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Federal (USV)


John Riley Johnson

(c. 1819 - 1885)

Home State: New York

Command Billet: Commanding Detachment

Branch of Service: Cavalry

Unit: 6th New York Cavalry, Company K

Before Antietam

Age 42, owner of the Johnson House, a hotel near the railroad depot in Ogdensburg, and a noted firefighter, he enrolled there on 14 October 1861 and mustered as Captain, Company K, 6th New York Infantry on 16 December.

On the Campaign

He commanded his Company in Maryland. They were part of the headquarters escort for General Sumner, 2nd Army Corps.

The rest of the War

He was captured at Haymarket, VA on 24 June 1863 and a prisoner at Macon, GA and Columbia, SC before being paroled at Northeast Ferry, NC on 1 March 1865. He was discharged 10 days later.

After the War

He went to Farmville, Ontario, just across the St. Lawrence River from Ogdensburg, and had a successful farm there. After a few years he sold his farm and was an unsuccessful speculator ...

one day [he] drove to Brockville, [Ontario, near Ogdensburg] disposed of his horse and carriage, and disappeared. He was never afterwards seen, and every effort to discover his whereabouts proved futile, though rumors came that he had been seen in the far West.
He killed himself in Independence, MO in 1885; he was about 65 years old. His wife was still living in Brockville.

References & notes

His service from the Adjutant General,1 as Riley Johnson. The quote above and additional details from the Ogdenburg Daily Journal of 23 and 25 March 1885. His gravesite is on Findagrave.


c. 1819


03/20/1885; Independence, MO; burial in Ogdensburgh Cemetery, Ogdensburg, NY


1   State of New York, Adjutant-General, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York [year]: Registers of the [units], 43 Volumes, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893-1905, For the Year 1894, Vol. II, pg. 508  [AotW citation 26181]