Monday, December 10, 2007

Clif "Cannonball" Lewis, May He Rest in Peace

Cannonball at Roanoke Island Festival Park, 2005

Word came today of the passing of Clif Lewis, better known in the North Carolina reenacting family as Cannonball. He had fought a long, hard battle with lung cancer for the past year. He will be laid to rest tomorrow afternoon in Roanoke Rapids. In remembrance of Cannonball, I'd like to go back to a post I had on this blog on April 30, 2007 following the annual reenactment at Plymouth, NC. The following passage was written about him:

This weekend also witnessed the return to the field of a long-time reenactor who is well loved and respected in the reenacting community. Not long ago he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and he has withered physically. After Saturday's battle he told me that being back on the field was the best therapy he's had yet. On Sunday morning he and his son were baptized at the river and his battalion promoted him to the rank of Lt. General, a rank that he has always declined to take. The outpouring of love and generosity shown this weekend would be enough to convince anyone that reenactors really are a sort of family. They care about one another, look out for one another, and will give each other the shirt off their back when needed. Sure, sometimes they squabble like children, but that's also part of being a family now, isn't it?

Cannonball had earned the respect and love of most of the folks with whom he came into contact. He will be missed by many. Though my friendship with Cannonball was only a few years in duration, it was important to me. I think most important was that he respected me even though he had been in the artillery game a lot longer than me. That meant a great deal to me. I'm sorry that the last time I saw him was at Plymouth in April. Hopefully he's commanding a battery in a better place tonight.

PS - The artillery piece on the header is a 10-pounder Parrott rifle, just like Cannonball used to shoot.


Wade said...


The passing of Cannonball is truly a sad moment. I received the terrible news last night via a phone call from NC.

Although I had been aware of his condition for awhile, the phone call truly hurt.

I told my wife he accepted me into his battery and treated me like a brother. I will always remember the nights around the campfire, with Cannonball palying and carrying a tune.

Besides losing an asset to the reenacting community, our country lost a veteran as well in his passing. That was our true conection. He would whisper to me "I'm proud of you colonel and the job the troops are doing." Cannonball had served his country years ago and never lost sight of the true brotherhood.

Andrew, thanks for taking the time to post this message honoring Cannonball. Our State will miss him.

God bless his family and my prayers go out to them. Cannonball, I am going to miss you.


Andrew Duppstadt said...

Thanks for making the point about Cannonball's "real" military service. He was a veteran of the Vietnam era and I certainly appreciate that.