This page is dedicated to the determination of the Cone family to free America in the Revolutionary War and to keep her free in the War of Northern Aggression.
The South was right in 1861 because America was right in 1776
The Cone Family
For one hundred and thirty years the Cone family has been contributing in each generation splendid citizens and soldiers to the service of Georgia and Florida. Previous works of history and biography have dealt with this family in a very meager way, as will appear from the record.
William Cone, the Elder.
Daniel Cone, who settled at Haddam, Conn., in 1662, was the american progenitor. One of his descendants moved south and located on the Pee Dee River in North Carolina. Here in 1745 was born William Cone, the Revolutionary soldier, who is generally believed to have been a son of William, though this is not altogether certain, as his father's name may have been Aaron. Previous to the Revolution, William Cone married Keziah Barber, moved to Georgia, and was among the pioneer settlers of Bulloch County. He was an ardent patriot and during teh Revolution saw service in McLean's regiment and under Gen. Francis Marion. This Capt. William Cone was a terror to the Tories, as several incidents will show. When the notorious Tory, McGirth, and his followers were terrorizing that part of the State, it was learned that one Cargill harbored the Tories and gave them information about the 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 and almost devoured his body.
At another time the Tories fell on an unsuspecting settlement, stole the settlers' horses, and carried away everything possible. Headed by Captain Cone, the settlers pursued them down into what is now Tatnall County. 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 man became known to the Tories through one of the stolen horses, and one 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.
At the close of the Revolution, Captain Cone returned to the pursuits of peace near Ivanhoe, and in 1796 was foreman of the first grand jury raised in Bulloch county. He died in 1815, about seventy years of age. It is a tradition in the Cone family that three brothers of Capt. William Cone fell in battle during the Revolutionary War, William being the sole survivor of the four brothers. He reared three sons and nine daughters. Of his sons, Aaron Cone was the only one who remained in Bulloch County, and he was the father of six sons and six daughters.
Gen. Peter Cone was the eldest child of Aaron Cone and grandson of Capt. William Cone. His father, Aaron, Cone, was born October 31, 1766, before the family left North Carolina. In 1788 he married Susan Marlow, and Peter Cone was born at Ivanhoe, Bulloch County on August 6, 1790 His father was a wealthy man, owned large landed estates with many slaves, and carried on extensive planting operations. he was much esteemed in Bulloch county, a member of the Baptist church, and died at Ivanhoe, Bulloch county on June 6, 1835, being then nearly sixty-nine years old. When the War of 1812 began, inheriting the family trait, Peter Cone enlisted, became a captain, and was stationed at Fort Sunbury. In 1818 he served under General Andrew Jackson in this Florida campaign. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Peter Cone was the senior major-general of the militia of the State of Georgia. Early in the thirties he became a member of the General Assembly and remained in that body continuously for thirty years. It is said that this is the longest continuous service by one man in the history of Georgia. he was a most influential man in his section of Georgia, and absolutely dominated Bulloch County for thirty years. A notable character in his day, he was held in much esteem by the public men of that time and lived until the year 1866. He never married.
Senior Major General Peter Marlow Cone
William Cone, the Younger
When the break-up occurred in the family of Capt. William Cone, the elder, after the Revolutionary War, Aaron remained in Bulloch County. Joseph moved to Thomas County, and William, junior, moved to Camden County. William, Jr. was a very notable man. He represent Camden county for twenty three years in the Georgia legislature. He was born in 1777, and when the War of 1812 broke out was a man of thirty-five, in the prime of life. He inherited the reckless courage of the Cone family and became a captain in that war. It is related that in his infancy a body of Tories and British came to his father's house seeking the elder Cone, cut open a feather bed upon which the baby was resting, and poured baby and feathers out together, and the little fellow was nearly suffocated before he was rescued. His military career in fighting the British, Indians and Spaniards was even more notable than that of his father. In the War of 1812 he served under General Newnan on the St. Mary's and St. John's Rivers. He was a participant in a campaign against the Alachua Indians, engaging in a hand-to-hand fight with an Indian at Alligator, killing his antagonist with clubbed musket after he had exhausted his ammunition. Returning form this expedition, they had to live on horse meat for quite a time. He took part in the defeat of the British naval expedition on St Mary's river, and in the operations against St. Augustine so incurred the hostility of the Spanish that they offered a reward of ten thousand dollars for his head. One of the brilliant exploits of that war was his defeat of the British on the St. Mary's in 1815. Twenty-three barges loaded with British soldiers ascended the river for the purpose of burning Major Clarke's mill. The enemy intended to land at a place called Camp Pinckney and march to Clarke's mill on the Spanish creed some three miles distant. Captain Cone with twenty-eight men was concealed in the palmettoes which lined the river banks, and his men being expert riflemen, opened fire on the barges. The bargers replied with cannon and small-arms fire, which was ineffective. For several miles Captain Cone's men took advantage of every turn of the river and and at every shot brought down a man. Finally the British unable longer to stand the fire, retraced their course to St. Mary's. Upon their arrival at St. Mary's they reported one hundred and eighty men killed and as many wounded. Some time after the war Captain William Cone settled in Florida and as late as 1842 represented Columbia county in the Florida State Senate. He died at Benton, Columbia County, Fla., on August 24, 1857, and was buried at Prospect church cemetery in Hamilton county. He was eighty years old at the time of his death. He had married Sarah Haddock, in Camden county, Ga., about 1815.
