Henry Maxwell Cannon, 1st Lt. Co. I, SC Regt.
SERVICE RECORDS and Letters Home
Contributed by Linda Ward MeadowsSpecial Orders #92 Adjutant and Inspector General's Office Richmond April 20, 1864 I. The Resignations of the following named Officers have been accepted by the President, to take effect to-day: 1st Lieut. H.M. Cannon, Co I 21st SC Vols. By Command of the Secretary of War. Jno. Withers, Assistant Adjutant General Lieut H.M. Cannon Thms (unclear) Gen Beauregard ***************** The State of S. Carolina To. H.M. Cannon-Commissioned as appted 1st Lt. for Capt. Woodberry's Co. 21st Regt. S.C. Vol. Mustered into Confederate service for twelve months. "Which said Company you are to Lead, Train, Muster and Exercise, according to Military Discipline. And you are to follow and observe all such Orders and Instructions as you shall, from time to time, receive from the Gov., the Commander in Chief for the time being, or any of your Superior Officers, according to the rules and Discipline of War, pursuant to the Laws of this State, and of the Confederate States. And all inferior officers, or others belonging to the said Confederacy are hereby required to obey you as their second Lieutenant. This Commission to cont. during pleasure. Given under the Seal of this State, Witness His Excellency F.N. Rickers, Governor and Commander in Chief of the said State. This 25th in Jan. in 1862 and 86th year of Sovereignty and Independence of the State of S.C. ********************* Kingston S.C. Soldiers Letter Lieut H.M. Cannon Co. I 21st SC. Maj. RR. Cannon Lynches Creek Marion District So. Car. ********************* Advice To H.M. Cannon Recollect a good business Situation is hard to obtain, In the second a good Situation is hard to keep after it is obtained- Recollect you have enemeys Who will predict your Down fall and would rejoice to See it is your time to Make and save a completely And not to be as I am, hard run in______________________ the mason __________________ (Torn page) build up____________________ ************************* Provisional Army of the Confed. States State South Carolina To All Whom It May Concern Know ye, that L.W. Cannon a Private of Capt. R.G. Howard, Company I of the 21st Regt S.C. Vols who enlisted the eighth day of January one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two to serve for one year is hereby discharged from the Provisional Army of the Conf. States in consequence of his Age being over forty years old. Said Private L.W. Cannon was born in Horry Dist. In the State of South Carolina is forty-one years of age, five feet six inches high. Dark complexion, Dark eyes, Dark hair, and by the occupation when enlisted a Farmer. Given under my hand at Morris Island this the tenth day of February in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three. H.M. Cannon 1st Lieut Comdg Co. I ************************* Morris Island Feby 11th 1863 HM Cannon 1st Lt. Commanding Co I 21st SCV Discharge for Private LW Cannon of Capt Howards Co I 21st SCV Head Ors. 21st S.C.V. Morris Island Feby 11th 1863 Approved By Order Col. R.F. Graham Comdg 21st SC. Vols (Signature not legible) ___________________________ ************************* Provisional Army of the Confederate States State of South Carolina Thos. Burrows Private R.G. Howard's Company I Of 21st Regt. S.C. Vols eight day of January eight hundred and sixty-two to serve for one years, is hereby discharged from the Prov. Army of the C.S., in consequence of his age being over forty years old. Said Private Thos Burrows Bn. In Williamsburg Dist. In South Carolina is forty-six 6 feet one in high light complexion, light eyes, auburn hair, and by occupation when enlisted a Farmer. Given at Morris Island this the tenth day of February in year of Lord 1863 HMC- 1st Lt. Comdg. Co I *********************** Miss Anna L. Rogers Briton Neck S.C. Camp of 21st Regt. S.C.V. Morris Island Near Charleston, S.C. April 26th 1863 Dear Niece, I received your letter a few days ago and was glad to know you was well. This leaves myself and Bob in good health. I hav just return in from hearing the Rev J.O. B. Dargan preached. We hav preaching here once evry Sunday. We are pretty close to the Yankees they are about three thousand on Folly Island and only a small River between us and them. We talk to each other evry day I got Some coffee from them the other dad They put it in a box and floated it across to me. I helped to kill one of them a few nights ago. Col Dargan and forty men went over on Folly Islan We went around their camps and captured one of their picquets and killed another. I think they were leaving the Island. Anna I want you to save me some Irish potatoes. I think I will come home in July or perhaps in June as soon as the Yankees leav here And they begin to give furlough I will go home. You