Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
James Caswell Knox Papers, 1863-1873

James S. Schoff Civil War Collection

Finding aid created by
Shannon Wait, April 2010

Summary Information
Title: James Caswell Knox papers
Creator: Knox, Catharine
Inclusive dates: 1863-1873
Bulk dates: 1863-1868
Extent: 63 items
Abstract:
The James Caswell Knox collection consists of 63 letters, the majority of which were written between James C. Knox of the 147th Indiana Infantry and his wife, Catharine, while Knox was stationed in Virginia in 1865.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1991. M-2633 .

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation:

James Caswell Knox Papers, James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The letters are arranged chronologically.


Biography

James Caswell Knox was born in North Carolina in May 1834, the second son of Hosea Knox and Clementina Evans. The family moved from North Carolina to Greensfork Township, Randolph County, Indiana, between 1835 and 1839. On February 15, 1855, Knox married 20-year old Catharine Armstrong, daughter of Samuel and Margaret Armstrong. Catharine's family had emigrated from Ireland between 1835 and 1843.

The couple had one son, Columbus C. Knox, who was born about 1856 and apparently died before James entered the service, as the child is never mentioned in correspondence. On February 7, 1865, James enlisted as a private in Company I, 147th Indiana Infantry, at about the time that the regiment was forming. The regiment mustered at Indianapolis, Indiana, March 9, 1865, and left the state for Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, March 11. It was attached to the 1st Brigade, 2nd Provisional Division, Army of the Shenandoah. The regiment saw little action as the war ended shortly after it arrived at Harper's Ferry. James was promoted to sergeant April 1, 1865. While the regiment was awaiting orders to muster out, James became ill and was eventually sent to Clarysville U.S. Hospital in Maryland, where he was discharged on July 17, 1865. James and Catharine lived out their days in Greensfork Township, where James worked as a painter and cobbler. He died about 1911, as his wife Catharine applied for a widow's pension in October of that year.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection contains 63 letters: 20 from James Knox to his wife Catharine; 22 from Catharine to James; and the remainder from various correspondents writing to either James or Catharine.

James’ letters describe his health, provide details of his life in the army, and express love of Catharine and longing for home. In a letter of April 21, 1865, he mentions the trains that showed up at Summit Point, Virginia, to take men from other regiments home. He spent part of his time as an orderly sergeant and part of his time as a second lieutenant there (May 14, 1865). In a letter dated June 13, 1865, gives a graphic description of his regiment traveling to the Shenandoah River at Vickers Gap to wash up. Finally, he writes from the hospital in Maryland that he will be discharged soon (July 14, 1865).

Catharine’s letters to James focus on her health, daily activities, and family news. Two early letters contain poems that Catharine wrote for James (February 16, 1865 and March 2, 1865). In an undated mid-April 1865 letter, she describes reactions to Lincoln’s death (“I wouldent halve felt any worse if it had been my father”) and mentions the executions in Indianapolis of six men “for saying they were glad of” Lincoln’s death. In a number of letters, she describes gardening and other household activities, and her letter of June 18, 1865, includes a strawberry and some cloth from a dress she was making.

Of the remaining 20 letters, 14 were written during James' service in the army. Of these, six were written to James and four were written to Catharine by other family members or friends. Seven of the eight letters written after the war deal with James Knox' business issues. Two additional letters were written to James' sister Harriet Knox from friends.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Camp Carrington (Indianapolis, Ind.)
    • Gardening.
    • Greensfork (Randolph County, Ind. : Township)
    • Harper's Ferry (W.Va.)
    • Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Assassination.
    • Love poetry.
    • Soldiers--Indiana.
    • Spartanburg (Ind.)
    • United States. Army. Indiana Infantry Regiment, 147th (1865)
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Military life.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Social aspects.
    Contributors:
    • Armstrong, A. J.
    • Armstrong, John.
    • Carter, S. C.
    • Blair, Ellen.
    • Bowen, J. D.
    • Elliott, D.
    • Harlan, Calvin.
    • Knox, Harriet.
    • Knox, James Caswell, 1834-c. 1911.
    • Knox, Samuel Hosea.
    • Morgan, F. G.
    • Reynolds, C. O.
    • Stevenson, Jane.
    Genre Terms:
    • Correspondence.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   76, Schoff Civil War Collection  
    James Caswell Knox papers [series]
    Folder   11  
     1863 January 1, Unknown to Harriett Knox
     
     1865 February 16, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 February 26, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 February 27, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 February, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 March 2, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 March 6, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 March 11, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 March 17, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
    Folder   12  
     1865 April 1, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 April 3, A. J. Armstrong to J. C. Knox
     
     1865 April 11, Harriet Knox and Samuel Hosea Knox to J. C. Knox
     
     1865 April 13, Catharine Knox to J. C. Knox
     
     1865 April 14, Catharine Knox to J. C. Knox
     
     1865 Mid-April , Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 April 21, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 April 24, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 April 25, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 April 26, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 April 29, Samuel Hosea Knox to J. C. Knox
     
     1865 April 31 (sic), Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
    Folder   13  
     1865 May 3, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 May 7, Harriet Knox to J. C. Knox
     
     1865 May 7, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 May 14, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 May 14, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 May 16, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 May 17, John Armstrong to Anna Armstrong
     
     1865 May 17, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 May 23, A. J. Armstrong to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 May 25, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 May 27, F. G. Morgan to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 May 28, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 May 29, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
    Folder   14  
     1865 June 1, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 June 9, J. D. Bowen to James C. Knox
     
     1865 June 13, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 June 11, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 June 13, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 June 18, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 June 22, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 June 23, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 June 24, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 June 29, Catharine Knox to James C. Knox
     
     1865 June 29, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 June, Samuel Hosea Knox to J. C. Knox
    Folder   15  
     1865 July 2, Jane Stevenson (Aunt) to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 July 2, John Armstrong to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 July 4, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 July 7, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 July 9, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 July 10, Catharine Knox to James Knox
     
     1865 July 13, Catharine Knox to James Knox
     
     1865 July 14, Calvin Harlan to Catharine Knox
     
     1865 July 14, J. C. Knox to Catharine Knox
    Folder   16  
     1867 July 15, Citizen's Bank to J. C. Knox
     
     1867 October 7, S. C. Carter to James Knox
     
     1868 April 3, C. O. Reynolds to James Knox
     
     1872 June 10, S. H. Knox to J. C. Knox
     
     1872 July 28, D. Elliott to J. C. Knox
     
     1873 February 5, S. H. Knox to J. C. Knox
     
    [ ] August 27, Ellen Blair to Mr & Mrs. Knox
     
    [ ] November 12, Jennie M. to Hattie C. Knox