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Moss, James Ragsdale (1843–1924)

George M. Wentsch Biography Entry

James R. Moss, Confederate soldier, Indian fighter, and cattle rancher, the oldest son of Matthew W. and Mary Ann (Boyce) Moss, was born on January 24, 1843, in Fayette County, Texas. Four years later the family moved to Williamson County. In 1857 they moved westward into Llano County. Two years later Moss participated in his first trail drive. In February 1862 he joined Seth Mabry's Company E of Robert T. P. Allen's Seventeenth Texas Infantry, part of Henry E. McCulloch's brigade of Walker's Texas Division. Moss served the Confederacy in Arkansas and later took part in military actions along the Red River against Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks's federal troops in both Arkansas and Louisiana. After the war Moss returned to Llano County and resumed ranching. In 1869 he, his younger brother Charles, and his brother-in-law, Damon Slator, drove 1,400 cattle to California. Moss led a group of seven comrades in one of the last Indian fights in Llano County, the Packsaddle Mountain Fight, on August 5, 1873.

Moss married Delia Johnson in 1877, and they had thirteen children. He died on March 6, 1924, on the family ranch in southern Llano County.

Lewis E. Daniell, Texas-The Country and Its Men (Austin?, 1924?).


  • Peoples
  • Native American
  • Military
  • Soldiers
  • Ranching and Cowboys
  • Ranchers and Cattlemen

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

George M. Wentsch, “Moss, James Ragsdale,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 14, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 1, 1995