must excuse my bad writing as I did not sleep any last night And can hardly hold my eyes open long enough to write. Yours Affect A. Gibson ********************** Camp Reliance June 1st 1862 Lieut H.M. Cannon has leave of absence to visit his home for 4 days at which time he will report to these head Quarters. AB Jordan 1 Lieut Commdg ___ B. Moore Comg 1st Bat S.C. S.T. ********************** for clothing to the 1st day of July 1863 Camp Near Kow-How (?) Sept 1st 1863 Lt. H.H. McClenaghan Comd Co I 6 reg S.C.C. Mrs. Rodgers is the daughter of David Gibson who has eight sons in the army besides his sons-in-law he is quite anxious for Prvt Rodgers to come home. Lieut H H McClenaghan Comd Co. I 6 Reg SCC *************************** Capt. Co I 6th Regiment (Aiken) S.C. Cavalry Adams Run S.C. *************************** Brittons Neck, SC 27th Aug 1863 Capt. I.H. Whitner Dear Sir, I am now attending Mrs. Sarah Rogers (wife of S.J. Rogers) who is sick of typhoid fever, which continues to grow more serious daily and may probably prove to be her last illness, as that disease is attended this year, with unusual fatality, Especially so, in her father's family, where she contracted the disease. She has five small children and no person to administer medicine as do any thing for her, old Enough to rely on, no relatives in her neighborhood, nor immediate neighbor who are not without sickness to attend to at home, nor a servant on which she ahs reason to expect attention. It is therefore hoped and confidently believed that you will, immediately, furnish the said S.J. Rogers with a furlough or some kind of leave of absence to repair at once to his sick wife who is truly in a distressful condition and needs her husband's attention. Commandant Co. I (Aiken) 6th Regiment S.C. Cavalry D.A. Campbell, M.D. Adams Run, S.C. Sept 1st 1863 Private S.J. Rogers Co. I 6th Regt. S.C.C. Applies for furlough of fifteen (15) days on account of extreme illness of his wife. Based on certificate from family physician Approved HH McClenaghan Lt Comdg Co I 6th Regt SCC Camp 6th - - - (unclear) approved and respectfully forwarded LP Miller (?) Lieutenant Commdg 6th Recolld Or. Dept. SC, GA and Fla Sept. 3rd 1863 Headquarters (?) Neck Dist. Adams Run Sept. 2, 1863 Approved and respectfully fwd. H. Kitchen (?) Col Comg. appo_______ _________ (2 words unclear) by _____________of Genl Brannigan ______ Ord H. Qrs dept. S.C., GA and Fla 3rd Sept 1863 Pass to Lawrence _______________________ (unreadable signature) Sept 6/63 ****************************** In Line of Battle Near Petersburg, VA June 10th, 1864 My Dear Father, I seat myself to write you a short addition to the one I wrote on yesterday morning a few moments after I finished writing you we were ordered to take up the line of march We crossed the James about miles below Richmond We marched to Chester Station on the R & P RR took the train and arrived at Petersburg a little before night We came to the front last night and threw up breast works but left them again this morning and came to this place where it is not fortified the enemy are in a mile or two of Petersburg. We had no forces here and on yesterday they charged and took over our breast works which caused us a great sacrifice of life I expect to retake them which I have no doubt we will have to do soon but I dislike very much to do. One shell killed six of our men this morning. They were crowded up together and it struck right in the middle of them and busted killing six dead and wounding two or three The killed are as followers Hansig Ellerbie Co (G) Franklin Carmichael Varden Carmichael, Owen Rogers, Burt Collins Co (L) Jacobs Lrvit (This last name is unclear, but the letters shown are clearly written.) it was the most destructive shell I ever saw. I trust that I may not be touched but if I get wounded you must come on and see me immediately. I trust that I may never be touched. I pray frequently to God to spare me through this war and let me return to you all safe and sound. Thank God that no one in my company and I do sincerely hope that none may never be hurt for we have lost a great many mighty good men. Write to me frequently for I am always anxious to hear from you all Direct to Petersburg, Va I have not received the money yet. I am afraid you have sent it to Richmond and if you have let me know as soon as possible so I can get it for I am very much in need of some. Write and let me know when Cousin R will be on. I want to mess with him. When he could Lend me the clothing as soon as you can for I am getting very black. I have had on this shirt every since we left Bermuda Hundreds for Genl Lees Army when Col Graham be on. I saw Capt. David Le Gette and Ashley Le Gette on last night when we passed through Petersburg they said they were coming out here today but they