Alfred Moore Scales

Contributed by: Diane Siniard

Name: Alfred Moore Scales 
State Served: North Carolina  
Highest Rank: Brig-Gen  
Birth Date: 1827 
Death Date: 1892 
Birth Place: Reidsville, North Carolina 
Army: Confederacy  
Promotions: Promoted to Full Captain (Co H 13th NC Inf)
Promoted to Full Colonel ((est day))
Promoted to Full Brig-Gen  
Biography: Brigadier-General Alfred Moore Scales was born November 26,
1827, in Rockingham county, son of Dr. Robert H. Scales. He
was educated at the Caldwell institute and Chapel Hill, and
after teaching for a time, studied law with Judge Settle and
later with Judge Battle.

He was elected county solicitor in 1852, and was a member of
the house of commons in 1852-53. In 1854 he made a creditable
race as the Democratic candidate for Congress in a Whig
district. Again being elected to the legislature, he served
as chairman of the finance committee.

In 1857 he was elected to Congress over his former opponent,
but was defeated for re-election. From 1858 until the spring
of 1861 he held the office of clerk and master of the court of
equity of Rockingham county. In 1860 he was an elector on the
Breckinridge ticket, and in 1861 was a candidate for the
convention, favoring the calling of the same, though he did
not propose immediate secession.

Soon after the call for troops from Washington he volunteered
as a private in the North Carolina service, but was at once
elected captain of his company, H of the Thirteenth, and
succeeded General Pender as colonel in the following October.

He was engaged in the skirmishes at Yorktown, the battle of
Williamsburg and the Seven Days' campaign about Richmond,
Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. In the latter engagement
he continued on the field, though shot through the thigh,
until loss of blood forced him to a halt.

It was to his regiment that General Pender said: "I have
nothing to say to you but to hold you all up as models in
duty, courage and daring." In his official report Pender
referred to Colonel Scales as "a man as gallant as is to be
found in the service. "

While at home, recovering from his wound, he was promoted to
brigadier-general June 13, 1863, and on his return was
assigned to the command of Pender's old brigade. In the first
day's fight at Gettysburg he fought with great gallantry, and
fell severely wounded by a fragment of shell on Seminary
ridge, where every field officer of his brigade was killed or
wounded save one, and his brigade, already sadly reduced by
its terrible sacrifices at Chancellorsville, lost in all
nearly 550 men.

With General Pender at his side he was carried back to
Virginia in an ambulance, and being left at Winchester,
recovered. He took part in the campaigns of the army of
Northern Virginia during 1864, in command of his brigade, and
was faithful to the end, though at home on sick furlough at
the time of the surrender.

He subsequently resumed the practice of law, a profession in
which he gained very high distinction. In 1874 he was elected
to the Forty-fourth Congress, and his career in this capacity
met with such general approval that he was re-elected to the
four succeeding Congresses.

He was then in 1884, chosen governor of North Carolina by a
majority of over twenty thousand votes. Upon the expiration
of his term as governor he retired permanently from political
life, repeatedly refusing to be returned to Congress.

In 1888 he was elected president of the Piedmont bank at
Greensboro, and continued as its president until he died, in
February, 1892.

At the time of his death at Greensboro all business houses
closed and the city turned out en masse to attend his funeral.
He was greatly beloved and respected by all who knew him, and
his home life was particularly pleasant and charming. He was
survived by his wife, Kate Henderson Scales, and his daughter,
Mrs. John N. Wynne, who now reside at Danville, Va.

Source: Confederate Military History, vol. V, p349 

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