James and Alfred Cantwell were two of fifteen children of Wiley and Margaret Russell Cantwell who resided in Sneedville. Robert Mathis was a cousin of James and Alfred who was also from Sneedville. James, Alfred, and Robert left together for the war. James and Alfred were in the timber business before they entered the army. While in the army, their troop train stopped in St. Joseph, MO. The troops spent the night in a hotel. The bodies of James, Alfred, and Robert were found the next morning by troop members. Their death was a result of a faulty gas stove. Their bodies were returned by train to Lone Mountain. Family members were at the station to pick up the bodies of their loved ones. They transported them back to Sneedville by horse and wagons through rugged trails with very deep snow. It was a snowy, rugged, rough, and depressing trip back. All three were buried side by side in the Cantwell Family Cemetery, which is next to the Cantwell home place. Wiley, father of James and Alfred, died from a broken heart only six months after their funeral.
–Submitted by their nephew, Kenneth Cantwell
- Rank: Private
- Date of birth: 22 January 1893
- Date of death: 15 January 1918
- County: Hancock
- Hometown: Sneedville
- Service Branch: Army
- Division/Assignment: Signal Corps
- Conflict: World War I
- Burial/Memorial Location: Wiley Cantwell Cemetery, Hancock County, TN
- Location In Memorial: Pillar III, Top Panel
- Contact us to sponsor James Cantwell
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