have not yet come. Capt. Le Gette will start home Monday I will send a letter by him if nothing happens he has promised to carry it for me. I have not heard a word from Sue since I left home I hope I will hear from you all more frequent for I can assure you that I have done my best to let you hear from me as often as possible. I have wrote to you every chance I could get Now do write to me often and _________all the news for I love to hear from home. Give my love to all and also give my love to Cousin R and family and Uncle Robert and family. Remember me to my friends Write soon and often to your ever aff Son Henry M. Cannon PS. Pray for me to prosper and survive in this cruel and unjust war. HMC To Maj. RR. Cannon Marion, S.C. ****************************** Bivouac Hoke's Division Hagood's Brigade ( another unclear word) June 15th 1864 My Dear Father, As I take me a leasure moment I will occupy time writing you a short letter to inform you that I am well hoping you may all be enjoying good health. We have been ___________strong for the last two days and are now in three miles of Richmond. On the _____ ______ of the 18th we discovered that the Yankees had left our front and about ten o.c. and commenced (unclear line of print) went in two miles of __________Hill about 25 miles ____ on yesterday evening we _____to this place about ten miles I do not know our destination. I suppose for the South, L_____ or Johnson's Army. I will let you hear from me again soon as we get to our destination. There is some talk of going to N.C. I hope it is time for I am tired of Vir. Already there is too much marching here for me, but we are equal to cavalry. We are called Hoke's foot cavalry. Let me hear from you often. James White is here. He had a dreadful cold and cough. James sticks right to it like a man. James says tell his father that he will write as soon as he can. I read your second letter but no money in it. I have not time to write any more. My love to all. Write soon and often Like it is usual I remain yours in aff Love, Henry. *********************** Near Petersburg, Va July 3th (number unclear) 1864 My Dear Mother, As I have opportunity of sending a letter through to you I avail myself of the opportunity of writing you a short letter to inform you that I am very well at this time I expect to return to the Regt on the 7th if I do not get worse than I am at present. Cousin Richard has not yet arrived. I am looking for him every day some person comes through from South Carolina every day but Cousin Richard is not among the crowd I am very anxious to him for I am without either clothing or money and as for borrowing money here it is an utter impossibility for all of the Regt is without I am very sorry indeed to say that our Regt. is acting very badly indeed We have had several deserters from the Regt. of late Seven deserted night before last and six last night I went to see James White day before yesterday evening after I wrote Sue he is looking very badly but is better I am in hopes he will recover I have not heard from him since then. I also saw Lieut Chappell also he is improving. I think will be able to leave for home in 10 or 15 days. Lieut Chappell has promised to try and get me a position in South Carolina as soon as he gets there and gets able to look about He thinks that he can get a position as Maj for himself and one for me as Capt. I am in hopes he will succeed for I would like very much to return to South Carolina. I heard that on the night of the 3rd Grant assaulted our works at Bermuda Hundreds three different times and were repulsed each time with heavy loss. I am in hopes our communication will be soon open so we can hear from home the last I read was the 15th Try send my Boots and things on as soon as possible for I am in need of them. Do write to me often for I am always anxious to hear from home. If the communication is cut write on for there may be some chance of getting the letters through Nothing new worth writing Give my love to all and respects to all enquiring friends The supposition is that Grant is moving back to the North of the James Write often to your ever devoted and affectionate Son Henry M Cannon *************************** Near Petersburg Va July 7th 1864 My Dear Father, As I am going to return to my Regt. this evening I have concluded to write you a short letter knowing what a bad chance it is thing for writing Cousin Richard has not arrived yet I have been looking for him for some time but he does not come nor I cant hear from either he or you I hear that David Johnson has arrived I recon Cousin R gave him a fright as I hear that he says that Cousin R told him that Chappell had ordered Maj. Cantry (?) to advertise him as a deserter and if he would come on to the Company that he should not be advertised _______(unclear