George Riley Cannon


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2nd Lt. George Riley "Riley" Cannon  

Two cousins named George Riley Cannon, fought in the Franklin Battle, one Union from Ohio and one Confederate from Missouri

James W. Cannon’s brother Isaac J. Cannon stayed in Guilford, Medina County, Ohio. His son George Riley Cannon served in the OVI 166th of the Union Army. His son Perry served with the 103rd OVI of the Union Army.  James W. Cannon’s sons George Riley Cannon and William Allen Cannon both served with the 1st & 4th Consolidated Missouri Infantry of the Confederate Army. William Allen being a mere 15 years old when enlisted. These two brothers fought side by side during the war. During the last 6 months of the war, their brother Thomas Benton joined the 46th Missouri Infantry of the Union Army. During the war, James’s two-story house was burned. I’ve tried to imagine what it was like. War to me has only been on foreign ground. This war was fought right on their own land. Many civilians died as a result. George Riley and William Allen were captured at Vicksburg, Mississippi July 4th, 1863 and held prisoner of war in Demopolis, Alabama. They were released in December of 1863. George Riley walked across the state to Demopolis, Alabama and re-enlisted for 40 years or until the end of the war. William Allen didn't show and was listed as AOL.George Riley served from 1861 until his death Nov 30, 1864 on this  battlefield.

The Franklin battle was one of the bloodiest fought during the Civil War, within 1 hour 60% of the entire Missouri Brigade lay dead.

Total Confederate casualties were 6,252 and Union casualties numbered 2,326.
George Riley Cannon of Ohio 103rd Union was also fighting this battle. Two cousins with the same name fought on opposite sides against each other during the battle that took the young Confederate, George Riley Cannon’s life.George Riley Cannon is buried here in the McGavock Confederate Cemetery at the Carnton Plantation. He is listed as Lieutenant Cannon in the Missouri State Section 15. Grave number 123.

From the Confederate Official Records
Atlanta Georgia August 26, 1864 to September 1, 1864
We remained quietly in our works, sending out scouting parties, two of which (composed each time in part of the same men), and both under the command of Lieut. G. R. Cannon, of the First and Fourth Infantry) were very successful, having crossed the Chattahoochee twice, captured prisoners, and mules and horses, and gained valuable information, and returned with their prisoners and booty safely.  The particulars of these, with the names of the parties, have been fully  reported.

Brigadier General F.M. Cockrell


McGavock Cemetery Franklin, Tennessee

In April of 2001  I visited the grave of George Riley Cannon.  I was moved to tears as I silently said " I wish I could have known you Riley." 

I saw a vision of a face, which I believe to be Riley's face.  The face was very emaciated with bushy hair, sunken cheeks and dark hollow eyes.

 I believe I was the first person ever in the family to have been there.  As the vision faded I moved my hand to the ground and I felt like I touched his soul

McGavock Confederate Cemetery Carnton Plantation I'm standing or the porch The Carter House near where the Missouri Brigade was killed My visit to George Riley Cannon's grave