James Alfred Moss – Colonel, United States Army

Colonel James A. Moss was born on 12 May 1872.  He wrote the Officer's Manual, and Origin and Significance of Military Customs.

Colonel Moss died on 23 April 1941 and was buried with full military honors in Section 1, Grave 1266, Arlington National Cemetery.

James A. Moss was last man in the Class of 1894 and won the Silver Star in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.

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

Courtesy of Michael T. Stein:

Colonel James Alfred Moss

Born May 12, 1872 in Lafayette, Louisiana
Died April 23, 1941

Cadet U. S. Military Academy 1890-94
Graduated as No. 3616, Class of 1894
Second Lieutenant 1894
First Lieutenant 1898
Captain 1901
Lieutenant Colonel 1918
Colonel (National Army) 1917-19
Colonel, United States Army, 1920
Acting Superintendent of the Sequoia & General Grant National Parks, California 1899 & 1902
Served with 25th Infantry Regiment 1894-01
Regimental Commissary 1900-01
Served with 24th Infantry Regiment 1901
Regimental Adjutant 1901-02
Adjutant, Post of Manila 1902-03
Aide-de-Camp to Major General Henry C. Corbin (as Temporary Lieutenant Colonel) 1903-04
Served with Headquarters, Department of the East 1904-06
Served with Headquarters, Philippine Division 1906
Served with Headquarters, Northern Division 1906
Instructor, Staff College & Special Service Schools 1906-10
Special duty in the Office of the Army Chief of Staff 1911-12
Commanding Officer, 367th Infantry Regiment (France) 1918-19
Editor, of the Quartermaster Review & Secretary of the Quartermaster Assoc. 1921-23
Retired October 31st, 1922
Deputy Provost Marshal General, American Expeditionary Force 1919

General Nelson A. Miles, born in Westminster, Mass.achusetts, 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. Furthermore, a bike is smaller and quieter than a horse and thus could help a soldier sneak up on the enemy, he argued. 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. Its Bicycle Corps began with eight riders using one-speed Spalding bicycles on  loan from the manufacturer in Chicago.


  • DATE OF DEATH: 04/23/1941
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 04/26/1941

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