word) is one thing certain lee has brought his chickens to a bad market when he brought them here The Yankees shell us terribly now with mortars and they get worse and worse every day but there is a rumor in Camp that our Brigade is going to Charleston but there are so many reports in Camp that I do not know when to put any confidence in them but I hear that they are preparing trains for transporting troops to some quarter but no one knows where I only hope it is for our Brigade to move to Charleston I believe if they have to send any troops there they will send our brigade for they are use to the climate and know the country besides I think Genl Hagood is getting very tired of Virginia himself Genl Hagood is getting very unpopular with his command he has struck several of his men lately he kicked and struck several the day of the charge and Coot (?) for one I understand of late that Genl Hagood struck him on the day of the charge for not forwarding when the command was given it is evidently certain that he must of acted cowardly or Genl Hagood would not of struck him I would not have it be me for nothing in the world If he was to strike me one or the other of us would very apt to die on the spot I understand also that he struck one of the officers in our Regt a 1st Lt but keep this thing a secret for I don't like for such things as this to come from me and if you tell it to anyone they will know right off where you got it if Cousin Richard does not intend coming on soon send my things on for I am in need of them send my Boots for my shoes have about worn out. Let me hear from you often you must write regular if the roads are out for they may get through to me some of our wagons go to where the road comes almost every day I hear the train will be running through in a day or two Give my love to all and Respects to all enquiring friends I remain your aff Son Henry ************************************ (New letter.No heading.No date) If you have not yet sent it do send it as soon as you can for I am very much in need of it I want several things but cannot get them without I had money There is an Arty still going on now I don't know how long it will last also the sharp shooters are firing rapidly. I expect there will be some change in affairs soon the Army cannot remain idle much longer for it cost too much for both sides to keep two as large Artys as these confronting each other idle long at a time. If Grant does not make an attack soon I will be compelled to believe he is retracing his steps for Washington I wish he would. (Unclear word) completely disgusted with the idea of ever taking Richmond and (unclear word) and victory wave over our little Southern banner a shot came in about fifty yards of us this now but did not damage. Will cousin Richard return to the Company by the 1st of July I hope he will for I want to (unclear word) him back in command of Company. I once more do not want him to get on the (unclear word) list if he gets on that he will not be back here in six months. Send me some shirts and Drawers not more than three of each you can send me half a Doz. Pair of socks if you want to for I hear that there is a wagon for the officers if that is true I can carry as many things I want (two unclear words) much about the war so some of you can write me every other day I am always so much better satisfied when I can get letters often in from home. If you have not sent my Sword belt you need not for I may lose it. I can use my old leather belt If we get stationed and no fighting I will then want it. My respects to Mrs. Hammins (?) Davis and his girls and to Mr. Davis and all friends. My love to all. I remain your ever aff Son, Henry *************************** Camp 21st Regt. S.C.V Near Fort Anderson, N.C. Feby 9th, 1865 My Dear Parents, Your letters of the 21st all are received and contents noted Col Graham left this morning for Capt Howard on detached duty for (30) thirty days. I have not yet obtained my leave of absence I think it doubtful whether it be granted or not If it is granted I will be home by the 1st Mch if not I know not when I will get there Col Graham could of got me detailed with him if eh would of tried. I expect I will be trown out at the consolidation of the Regt. I am anxious for the time to come for I want to get out. It is yet to be disgraced forever in less than (60) days almost every man in it will be deserted. I never saw a boddy of men so demoralized in my life at this Brigade. If I am consolidated and thrown out I expect to join Sparke's Caly or some Arty Company near home I intend getting in the easiest place I possibly can All of my men swear that if they are consolidated they are going strait home and if I am retained in office I must be put under officers that I can respect if not I will not serve As long as I