William Burrows Cone
Judge Wm. B. Cone was a grandson of the fiery old Tory-hating captain, through the son who moved to Southwest Georgia [Joseph]. His mother was a Wadsworth. The family settled in Dooly county in 1832, and the father dying soon after, the lad became the mainstay of his mother, who had the children to rear. In 1835, then just a man, he married Elizabeth Mobley and settled down to farming. In a few years he became one of the leading men of this county, which he represented in the legislature in 1847 and 1850, and there met his kinsmen, Judge Francis Cone and General Peter Cone. Returning home from the general Assembly, he was elected Judge of the Inferior Court of Dooly county, which position he held continuously until the close of the Civil war. After the War he lived in retirement at his handsome country home until his death in 1877, leaving the reputation of an horrible, capable man a a pure patriot.
The Later Generations
William Cone, the younger, left a family of sons who made a remarkable military record. His oldest son, B.N. Cone was captain of a company during the Indian wars in Florida, a daring and reckless officer. Another son, Capt. William H.[William Haddock] Cone, served as captain during the Seminole war in 1857 and made the most important campaign and capture of Indians during that war. later he served as captain of a cavalry company in the Confederate army. Another son, Peter Cone [Simon Peter], was lieutenant in the Indian war and served as first lieutenant in the Confederate army. The fourth son, J.B. Cone [James Barnard Cone], was considered the most powerful man physically in the State of Florida. He served in the Indian war of 1857 and was lieutenant of cavalry in the Confederate army. The fifth and youngest son, C.F. Cone [Charles F.], served as lieutenant in the Indian war of 1857 and was captain of a cavalry company in the Confederate army. D.N. Cone [Daniel Newsome], a son of Capt. B.N. Cone and a grandson of Capt. William Cone, served the entire four years as a member of the Confederate army, and his son, Hutch I. Cone, entered the United States navy and has shown such brilliant qualities that he has risen by rapid steps to be chief of the Bureau of Engineering, with the rank of rear-admiral. F. P. Cone, now a member of the Florida State senate, is another grandson of William Cone, Jr. T. J. Cone, now a prominent citizen of Florida, is a descendant of the old Revolutionary captain through the son who moved to Southwest Georgia, being grandson of Judge Wm B. Cone.
Going back to Georgia, we find that Gen. Peter Cone had a brother James. Col. J. S. Cone [Joseph Smith Cone], son of James and nephew of Peter, entered the Confederate army in 1861 as a lieutenant, later promoted to captain, and for distinguished bravery in the battle of Chickamauga was, on the recommendation of Gen. John C. Breckinridge, promoted to major. At John's Island, Colonel Cone was the leader of the assault; he commanded the fort at Secessionville in the fall of 1864, and in the battle of Honey Hill was badly wounded an promoted to lieutenant-colonel. His name appears on the Chickmauga monument, and Camp 1227, United Confederate Veterans, bears his name. from 1870 to 1875, Colonel Cone, following in the footsteps of this distinguished uncle, served his district in the State senate of Georgia. Depressed by the death of his devoted wife and business losses, he with drew from public life, and has since lived a retired life in Bulloch county. His old regiment, the Forty-seventh Georgia, bore the brunt of many a hard struggle. When sent to the relief of Vicksburg, it mustered 1,100 men. Later on, when sent to Charleston, Colonel Cone, then in command reported 150 muskets.
The record above given shows that this family has been represented numerously in all the struggles of our country from the Revolutionary War down, and that in times of peace it has had many strong members of the various legislative bodies. The family record is indeed a remarkable one and worthy of preservation in our annals for the great qualities shown--bravery, patriotism, good business capacity, sound legislative judgment, and unfailing loyalty to country.
--Men of Mark in Georgia by Bernard Suttles, 1905.