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First Name: James

Last Name: Moss

Birthplace: Lafayette, LA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: Alfred

Date of Birth: 12 May 1872

Date of Death: 23 April 1941

Rank: Colonel

Years Served:
James Alfred Moss


James Alfred Moss
Colonel, U.S. Army

James Alfred Moss was born on 12 May 1872 in Lafayette, LA. Moss graduated in the Class of 1894 at the U. S. Military Academy.

General Nelson A. Miles began advocating for bicycle couriers in the Army after seeing a six-day bicycle race in Madison Square Garden in New York in 1891. He wrote that, unlike a horse, a bike did not need to be fed and watered and rested, and would be less likely to collapse. He also argued that a bike is smaller and quieter than a horse and thus could help a soldier sneak up on the enemy. It was Gen. Miles, who became known as "the patron of military cycling," who approved Lt. James A. Moss' request from Missoula to form the Bicycle Corps. The 25th Infantry Regiment was made up of black men, known as Buffalo Soldiers, commanded by white officers. The Bicycle Corps began with eight riders using one-speed Spalding bicycles on loan from the manufacturer in Chicago. Moss served with the 25th Infantry Regiment from 1894 to 1901.

During the period 1901-06, Moss served: as Acting Superintendent of the Sequoia & General Grant National Parks in California; at Regimental Commissary; with the 24th Infantry Regiment; as Regimental Adjutant, as Adjutant, Post of Manila; as Aide-de-Camp to Major General Henry C. Corbin; and with Headquarters, Department of the East.

Later assignments included: Headquarters, Philippine Division; Headquarters, Northern Division;
Instructor, Staff College & Special Service Schools; Special duty in the Office of the Army Chief of Staff; Commanding Officer, 367th Infantry Regiment (France); Deputy Provost Marshal General, American Expeditionary Force; and Editor of the Quartermaster Review & Secretary of the Quartermaster Association. Moss also wrote the Officer's Manual, and Origin and Significance of Military Customs.

Colonel Moss retired on 31 October 1922.


Moss was awarded the Silver Star Medal in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.


James A. Moss was author of "Memories of the Campaign of Santiago" (Mysell-Rollins Co., 1899).

Death and Burial

Colonel James Alfred Moss died on 23 April 1941. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 2881   Created by: MHOH




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