have been in service and done my duty as faithfully as I have I will not be imposed upon and another thing I never intend to bootlick for a little position that will avoid the musket. The position of a private Soldier is the most honorable in the army I have been imposed upon in several instances. Do not mention to the public any thing concerning the demoralization of this Brigade but what I wrote is true. You know yourself that if the men desert the officers are blamed for it but I do all in my to encorage the men but all my efforts are in vain. We were alarmed last night by a report that the enemy were landing on the beach between here and our Advance Pickets but I hear nothing of it this morning. Why is it that you don't write oftener it is almost a month from your last letter to these. You may rest easy concerning Miss Alice H and my affairs it was all done for fun I never once thout of marrying her for I knew as you said it wont (unclear word). Who is this Miss Emma Sue you mentioned in her letter I cannot imagine unless it is Miss Elmmia (?) Long I hear Capt Long has moved down from the village to his plantation near C_ _ tenary. I would like very much to make the acquaintance of this young lady I have made up my mind to make my selection for a wife during my leave I will also sue for one that will be loved and admired by all the family. You can have one picked out for me by time I come and if I can love and admire hjer and she me it will be a match if I can succeed I will be sure to find Boudons (?) and the China plates and Pointer dogs Write often wait not for my personal appearance My love to all and believe me to be as ever your aff Son Henry M. Cannon To Maj RR. Cannon and family ******************* Hed Q r's Dept N.C. Register's Feby 26, 1865 W & W RR Co will furnish Transpn to Warsaw Two seats Jno W Cameron Maj. (Unclear word) ******************** Pay Department, Hoke's Division $320 27th February 1865 Paid HM Cannon 2nd Lieut Co I 21st SC Regiment From 1st September 1864 To 31st December 1864 W.C. Jordan Capt. And Paymaster Hoke's Division ******************* Rammele CSA (Word unclear. First letter may be a "B".) So CA. Mr. H.M. Cannon served as Lieutenant and for some time commanded his company in Ecahaw's (?) Regt. of my Brigade during the recent Civil War. He discharged his duty to himself and his country well and faithfully and it is with pleasure at his request that I furnish him with this statement Johnson Hagood Late Brig Gen CSA 11 Sept 1867 Note from transcriber: ****** are used to separate entries. When words were unclear, it is so noted. When words could be partially read, an attempt was made to decipher the word and a (?) was placed after the word. The attached biography of this soldier is a further attempt to explain what happened to him as a young lieutenant serving his beloved South Carolina. (Sources are noted herein.) 1st LT Henry Maxwell Cannon Growing up as a son in the household of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rasha Cannon, young Henry Maxwell Cannon could never have dreamed how the hardships of war would ravage asunder the life of privilege to which he was born. But that life would be forever changed by the experiences that this young South Carolinian would face as he took up arms to defend his beloved Southland during the War Between the States. Henry Maxwell Cannon was born on 12 July 1846, in Darlington, SC. According to his Compiled Military Records on file with the National Archives, he enlisted for service with Co. I, 21st Regiment SC Volunteers on 20 December 1861, at Camp Harlee, Britton's Neck, SC. When enlisting, Henry stated that his age was 18 according to the enlistment data recorded by Captain E.M. Woodberry, but if his 1846 birthdate is correct, he was actually only 15 years old. That bit of information makes his story even more remarkable. Henry enlisted as a lieutenant for one year with the 21st Regiment SC Volunteers at Camp Harlee, but shortly thereafter that enlistment was changed to the duration of the war. Throughout most of 1862, HM Cannon received regular voucher payments of $80 per month for services rendered. He was paid approximately every 2 months, but later in the war, sometimes went 4-6 months before receiving pay. His Compiled Military Records show that he was furloughed home from May to June 1863 and that he spent some time in the hospital due to illness during July and August 1863. H.M. Cannon was signing the company rolls as "1st Lt. Commanding" on the Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. 