1st Lt. Henry Maxwell CANNON, CSA
SC Confederate Flag


Henry Maxwell Cannon, 1st Lt. Co. I, SC Regt.

SERVICE RECORDS and Letters Home
Contributed by Linda Ward Meadows

Special 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.


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

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

Capt. Co I  6th Regiment
(Aiken)  S.C. Cavalry

Adams Run

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
  Approved HH McClenaghan
   Lt Comdg Co I
   6th Regt SCC

Camp 6th - - - (unclear)
approved and respectfully
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
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.
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,


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

(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
            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
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
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
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
 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

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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