Joseph H. “Zeph” Moe was born in 1843, in Steuben County, New York, the son of Cragan (or Craig, b. 1805 in New York) and Elizabeth (Campbell, b. 1808 in Pennsylvania). Cragan and Elizabeth were married sometime before 1838 when their daughter Elizabeth was born. The family resided in New York before moving west. By 1850 Joseph (listed as “Zephman”) was living with his family in Orwell, Ashtabula County, Ohio, where his father worked as a carpenter. By 1860 “Zeph’s” family was living on a farm in Wright, Ottawa County.
Joseph was 18 years old and probably living in Newaygo County, Michigan, when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company K on May 13, 1861. By September of 1862 he was on detached duty as a teamster, probably serving with the Brigade wagon trains, and taken prisoner May 6, 1864, at the Wilderness, Virginia, and confined at Andersonville. He was released in February of 1865 at Goldsboro, North Carolina, and discharged on April 19, 1865, at Detroit.
After the war Joseph returned to western Michigan.
He married Michigan native Clara E. Badger (b. 1854 in Branch County), on November 29, 1868, by a Justice of the Peace in Greenwood, Oceana Cpounty (his older brother Benjamin was a witness) and they had at least seven children: Erdine (b. 1871), Charles (b. 1873), Cora (1875-1883), Sidney (1876-1883) and Claude (1878-1883), Myrtle, (1882-1883), Oscar (1883). The last five all died from diptheria, Oscar in February of 1883 and the other four in June.
Joseph and Clara settled in Greenwood, Oceana County, and by 1870 he was working as a farmer living with his wife, near his parents Cragan and Elizabeth Moe and his sister Elizabeth and her husband, Hiram Place. In 1880 was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Greenwood (his parents were living in Greenwood with one of their other sons, Benjamin and his family).
Joseph died, sometime before early 1897, possibly in Fremont, Newaygo County, and was buried in Maple Grove cemetery, Fremont: section 4-308 (GAR lot).
In February of 1897 a pension application (no. 648054) was submitted in Michigan on behalf of Charles Moe, reportedly a minor child. The soldier’s name was reported as Josephine Moe of Company K 3rd Michigan Infantry. In any case, the certificate was never granted.