1863 muster rolls. As commanding officer of Co. I, 21st SC Regt. Henry signed a receipt on 3 Aug 1863 for an Ordnance Requisition at Fort Johnson, stating that " I certify on honor that the above requisition is correct and that the articles are absolutely required for my company's equipage." Articles requisitioned included 1200 cartridges and caps, 18 Austrian Rifles, 32 haversacks, 24 canteens, and 18 sets of accoutrements. Although Henry Maxwell Cannon was soon awarded another furlough home for two months 8 Sept 1863, he actually was in camp again by 24 Oct 1863, when he signed another Ordnance Requisition stating that the requisitioned items were "absolutely necessary" for the equipage of his company. According to Cannon, "The within requisition is necessary for the service of the company as the camp was captured by the enemy on Morris Island during the battle of the 10th July 1863." This requisition included 29 Austrian Rifles, 29 cartridge boxes, 29 waist belts, 29 cap pouches, 29 bayonet scabbards, 42 knapsacks, 15 haversacks, and 23 canteens. The young lieutenant was making every effort to provide proper provisions for his men. The reason was not noted in his Compiled Records, but Henry resigned his lieutenant's commission on 20 Apr 1864, and was replaced by Lt. HJ Chappell. His reasons for resigning are revealed in a letter that he wrote to the Confederate Secretary of War, while stationed at the 21st SC Volunteers' Camp at Secessionville, SC on 4 April 1864. 1st Lt. Commanding Co I, HM Cannon, wrote the following: " I have the honor herewith to tender my unconditional resignation as 1st Lt. Co. I, 21st SC Volunteers. My reason for resigning is simply this, I have been serving in the infantry for over two years and am now desirous of entering the cavalry since under the command of General John H. Morgan." Short and simple.the young officer wanted a horse under him as he fought. Henry was a civilian apparently for about one month. Then, he was listed as Jr. 2nd Lt. Co. I, 21st SC Volunteers on his pay roster covering the period from 30 Apr until 31 Aug 1864. Military Records show that HM Cannon enlisted 20 May 1864 at Petersburg, VA by enlisting officer, Lt. Chappell for the duration of the war. This was the same Lt. Chappell who had succeeded him a month earlier as commanding officer of Co. I. Henry was promoted to Jr. 2nd Lt. on 1 June 1864 and was due an enlistment bounty of $50. He signed the muster sheet as "Lt. Commanding company." Subsequent muster rolls for September and October 1864, show that Co. I, Jr. 2nd Lt. HM Cannon enlisted at Marion, SC, rather than Petersburg, VA. His Compiled Military Records reveal this information about a young South Carolinian who later made his home in the northern part of old Berrien County in this community that became known as Staunton. If not for the letters written home to his parents by Henry Maxwell Cannon, perhaps a more clear view of the Henry Maxwell Cannon, the soldier, would not be possible. However, those letters do exist and they show a very determined young Confederate leader. Henry Maxwell Cannon, Sr.'s parents kept the letters that their son wrote and later, he kept them. Henry kept his Special Orders # 92, accepting his resignation effective 20 April 1864. That document was signed by Assistant Adjutant General Jno. Withers. That original is among the prized letters owned by Tom Parker Daughtrey, grandson of HM Cannon, Sr. Henry also kept his original commission as a 1st Lt. under captain Woodberry's Co. I, 21st SC Volunteers, "mustered into Confederate service for twelve months." His duties were specifically stated: "to lead, train, muster and exercise, according to military discipline" the said company. Henry was directed to "follow and observe all such Orders and Instructions as you shall, from time to time receive from the Governor, the Commander-in-Chief for the time being, or any of your Superior Officers, according to the rules and Discipline of war, pursuant to the Laws of the State, and of the Confederate States." The commission further noted that inferior officers were required to obey Cannon's commands. His commission was signed by His Excellency FN Rickers, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the state of SC and was to continue during pleasure of the governor. Being away from home was obviously difficult for young HM Cannon. His personal letters and papers reflect what was important to him. He kept his paper granting him a 4-day pass home from Camp Reliance on 1 June 1862. 