Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Andrew Knox Papers, 1862-1864

James S. Schoff Civil War Collection

Finding aid created by
Shannon Wait, March 2010

Summary Information
Title: Andrew Knox papers
Creator: Knox, Andrew, b. 1835
Inclusive dates: 1862-1864
Extent: 6 items
The Andrew Knox papers are comprised of 6 letters from Andrew Knox, a lieutenant in the 1st Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery, to his wife Sarah in Danbury, Connecticut.
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:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2007. M-4582.4.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

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

Preferred Citation:

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


The letters are arranged chronologically.


Andrew Knox was born in England in 1835, and settled in Danbury, Connecticut, sometime before 1860. In that year, he married an 18-year-old named Sarah. Knox was working as a painter when the Civil War broke out, and in April 1861, he was mustered into Company E, 1st Connecticut Volunteers, served his term of three months, and received an honorable discharge. He re-enlisted and was mustered into Company B, 1st Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery on May 12, 1862, at the rank of second lieutenant, but was promoted to first lieutenant 11 days later.

Along with his regiment, Knox participated in the battles of Yorktown, Gaines’ Mill, Hanover Courthouse, Malvern Hill, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. He survived the war and returned to Danbury, where he continued to work as a painter. By 1880, James and Sarah had six children living at home.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Andrew Knox papers are comprised of six letters from Knox to his wife Sarah, written between July 31, 1862, and October 2, 1864. The letters convey rare and perceptive details about his locations and equipment, as well as deep affection for his wife and infant. In his letter of July 31, 1862, Knox described his pride in his regiment’s accomplishments after receiving accolades from Gen. George McClellan. In the next letter in the collection, dated August 3, 1864, and written from Union Headquarters in City Point, Virginia, Knox mentioned a nearby prison with 600 Confederate soldiers and a ride on a tugboat, on which he had “a pleasant little sail.”

Knox seemingly took a great interest in his equipment and wrote a detailed description of it for his wife: “The 13 inch mortar I have charge of is on a car made especially for it to be fired from. The mortar is a big thing. I weighs 17,185 # without the bed, and throws a shell when loaded weighing 230 #” (August 5, 1854).

Knox also speculated about strategy and future movements, as in his September 19, 1864, letter: “In regard to the expected battle down here, I do not think there will be any serious one for a long time unless the enemy makes the attack… My own observations lead me to think we will hold these lines for a long time. Many forts of a permanent nature are being made along the whole front. And the front lines are being retired in the rear of the forts in many places” (September 19, 1864).

Subject Terms

    • City Point (Hopewell, Va.)
    • McClellan, George Brinton, 1826-1885.
    • Military life.
    • Petersburg (Va.)
    • Soldiers--Connecticut.
    • United States. Army. Connectituct artillery Regiment, 1st, 1862-1865.
    • United States. Army--Military life.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Equipment and supplies.
    Genre Terms:
    • Correspondence.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   92, Schoff Civil War Collection  
    Andrew Knox papers [series]
    Folder   21  
     1862 July 31-1864 October 2
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Clements Library also owns the Levi Downs papers. Mr. Downs also served in the Connecticut Artillery, 1st Regiment.

    The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York City also holds papers of Andrew Knox.


    Bennett, E. B. First Connecticut Heavy Artillery: Historical Sketch and Present Addresses of Members. Hartford, Conn: Star printing co, 1889.

    McNamar, J. B. Official Souvenir And Program of Monument First Connecticut Heavy Artillery And Dedicatory Exercises Held On State Capitol Grounds, Hartford, Conn., September 25, 1902: As a Memorial to the Three Thousand Eight Hundred And Two Brave, Loyal, And Patriotic Citizens, Who Enrolled Under "Old Glory" And Gallantly Fought for Maintaining Its Honor And Dignity to a Crowning Victory From 1861-1865. Hartford, Conn: R.S. Peck & Co., printers and engravers, 1903.

    Taylor, John C. History of the First Connecticut Artillery And of the Siege Trains of the Armies Operating Against Richmond 1862-1865. Hartford, Conn.: Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard company, 1893.

    Walker, Edward Ashley. Our First Year of Army Life: An Anniversary Address, Delivered to the First Regiment of Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery, At Their Camp Near Gaines' Mills, Va., June, 1862. New Haven: T.H. Pease, 1862.