Captain Levi R. Hurst (1810-1887)
Captain Levi Hurst, 3rd great-grandfather of Companion John S. Moore, was the Commanding Officer of Company D, 6th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment (USA) during the entirety of his service to the Union. Levi mustered into service on September 12, 1862 and was medically discharged on June 29, 1864.
Levi Hurst, the son of Jesse and Nancy Hurst, was born in 1809. Levi's paternal grandfather, John Hurst of the "Shenandoah Hursts", was a revolutionary war veteran having served with the 9th Virginia Regiment at Fort Pitt on the western frontier. In 1827 Levi married Martha Jane Moore in Wayne County, Tennessee and together they would have a dozen children, seven boys followed by five girls. Prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, Levi was a tenant farmer, law enforcement officer and minister residing in McNairy County, Tennessee.
Less than a year after Tennessee seceded from the Union, the Battle of Shiloh occurred resulting in a Union victory. With West Tennessee generally secured, recently appointed Governor Andrew Johnson ordered Federal regiments raised in Tennessee including the 1st West Tennessee Cavalry (later redesignated the 6th Tennessee Cavalry) initially about 800 troopers strong. Company D was mustered into service in early September 1862 with Captain Levi Hurst Commanding.
Levi's two oldest sons served with the Confederates, neither surviving the war, while his four youngest sons served with Levi in the 6th Tennessee Cavalry all five of whom survived the war. In one particular skirmish on the outskirts of Jackson, Tennessee, the regiments of Levi and his younger sons in blue encountered the Alabama regiment of one of his older sons in gray.
For the duration of Captain Hurt's two years of service with the 6th Tennessee Cavalry, the unit was primarily engaged in what would now be referred to as reconnaissance and counterinsurgency operations along the Tennessee - Mississippi border as part of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Army of the Tennessee. At various times the 6th was involved in actions against Confederate Generals Nathan Bedford Forrest, Earl Van Dorn and James R. Chalmers. The 6th Tennessee Cavalry was mustered out of service on July 26, 1865. In total, the 6th Tennessee lost 396 soldiers; 2 officers and 33 enlisted men killed in action, 9 officers and 352 men died of disease.
Following the war Captain Levi Hurst returned to law enforcement and farming in northern McNairy County. Levi appears on various court records for several years following the war as a sheriff, deputy or constable (SDC), a county court Justice of the Peace (JP) and also for a time as the county coroner. He died in 1887 and was buried with a soldier's headstone.