Union Civil War Navy Officer. Born in Ohio, he was known as "Frank" and lived in Cincinnati, Ohio when the Civil War began. He volunteered to serve in the U.S. Navy in 1861 and became a Captain under Flag Officer Andrew Foote. Riley was also the pilot of the U.S.S. St. Louis, Foote's flagship of the fleet, the Western Flotilla. An ironclad gunboat, the U.S.S. St. Louis was involved in heavy fighting during the Battle of Fort Donelson on February 14, 1862. The vessel suffered 59 hits from the artillery fire of the Confederate batteries at the fort and was temporarily disabled. Riley was killed during the battle and Foote was severely wounded and later died from complications of his wound 16 months later. Riley's body was returned to Cincinnati for burial at Spring Grove Cemetery two months later. He was 42 years old. His son, "Long John" Reilly (as it is spelled), played professional baseball with the Cincinnati ballclub for ten seasons.