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J.R. Towers

J.R. Towers

Confederate (CSV)

Lieutenant Colonel

John Reed Towers

(1824 - 1903)

Home State: Georgia

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 8th Georgia Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

He lived in Anderson, SC to 1849, then was a merchant in Cass County, GA. He moved to Rome in Floyd County, GA in 1855 and had a metal casting foundry there.

He enrolled for war service and was commissioned Captain of Company E, 8th Georgia Infantry on 14 May 1861 in Rome, GA, and was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment on 28 January 1862 (to date from 16 November 1861). He was captured on 28 June 1862 near Richmond, VA, held at Fort Columbus, NY, then briefly at Fort Warren, MA before he was released for exchange on 31 July 1862.

On the Campaign

He commanded the regiment in Maryland in September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Colonel on 26 March 1863 (to date from 16 December 1862). He was wounded again, by a gunshot to his right hand at Gettysburg, PA in 1863 and in June 1864. He was surrendered and paroled with his regiment at Appomattox Court House, VA on 9 April 1865.

After the War

He was sheriff of Floyd County 1866-67, by 1870 he had a variety store in Rome, GA, and represented the county in the state legislature 1873-74. He ran his metal-casting business to about 1877, when he was appointed assistant keeper of the Georgia State Penitentiary. In 1885 he became the keeper, but retired the following year and moved to Marietta, GA. In 1900 he had apparently "un-retired" and was a salesman for a cotton oil manufacturer in Marietta.

References & notes

His service from Henderson1 and his Compiled Service Records,2 online from fold3. Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1850-1880 and 1900, and Clark G Reynolds' Confederate Romans and Bedford Forrest: The Civil War Roots of the Towers-Norton Family in The Georgia Historical Quarterly (Vol. 77, No. 1, Spring 1993). His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture here from a c. 1865 photograph from Lynne L. Riley accompanying Mr Reynold's article in the GHQ.

He married Anna Melvina McGee (1825-1906) about 1843 and they had 10 children by 1869.

His oldest, Daniel Reid Towers, was killed at Fort Harrison near Petersburg, VA on 30 September 1864, then the 20 year old 2nd Lieutenant of Company H of the 8th Georgia.

Second child, William McGee "Billy" Towers (1846-1912) served as a young cavalryman with General N.B. Forrest (1864-65). Billy's 4th and youngest son was Admiral John Henry Towers (1885-1955), one of the US Navy's first aviators.


07/02/1824; Anderson, SC


09/29/1903; Marietta, GA; burial in Marietta City Cemetery, Marietta, GA


1   Henderson, Lilian, compiler, Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, 1861-1865, 6 vols., Hapeville (GA): Longino & Porter, 1959-1964  [AotW citation 25826]

2   US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, Record Group No. 109 (War Department Collection of Confederate Records), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927  [AotW citation 27685]