From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

James Moseley '56

Date of birth: 1837

Date of death: September 18, 1860

Age: ~23


James was lost sometime after September 18, 1860, when USS Levant (1837) disappeared after leaving Hilo, Hawaii, for Panama. He was born in Kentucky and appointed from Mississippi.

From researcher Kathy Franz:

James was born in 1837 in Daviess County, Kentucky. In 1850 the family lived in Neosho town, Missouri, where his father George was a merchant. After his father died in 1862, his mother Ann received a pension of $20/month until she died in 1869. His brothers were Thomas and John, and his sisters were Frances and Mary. John became a Sergeant Major in the Union’s Kentucky Infantry 1862-64.

James was on board the sloop St. Mary’s when the filibuster William Walker surrendered his colony in Nicaragua in May 1857. Walker and the other Americans in his army were taken on board, transported to Panama City, and then returned to the United States. James was next on the steam frigate Minnesota in 1857-58 when it sailed to China and Japan. In November 1859, he was on the USS Levant in Panama when he was appointed “Master in the line of promotion.”


From the Naval History and Heritage Command:

Acting Midshipman, 20 May, 1852. Midshipman, 1 October, 1856. Passed Midshipman, 29 April, 1859. Master, 5 September, 1859. Lost in the Levant, 18 September, 1860.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

January 1857

Midshipman, Sloop St. Mary's

January 1858

Midshipman, Steam Frigate Minnesota

Others at this command:

January 1860

Master, Sloop Levant

Others at this command:

Class of 1856

James is one of 5 members of the Class of 1856 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.