutenant Colonel and with his Division participated in the Meuse-Argonne offensive until October, when he was placed in command of the 313th Infantry, after which service he was made Assistant Chief of Staff. G-1, at First Army Headquarters.
After the Armistice of World War I he was in charge of the Courier Service in Paris with the U.S. Peace Mission and a member of the Inter Allied Military Mission to Budapest. Upon his return to this country he became Instructor and Colonel of the National Guard of Arkansas, after which he went to Warsaw, Poland, as military attaché to both Hungary and Poland. Later he was sent to Paris as assistant military attaché.
In 1926 he was again returned to this country and upon graduating from the Infantry School at Fort Benning in 1927 and the Command and Staff School at Fort Leavenworth in 1929, he was assigned to duty with the Organized Reserves as a Colonel of Infantry. He attended, as a student, the Army War College in 1935 and upon graduating was ordered to Fort Snelling to command a regiment, but retired instead, at his own request, after more than thirty-six years of service.
In May 1941 he returned to active duty in Washington where he was instrumental during his assignment to the Office of the AC of S, G-2, in reorganizing the Foreign Liaison Branch. Colonel Moore’s wide experience in this field was responsible for effecting several reforms. The illness of his brother forced his return to retired status on 1 August 1941.
He received the Officers Cross of the Order of “Polonia Restituta” from Poland and the Legion of Honor from France.
Having inherited a large plantation near Texarkana, Arkansas, Beatty made that place his principal home for the rest of his life. He acquired, in 1929, another home where he and Mrs. Moore spent considerable time in Alexandria, Virginia, originally the home of Colonel George William Fairfax. This house he restored to its original condition, and furnished it again as befitted such a house. The restoration of this house was only a part of his interest in Alexandria. In 1949 he purchased from the Metropolitan Museum of Art an original doorway that had been removed many years ago from Gadsby’s Tavern in that Virginia City. The Moores gave the doorway to the Alexandria Association, which had it replaced in the historical tavern.
During his years in the Service and later, Beatty followed his love for shooting whenever possible. He shot in all corners of the world. He got his tiger when he and Llewellyn Bull traveled around the world together, stopping off in India to visit a friend, then a provincial governor there. His mounted trophies include bear, moose, caribou, elk, wolf, mountain sheep, chamois, and many rare birds shot in many a far-off place.
It was characteristic of him that once when he was shotting in Alaska he met with a severe accident as a result of which it took him a long time to work his way back to the Post. On arriving, as he was long overdue, he became curious to know if anyone had considered sending a detail out to find him. The answer was, “No, we knew you could take care of yourself” This ability to accomplish results was known to all who served with him.
Upon his retirement he embarked on a new career which was again evidence of his capabilities. He became a successful and prominent man of business. He was President of the Texas Cotton Oil Corporation and the Red River Levee District No. 1, and Vice President of the Burhman and Pharr Wholesale Hardware Company, as well as cattleman and planter.
Moore was a man of great courage, which showed in many ways. For those who saw him often after he had received word from his physician, years before, that he could not live but a year or two at the most, it was possible to see his will to live gradually assert itself, which resulted in proving the doctor’s prognostication as decidedly incorrect.
Beatty Moore followed the course of most graduates of the Academy in that as year followed year his love of the old motto proportionately increased, and his affection for his classmates grew likewise. At the 1903 class reunion in 1948 Moore became a guiding light. A banquet had been arranged by the class at the old Ritz-Carlton in New York. Moore (unknown to the Class at the time) heaped the long table, where over forty of the Class and their wives assembled, with gorgeous flowers. He sent every lady a corsage of orchids before dinner and provided the champagne for the crowd afterwards. He had the time of his life and so did the Class and their wives.
Moore died at his home in Texarkana on January 26, 1951. There, his flag-draped casket stood before the long windows of his home looking out upon his beloved garden, where the cardinal birds seemed to assemble that day to do him homage. There his many friends paid their last respects to him and there services were held. His body was brought to Virginia for burial, which was conducted in Christ Church, Middlesex County, Virginia. The weather on the day of this service was the worst in the memory of Virginians. Several of the Class from Washington and nearer points who expected to attend had to abandon the trip. The remembrance from the Class of 1903, red roses that Beatty was known to love, arrived at the church still beautiful though encased in ice. Nevertheless. Mrs. Moore has said they made her feel that in spite of wind and weather, the Class was thinking of the man who rested there in the Church he hoped to restore, a resting place symbolic of his career of helpfulness throughout his life.
We, in the Class of 1903, have lost a friend whom we will always miss and always remember. His wife, Gay Montague Moore, who survives him, will carry on many of Beatty’s activities, especially his interest in historic places in the country he loved so well.
It might be said, and remembered, of Charles Beatty Moore: He lived with certitude a life of upright, uncompromising integrity whose keynote remained unto death, “Duty, Honor, Country”.
—A. M. P.