1LT Moses Gale Yniestra


1LT Moses Gale Yniestra

Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida, USA
Death 14 Feb 1884 (aged 47)
Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida, USA
Burial Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida, USA
Memorial ID 49571370 View Source

1st Lieut, Co. B, 62 Regt, Alabama Infantry, Civil War.
Married to Ann Elizabeth Gouse on 21 May 1860 in Mobile County, Alabama. Pic 3

His widow applied for a pension in Pensacola, Fl. on 24 July 1909

Please see: for further information (Source submitted by FAG member Bill Burns)

Moses Yniestra was discharged from the Confederate Army in 1865 as a 1st Lieutenant and returned to Alabama. The 1866 Alabama State census lists him as living in Butler County, about 120 miles northeast of Mobile. While this census does not give names of family members, it shows that the household also included one female aged 20-30 and three females under 10, presumably his wife and their first three daughters.

He subsequently moved the family to his birthplace of Pensacola, Florida, about sixty miles east of Mobile. US census records show that he had many relatives in the area, and there is a section of Pensacola still called Yniestra today. On the 1870 census Moses has the occupation of retail grocer. He and Anna now had five children, and the household also included a nurse, a servant, a grocery clerk, and a porter. On the 1880 census Moses is listed as a farmer, and the Yniestras had added three more children to their family; all eight were daughters. A son named William Brent Yniestra was born in 1881, their ninth and last-known child, although the 1884 newspaper story below reports ten children.

Sadly, on 14 February 1884, at the age of 47, Moses Yniestra was struck and killed by a switching engine on the main street of Pensacola while he was walking along the tracks around daybreak.

The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, 15 Feb 1884

A Prominent Citizen Run Over and Killed

PENSACOLA, Feb. 14.—This morning, between the hours of 5 and 6 o’clock, a terrible accident occurred near the gas works, in the rear of this city, resulting fatally to Moses G. Yniestra, than whom no one in Western Florida was more widely known and respected. Upon inquiry as to the particulars, your correspondent learned that Mr. Yniestra, who has recently been employed as assistant to Col. Scott, superintendent of the Pensacola Gas Works, was on his way to the gas house at the time of the accident, and had taken the track of the railroad as the most direct route from his residence. A switch engine coming up the road caused Mr. Yniestra to step aside to an opposite track, and the engine, after running a few rods beyond, was switched on to the track upon which the unfortunate man had stepped to avoid an accident, and came down upon him without a moment’s warning. His death was undoubtedly instantaneous, his body being horribly mutilated. Mr. Yniestra leaves a widow and ten children to mourn his loss, and a legion of friends who will ever cherish his memory.

A lawsuit by his widow for damages against the Louisville & Nashville Railway Company was dismissed, and the ruling became part of case law reference in Florida:

“When a person voluntarily walks on and along the track of a railroad laid in a public thoroughfare, which he knew was used as a switch yard on which locomotives were passing to and fro night and day, where the walking on either side of said track was as good as on the track, and in doing so is run over by a passing train and killed, he has, by the failure to exercise ordinary care and prudence, directly contributed to his own misfortune, and his representative cannot recover from the company using said track damages therefor.”

This rather unfair doctrine was finally overturned in 1974 by the Florida Supreme Court.

As with many Southern states, Florida offered pensions to resident widows of Confederate soldiers, and details of many of these are available on line. In 1909, Anna Elizabeth Yniestra applied for a pension on the basis of the service of her husband Moses, and Lousia Yniestra for that of her husband Brunaugh. The documentation supporting these applications provided some of the information for this section.

Moses Yniestra was killed by a switching engine on railroad tracks near his home in Pensacola. The tracks of the switching yard ran along public streets, and he was struck by the engine while walking home at night. His wife sued the railroad but lost on appeal. Full details here:


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