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Sgt. Riley Mitchell, 1st Kentucky Light Artillery, Cobb's Battery, CS.

Stan Hutson
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Sgt. Riley Mitchell (1827-1866) A native of Trigg County, KY, buried in Adams Cemetery there. 
Riley Mitchell enlisted in the 1st Kentucky Light Artillery C.S.A. a.k.a. "Cobb's KY. Battery" in 1861.

A Mexican War artillery veteran, Riley Mitchell volunteered in Cobb's Battery upon promise that his neighbors would take care of his large family while he was away in the Confederate Army.

He was captured with the rest of Cobb's Battery at the surrender of Fort Donelson, TN. in Feb., 1862.

Later exchanged, he commanded a battery at Vicksburg, Miss. that sunk a Union gunboat.

He commanded Cobb's Battery as a sergeant during the Baton Rouge, La. campaign in Aug., 1862 according to records.

He died in 1866 of consumption (tuberculosis) contracted while in the C.S. Army.

Taken from the Cadiz Record of Feb. 4, 1937

Do You Know? What Part Trigg County Citizens Took In the War Between the States?

Riley Mitchell was a member of Cobb's Battery as was J. R. Murphy.

When Capt. H. B. Lyon and Capt. R. H. Cobb, of Eddyville, were forming the battery that afterwards took the name of "Cobb's" Battery, to go to Ft. Donelson, they had no experienced men to handle the guns and to teach others. Riley Mitchell had been in the artillery service in the Mexican War, and was an expert in the business. He was living near the homes of John F. White and William Wharton, and was married and had seven children, and was past military age.

In order to obtain his experience in teaching men to shoot cannon, Mr. Wharton and Mr. White agreed to take care of his family while he was in the army. He was place in charge of this battery at Ft. Donelson and after training the young men, was placed in active charge of shooting what was called "Long Tom" an unusually long cannon that would sink boats several miles down the river.

That cannon is now standing on end in the cemetery at Dover. After the surrender at Dover, Mitchell was exchanged and placed in charge of artillery at Vicksburg. He had under his personal supervision a large cannon known as "Whistling Dick" because the ball made a whistling noise when fired. This cannon was used to sink Federal gun boats that tried to pass the fort, at Vicksburg and succeeded in doing so.

One particularly large boat known as the "Queen of the West" was sunk by Mitchell during the siege of Vicksburg in July, 1863. Mr. Mitchell was broken in health when he came home and lived only about a year. His wife survived him many years and was about 97 years old when she died. Mr. W. R. Mitchell, of the county is his son and Mrs. Lowery Stephens is his daughter. "Whistling Dick" is still on the bluff at Vicksburg battle field.

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Fort Donelson

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Photo Information for Sgt. Riley Mitchell, 1st Kentucky Light Artillery, Cobb's Battery, CS.


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