1st Lt. Commanding, AB Jordan signed the pass. Henry kept his clothing voucher signed by Lt. HH McClenaghan, Commander Co. I, 6th Regt. SC Cavalry on 1 July 1863. He kept letters pertaining to Gibson and Rogers relatives, who also served. He kept copies of discharge papers for friends and relatives. But, most importantly, the legacy that he has passed on to his many descendants includes the letters that he wrote home to his beloved parents, Robert Rasha Cannon and Elizabeth Cummings Cannon. It is those letters that truly tell this soldier's personal story from June 1864, until February 1865. HM Cannon's letter to his father dated 10 June 1864, in line of battle near Petersburg, VA, noted that his unit recently crossed the James River just below Richmond. They marched to "Chester Station on the R & P Railroad, took the train and arrived at Petersburg a little before night." Henry mentioned the speed with which they assembled breastworks under the cover of darkness, only to abandon them with the light of day. He noted the deaths of 6 men and wounding of 2 or 3 others when an incoming shell exploded among a crowd of soldiers. No one in Co. I, was injured in this shell attack, but among those killed in other companies were Hansig Ellergie of Co G, Franklin Carmichael, Varden Carmichael, Owen Rogers, Burt Collins, and another man whose first name was Jacob. Henry told his father that he hoped "not to be touched," but added that if he did get wounded, he wanted his father to "come and see me immediately." Henry offered fervent prayers that he would return home "safe and sound." He added that he wanted frequent letters from home, noting that "I have not received the money yet." He asked that letters be directed to him at Petersburg, rather than Richmond. Henry wrote that he hoped friends and relatives coming for service could lend him clothing because "I am getting very black. I have had on this shirt every since we left Bermuda Hundreds for General Lee's Army." He begged his parents to send him news of home often, reminding them that he wrote to them often and expected no less from them. His closing PS is an humble request: "Pray for me to prosper and survive in this cruel and unjust war." On 15 June 1864, Henry again wrote to his parents, telling them that he was bivouaced with Hoke's Division, Hagood's Brigade, within 3 miles of Richmond. He mentioned talk of the army's moving to NC, stating, "I hope it is time for I am tired of Virginia already. There is too much marching here for me, but we are equal to the Cavelry. We are called Hoke's foot Cavelry." Young Cannon also mentioned that he read his father's second letter to him, and noted that ...there was no money in it. A letter written in June 1864, asked for materials from home. In addition, Henry asked if his cousin Richard would get to camp before 1st July, and Henry mentioned that he needed money badly. He stated that, "If Grant does not make an attack soon I will be compelled to believe he is retracing his steps to Washington. I wish he would." He referred to the Battle Flag as "our little Southern banner." Lt. Cannon also asked his father to send him 3 shirts, 3 drawers, and 6 pairs of socks. He also asked for letters from home, saying, "I am always so much better satisfied when I can get letters often in from home." He told his father not to send his sword belt because he was afraid that he would lose it. In a letter to his mother dated 3 July 1864, near Petersburg, VA, Henry mentioned a recent illness, but told his mother that he was "very well at this time" and hoped to return to the regiment on the 7th, if he did not get worse than he was at present. Henry was anxious for his Cousin Richard to arrive because he needed money and clothing. Of additional concern to Henry was the number of desertions from his regiment. Thirteen men had deserted within the last 2 nights. The strains in lines of communication also concerned Henry, but he told his mother to continue writing, because some letters may still get through. He told his mother that the troops speculated that Grant was about to cross back over north of the James River. A letter dated four days later on 7 July 1864, stated that Cousin Richard had still not arrived, nor had any letter come from home. Henry's Cousin Richard was now being advertised as a deserter. Along with concern about his cousin, Henry gave an apt description of the predicament faced by Lee's army near Petersburg, saying, "Lee has brought his chickens to a bad market when he brought them here. The Yankees shell us terribly now with mortars and they get worse and worse every day but there is a rumor In camp that our Brigade is going to Charleston but there are so many reports in Camp that I do not know when to put any confidence in any of them." General Johnson Hagood became a topic of discussion, with Lt. Cannon noting that the general is "getting very unpopular with his command. He has struck several of his men lately." Apparently the men had not moved forward when commanded to do so. Henry believed that those men who were struck must have acted cowardly, otherwise this would not have happened to them, but he also said, "If he was to strike me one or the other of us would very apt to die on the spot." On a more personal note, Henry asked his father to send his boots to him because his shoes were worn