site logo
M.A. Luce

M.A. Luce

Federal (USV)


Moses Augustine Luce

(1842 - 1933)

Home State: Illinois

Education: Hillsdale (MI) College

Command Billet: Soldier

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 4th Michigan Infantry

Before Antietam

A student at Hillsdale College, in Michigan, he enlisted as Private in Company E, Fourth Michigan Infantry on 20 June 1861.1

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Sergeant on 1 January 1863. He mustered out of service at the end of the Regiment's three-year term on 28 June 1864 at Detroit.1

After the War

In 1866 he was again a student at Hillsdale, and by 1872 was practicing law in Illinois, being narrowly defeated for State Senator from McDonough County in November that year.2

In 1873 he moved to property he won in a successful legal action at San Diego, California. He opened a law practice, and was prominent in that city's founding and early development. He was also a Vice-President at the Santa Fe Railroad, Postmaster, and County Judge (1875-79). 3

He was, in 1895, awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in saving a wounded comrade near Spotsylvania Court House 10 May 1863.

He retired from his law practice in 1922 at age 80, and died at 91.

References & notes

Some career details and a later photo of Luce from Luce Forward history online.

The photograph above is from the Hillsdale College Archives, and was kindly scanned and supplied by Archivist Linda Moore. You can also find Luce in a group picture taken in 1866 at Hillsdale College. His gravesite is shown online by Find-a-grave.

The Luce Family Papers, 1861-1959 are in the collection of the University of California, Los Angeles, Library, Department of Special Collections [ finding aid ].

His grandson Edgar Arthur Luce, Jr. passed away about a week before this bio sketch was created (11 May 2006), at age 80.

More on the Web

More about Luce and Hillsdale College in blog posts on behind AotW here and here.


05/14/1842; Payson, IL


04/23/1933; San Diego, CA; burial in Greenwood Memorial Park, San Diego, CA


1   From Regimental roster and pension data.
Prince, David, 4th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Published 2001, first accessed 18 May 2006, <>  [AotW citation 510]

2   From the The Schuyler (Ill.) Citizen of November 21, 1872; transcribed by Robin L. W. Petersen.
Petersen, Robin L.W., and Illinois GenWeb Project, McDonough County, Illinois Genealogy, Published 1999, first accessed 18 May 2006, <>, Source page: /SCMcDonough.html  [AotW citation 511]

3   San Diego Historical Society, San Diego History, Published 1999, first accessed 18 May 2006, <>, Source page: /2001-1/county.htm  [AotW citation 512]