Sunday, November 23, 2008


(click on image to enlarge)
James E. Moss, crippled in the Battle of Missionary Ridge, rebuilt his life in western Iowa. By the time he and his wife Susan Powers Moss moved to this impressive home, they owned three very successful farms. One farm was willed to each of his three daughters, forming a basis for the Moss family's descendants for generations to come.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Lookout Mountain - Archives of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley - 2008 (click on image to enlarge) Photograph was acquired on a visit to the site of the Battle of Lookout Mountain by James E. Moss. The notations in ink are in his handwriting.

75 years ago, an aged Iowa farmer wrote his memories of being wounded in the Battle of Missionary Ridge, Tennessee. 145 years have passed this month since the horrible event that left James E. Moss crippled for the duration of his life.
The battles of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge were part of the 3rd Battle of Chattanooga that took place from November 23 to 25 in 1863. Chattanooga, a major railroad hub was seen as the doorway to the conquest of the Confederacy.

November 25, 1923
“This is the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Missionary Ridge, and as I arose from my bed, thought I ought to write of my personal recollections, as it was the beginning of a new experience, one that was to follow me through life, that of being a cripple the rest of my days. Not being of a down cast or brooding nature, I thought I’d make the best of what was left of me, and today I can find no fault. While I regret I am not as other men in appearance, yet think I have been of some good to my country, and have cause to be thankful for what little ability I have shown through these sixty years I have lived.”

“I was wounded about five o’clock and layed near the top of the ridge and was carried down by four comrades on a stretcher and placed in a log house near the bottom of the ridge, which was full of wounded men - just room for one more. Was very cold, had a fire place and fire. It was hard ride down the hill and steep. Imagine if you can, being carried down a steep hill, holding to stretcher bars to keep from working forward, with about three inches of both bones (of left leg) crushed!
Was left in this house until toward evening of next day, then with a wounded Rebel, was taken to Chattanooga and placed in a Presbyterian Church and laid on the floor until afternoon of the next day - when the leg was taken off just below the knee - 47 hours after being wounded.
There many died during the night. One boy lay close by my side and became crazed with pain and calling to his friends and looking into my face. He fell over on to me and died. I worked him off and we laid there all night. He was carried out - a boy - 16 years old that had been in the service only 2 days. (He) was taken into Chattanooga before I was. I often think about him.”
“There were 2 brothers, one was sick at Stevenson, Tennessee, (the other) was homesick. I tried to cheer him up the first day at the house. He wound was in the knee, and did not seem as bad as mine. When I saw him in the church he was crying. I tried to cheer him up but he did not live through the night.

“I could almost write a book about my experiences of a few days. They come to me so often now.
My bunk mate at the time (when James was shot) was Edwin Zellar and we stood side by side. (note of his daughter Jennie: “probably when in formation or line”) He was wounded 4 times and his right arm was amputated above the elbow. A fine man - older than I, and he made the little stand Sadie has, of many pieces, and with one hand. It is a relic of the Civil War days. Keep it, some of your children may enjoy it.
The morning after the operation, I was laid on the operating table. The would and the leg was so swollen, the stitches had pulled out and had to be closed together with strips of adhesive tape, and hair shaved off. That nearly done me up, it was awful.”

“Then I was put in a ward on the rail road storehouse with two hundred and twenty five (men) and for two days it was just all I could stand; I had been bleeding nearly three days. Captain Lushe Hemenway sent an extra nurse to care for Ed Zellar and I, from our company, S.M. Jay, and I truly believe he saved my life. He used to tell me of it every time I would meet him. He was 45 years of age and a neighbor at home.
We then moved to Nashville, Tennessee as soon as able, to convalescent camp and later, home. And, on this trip, I learned that the best thing was not to depend on others to help you when they had cares of their own. It was “Poor Soldiers” until something happened they were interested in.
I’ll never forget, we changed cars at Indianapolis, Indiana; the station was full of people. Zellar could stand, but I had to sit on my knapsack on the floor and hold my wounded knee or leg in my hands. An incoming train rolled into the depot and they (daughter’s note: the people) ran over to us in all kinds of shape. I finally got mad and they found there was a fellow on the ground floor that was not so dead after all.
Sympathy is easily shown by words, but when it costs some effort to express it, that interferes with ones own interest, it seems not so easy. So, it is best to look out for ones’self.”