out. Henry signed yet another letter with his usual closing, "Your Affectionate Son, Henry." There is a 7-month gap in correspondence that goes to 9 Feb 1865. HM Cannon, writing from the 21st Regiment SC Volunteers, Near Fort Anderson, NC, told his parents that he doubted his request for a leave of absence would be honored. He expected that the entire regiment would soon dishonor itself through desertion, and he expressed a desire to get out of the regiment before it disgraced itself in such a manner. He spoke of the demoralized status of the entire brigade. "All of my men swear that if they are consolidated they are going strait home and if I am retained in office I must be put under officers that I can respect if not I will not serve. As long as I have been in service and done my duty as faithfully as I have I will not be imposed upon and another thing I never intend to bootlick for a little position that will avoid the musket. The position of a private Soldier is the most honorable in the army." Although Cannon knew of the demoralization of his men, he asked his parents in this letter of 9 Feb 1865 not to mention it to others. He was despondent because his best efforts to encourage his men were not enough. He told his parents that they did not write often enough because almost a month had elapsed since the last letter came from them. He also informed his parents that he intended to choose a wife when he came home on leave, but assured them that it would be someone "that will be loved and admired by all the family." He even told them that they could have a wife picked out for him by the time he came home. Henry's letters implied that he knew the end was near for the ragtag remains of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern VA. Henry's last pay record among his personal documents now owned by his grandson was dated 18 days later on 27 Feb 1865, in the sum of $320, covering the time from 1 Sept 1864 until 31 Dec 1864. It was authorized by Captain WC Jordan, Paymaster of Hoke's Division. Less than two months later, the War for Southern Independence ended and families tried to rebuild their lives. The woman that Henry Maxwell Cannon finally chose to be his bride on 4 Sept 1872, was Sarah Alice Rogers, the daughter of Silas Rogers and Sarah Gibson Rogers of Marion County, SC. They eventually settled in the Staunton Community, where they made a home for their children. As Postmaster of the Staunton Post Office, Henry Maxwell Cannon fulfilled his civic duty to this bustling settlement. His grandson, Tom Parker Daughtrey, has proudly maintained that very same post office building. Mr. Tom has also kept the letters that secure the legacy of his grandfather for all of the many descendants of this brave Confederate soldier. Henry Maxwell Cannon, Sr. was proud of his heritage that he bequeathed to each of his descendants. Standing on the top row of a group of distinguished Confederate Veterans gathered for a Confederate Veterans Reunion in Hahira, GA on 1 Jan 1908, Henry Maxwell Cannon, Sr. looked out over the heads of the wise old men who had seen too much bloodshed in the glory days of their youth. Henry still stood proud and straight of stature among the former Confederates who were now bent by the 43 years that had elapsed since the surrender of Genral Robert E. Lee's Army in 1865. It was here in the Staunton Community, 15 years later, that Henry Maxwell Cannon, Sr. died on 6 October 1923. His wife, Sarah Alice Rogers Cannon, joined him 21 August 1938. Their graves lie beside each other in the peaceful serenity of Staunton Cemetery. Ravages of war can no longer touch this honorable veteran, but the legacy that he has left to his many descendants is never-ending. Pride, honor, duty, and devotion to home and family are all virtues bequeathed to the men, women, and children who can proudly claim descent from 1st Lt. Henry Maxwell Cannon. Former Brigadier General Johnson Hagood summed up Henry's service perhaps best when he wrote a letter on behalf of his former lieutenant on 11 Sept 1867, wherein he stated that 1st Lt. Cannon "discharged his duty to himself and his country well and faithfully." No one could ask for any more from any soldier. Sources of information: Letters of 1st Lt. Henry Maxwell Cannon, Sr.; Compiled Military Archives Records of 1st Lt. Henry Maxwell Cannon; family data provided by Eugene Daughtrey, Thelma Daughtrey, and Tom Parker Daughtrey. Linda Ward Meadows is a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Adolescence Young Adulthood Social Studies/History. She is a 28-year veteran teacher who has a deep respect for the sacrifices of the men who wore gray. She and her husband Russell are members of various lineage organizations and they enjoy re-enacting.
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