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Connor Simmons Stevens Wright

Obituary of W. O. Connor, Cave Springs, Georgia.

W. O. Connor was born in Anderson District, S. C., on June 18, 1841. At the age of eight years he went to live with his sister, Mrs. Edith Wright, just over the Alabama line, and during the next eight years he worked on the farm and attended school at the Hearn Academy. At the age of fifteen he entered the State Institution for the Deaf in order to learn the art of teaching the deaf.

When the dark cloud of war gathered over the South, Mr. Connor entered the Confederate service as a member of the Cherokee Artillery, afterwards known as Corput's Battery, and the four years following he was making history for the Confderacy. The Governor of the State appealed to him to return to his important post of teaching, and his answer was characteristic of the splendid soldier: "Sir, I have cast my lot with the boys in gray and will remain with them to the end and abide by the result."

Wherever located, well and efficiently did his gun thunder over the battlefield. He loved his gun and refused several offers of promotion, preferring to stay with the gun he commanded throughout the war. He took part in the battles of Chickamauga, the "Battle above the Clouds," where his battery occupoed a position of great honor, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, and a number of other hard-fought battles. In the battle of Atlanta he was severely wounded and was borne unconcious and bleeding from the field to the hospital. He surprised his comrades, many of whom thought him dead, by appearing on the battle field in a few weeks; and though still weak, he refused to retire again, but stood fast by the gun to the end. He was in the entire siege of Vicksburg, and at Baker's Creek his battery was specially mentioned in reports for gallant service in the battle.

The battery was captured at the fall of Vicksburg, and after being exchanged it was again in the Army of Tennessee as a part of Breckinridge's Corps under Bragg.

Comrade Connor was with Hood on his famous march into Tennessee in the fall of 1864 and took part in the battles of Franklin and Nashville. Then making his way into North Carolina, he was with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston until the 12th of April, 1865, when he was captured at Salisbury and taken to prison at Camp Chase, Ohio, a few days before the surrender of General Johnston. He remained in prison several months, stolidy refusing to take the oath until every vestige of hope had been swept away.

Returning to the farm of his sister, whose husband had been killed in the war, he worked for two years trying to get the farm organized. In 1867 he was elected principle of the Georgia School for the Deaf, which position he held with distinction until his retirement, in 1916, as principal emeritus.

In 1868 he married Miss Editha Simmons, of Cave Spring and six children were born to them, two of whom survive him - Mrs. Harriet Connor Stevens, a member of the faculty of the Georgia School for the Deaf in Cave Spring, and W. O. Connor, principal of the School for the Deaf in Santa Fe, N. Mex.

SOURCE: Confederate Veteran Magazine, September, 1920.

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