Later on I was carried to our train by some comrades and arrived home the next night, a bitter cold night. Found our folks not looking for me, and all abed and house cold. It was some surprise sure. Think of it, sixty years ago and I am here to write it to my children."

Monday, November 3, 2008


Janne and I try to go into the city to celebrate the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos. Photo was taken in the old Pueblo Plaza.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Brendan's Bike Ride in Monterey - 2008 (click to enlarge)
Brendan Patrick Fecht takes photos for his blog on his adventures. He took his bike to the family reunion and stopped by Fisherman's Wharf.

Brendan Fecht shares the family reunion with his little cousins Maximilian and Meredith. Max and "the Diva" are the children of Jeff and Jodi Gross of Salt Lake City.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Hoehl Children (click on picture to enlarge) Photo number 0003
These are the children of Randi and Allan Hoehl.
left to right:
Alan John Hoehl - born in 1992
Amanda Margaret Hoehl - born in 1995
Brian Andrew Hoehl - born in 2000

The Hoehl family resides in Mount Sinai, New York. They are descendents of Frances Moss Knight, the daughter of Susan (Powers) and James Moss. Frances was called "Frankie" by the family.
This photo was taken about 2003.


Internet image of Phyllis Wilkinson 2008 (click on picture to enlarge)
Phyllis M. Wilkinson, 80, of Peoria, Ill., died at 5:50 P.M. Sunday (June 22, 2008) from injuries sustained in an automobile accident near Bradford, Ill.

She was born May 17, 1928 in Carroll, Iowa, to B. E. & Marian K. (Knight) Friend. She married John P. Wilkinson on June 28, 1952 in Indianola, Iowa. He preceded her in death on March 3, 1977.

She is survived by a son: William B. (Georgann) Norton Jr. of Kansas City, MO; 1 grandson: Will (Rebecca) Norton of White Bear Lake, MN, and 2 great grandchildren: Leah & Liam Norton.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband and brothers: James B. Friend and Phillip Friend.

She graduated from Scranton, Iowa, grade school and high school and received her bachelor's degree in education from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
 She taught in Altoona, Glidden and Ankeny, Iowa, prior to moving to Peoria in 1956. She then taught kindergarten at Glen Oak Grade School for 37 years. Following retirement she helped with the pre-school program at Southside Mission and taught at Peoria Christian School.
 She had been a member of Grace Presbyterian Church and Northwoods Community Church and attended Bethany Baptist Church, all in Peoria.
She volunteered at Proctor Hospital and was a member of P.E.O., and D.A.R. and A.D.K.
visitation wAS held from 5-7 PM Wednesday at the Cumerford-Hurd Funeral Home, 428 W. McClure Ave., Peoria, and one hour prior to services at the Northwoods Community Church at 10:00 AM Thursday. 
Interment wAS in Parkview Cemetery in Peoria.
Memorials may be directed to the John Wilkinson Scholarship Fund at Woodruff High School, where her husband was the principal at the time of his death.


Jennie Powers Moss Fletcher and her daughter Katherine. 645 Harwood Drive, Des Moines, Iowa - 1934. Photo No. 0002 (click on image to enlarge)

Note from Jerry Fecht
I received an email from Fletcher Gross today that noted an extra "great" in Forrest Johnston's line. Catching these little errors is important, and can be easily edited on this Family Blog.
Please send your pictures and/or comments to me via email or US mail. Digital photos are easily handled via Photoshop. They should be in a jpg format.
Thanks Jerry

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Group Photograph Fletcher - Moss - Shreves Reunion 2008 in Monterey, California (click on image to enlarge)

