Thomas Overton Moore
Born: April 10, 1804 in Sampson County, North Carolina
Political Affiliation: Democrat
Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian
Education: Sampson County schools
Career Prior to Term: State Representative and State Senator
How He Became Governor: Elected in 1860
Career after Term: Exiled to Mexico after the war; moved to Havana; eventually returned to Louisiana and attempted to rebuild his life.
Died: June 25, 1876 near Alexandria, Louisiana
Thomas Moore held office through the secession crisis after the election of Abraham Lincoln, the formation of the Confederate States of America and the first three years of the War Between the States.
After Lincoln's election, Moore directed the state militia to seize control of all Federal military posts in Louisiana. He supported secession and was devoted to the Confederate States of America. After the war broke out, he encouraged enlistment in the Southern armed forces and supplied 8,000 men to the Confederate Army--5,000 more than President Jefferson Davis requested.
Moore advocated a strong defense of New Orleans, clearly seeing its strategic importance in the controlling of the Mississippi River. When New Orleans fell in April, 1862 and Baton Rouge in May, he moved the capital to Opelousas and then to Shreveport where he attempted to organize resistance to the Union forces in Louisiana west of the Mississippi.
Moore prohibited trade with the enemy and promoted the burning of crops likely to be captured by Union forces.
After his term, Thomas Overton Moore returned to his plantation near Alexandria. Federal troops burned his home. He escaped to Mexico, and then Cuba, after the war, but later received a full pardon. Moore died in Rapides Parish in 1876.