Levi J. Knight’s Military Heritage

Detail of A.J. Johnson’s 1863 Map of Georgia and Alabama, showing locations of the Knight community, Nashville, Milltown, and Troupville, Ga

From A.J. Johnson’s  1863 Map of Georgia and Alabama,  it is plain to see that the renown of General Levi J. Knight first put the location of Ray City, GA on the map – indicated simply as “Knight” (See Knight Community) .

The family of Levi J. Knight had a long tradition of civil and military service. On his mother’s side, his grandfather, William Cone,  was a Baptist pastor and Revolutionary soldier who served as a captain  in McLean’s Regiment of Georgia Troops, under General Francis Marion.  William Cone served as a major in the 1st Battalion of the Richmond County Militia.

“When the notorious Tory, McGirth, and his followers were terrorizing that region of the state now known as Bulloch county, it was learned that one Cargill harbored Tories and gave them information about Whigs. Cargill was advised that it meant death if he was again found in company with McGirth. Not long after, when William Cone was hunting deer on the Ogeechee, he saw them together in the woods. He shot Cargill, but McGirth escaped and the next day when they went to bury the dead man it was found that the wolves had almost devoured his body.   

Daniel McGirth made more than one narrow escape. Illustration from Stories of Georgia, by Joel Chandler Harris.

Daniel McGirth made more than one narrow escape. Illustration from Stories of Georgia, by Joel Chandler Harris.

Another time the Tories fell on an unsuspecting settlement, stole the settler’s horses and carried away everything possible. Headed by Captain Cone, the settlers pursued them down into what is now Tatnall County, Georgia, Finding after a shower of rain that they were close on their heels, they sent forward one of their number to reconnoiter. The approach of this became known to the Tories through one of the stolen horses, and on of their number, starting out to learn the cause of their confusion, was shot dead by the scout, who was concealed behind a log. This was the signal for an attack, and the Patriots rushed forward, drove the Tories into the Ohoopee River and recovered their stolen goods. It is said that this raid broke the power of the Tories in that community.”

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