A note from Janne Fecht. Janne is the grand-daughter of Jennie (Moss) and Clyde Fletcher.
What a wonderful weekend!!! I’m already looking forward to doing it again and want to get started with the planning while the memories of this terrific reunion are still fresh in our minds – but, don’t panic, I’m not up to it tonight. Just wanted to send you the group photo that was taken with my camera. I have other photos to share, but, again, not tonight.
Stay tuned. You will hear from me again soon! Janne


Monterey Aquarium 2008 - Photo by Jerry Fecht (click on photo to enlarge)

A note from Marjorie Greer (grand daughter of Robert and Frances (Fletcher) Gross:
As the Monterey Bay area gets crazy with Motorcycle Fans and Cowboys and we leave town next weekend, just wanted to say thank you all for making it a success. It's really the people that make it worthwhile.
Thank you again. Marjorie

A note from Jerry Fecht
One of the great things resulting from the Family Reunion planning by Marjorie, Jeff, David and Margo was the chance for the whole family "to make new history" together! The whale watching and Monterey Aquarium are just two of the many exciting memories of the wonderful occasion.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Christmas Letter from Phyllis Wilkinson (click on letter to enlarge)
"Another year almost gone, how fast the days go by. So far, we've had a total of 8 inches of snow and some very cold days and nights. Unusual to have this much in December but its pretty and (makes) the decorations more beautiful.
This has been an exciting year, grandson Will graduated from the University of Minnesota's Vet School, so he is in a clinic in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Alos heard Rebeccas became parents of a beautiful baby girl, Leah Marie, August 18, 2005. We plan to be there for Christmas, Bill (Norton) and Georgann will meet me somewhere?? I shall miss hearing from Jonathan (Fletcher), won't you?"

Frances Eleanor Moss was the oldest child of Susan (Powers) (fl-9) and James E. Moss (fl-8). She was born in Earlville, Illinois in 1868. One record indicates that Frances’ middle name might be Libby, but this may have been a nickname. She was called “Frankie” by her friends and and family. As a girl she was known for the beautiful “twinkle in her eyes that lit up her face.” (1)
In 1895 Frances married James Gardner Knight in Scranton, Iowa. He was the son of Delilah (Macy) and Benjamin Knight.
Frances and James Knight had three children. They were:

born: 2 June, 1896 in Warsaw, ______________ Co. Missouri
married: __________ to Bernard E. FRIEND (fl-54)
died: ________ September, 1989 in ___________, _______
buried: ___________, in __________ Cemetery, in _________

born: 16 November, 1897 in Warsaw, ________ Co. Missouri
married: 15 November, 1928 to Dora HILL (fl-58)
died: 24 November 1951 in DeRuyter, New York
buried: ________, in __________ Cemetery, in ___________

born: 24 September, 1904 in ________, ______ Co. ________:
married: ____________ to Harry R. HEYWOOD (fl-77)
died: ___________ January, 1957 in_________, __________
buried: ___________, in __________ Cemetery, in _________

Phyllis Norton Wilkerson was the grand daughter of Francis Moss and James Knight. She died in 2008 from an automobile accident.


Forrest Richard Johnson - Monterey, California 2008 (click on photo to enlarge)
Forrest is the son of Jill (Gross) and Richard E. Johnson. This picture was taken aboard a whale-watching expedition in July of 2008. Forrest put sun glasses on the sun because it is so bright. Forrest is the great, great grandson of Jennie Powers Moss and her husband Clyde Beales Fletcher.


(click on picture to enlarge) Picture Number 0001
This photograph was taken of Youth Orchestra of Plymouth Congregational Church in Des Moines, Iowa c. 1927. The older woman in the center of the top row is Jennie Powers Moss Fletcher who was the director of the orchestra. At her right is Dorr Carlyle Shreves (about 16 years old) who played the violin in the group.) Jennie had a lifetime affection for the boy, who would one day become her son-in-law. The girl seated at the left in the front row is Katherine Carol Fletcher, Jennie's daughter.

WELCOME! This blog is designed for the enjoyment of our extended family. You make make comments about this "posting" by joining the Google blog. Or, you may send messages to Jerry Fecht at
You are welcomed to send photos to Jerry Fecht for scanning and inclusion on this blog and in the family archives. If you send a photo by email, please use the jpg format.