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McKnight, Charles (88th Pennsylvania)

Editor’s Note: John Vautier of the 88th Pennsylvania wrote a regimental history of his regiment, History of the 88th Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War for the Union, 1861-1865, which was published in 1894. Tucked at the back of the book in Chapter 29, almost as an afterthought, were excerpts from the letters of Captain Charles “Charlie” McKnight.  The two excerpts dealing with the Siege of Petersburg have been reproduced here.  These excerpts are in the public domain and may be freely used elsewhere.  All I ask if you copy and paste my transcriptions is that you credit this web site and link back here.

Charles McKnight, 88th PennsylvaniaCharles McKnight was mustered in to Company K of the 88th Pennsylvania, recruited in Philadelphia, on September 30, 1861.  He served most of the war in relative obscurity, only being promoted after the acting fighting had ended.  He became a 1st Lt. on June 9, 1865 and then a Captain on June 14.  Through three and a half long years of war, McKnight managed to get through with only one wound, suffered at Second Bull Run.  The two letters which appear below describe the battles of Second Petersburg and Globe Tavern.


Letters of Captain Charles McKnight, 88th Pennsylvania1:


  1. Vautier, John D. History of the 88th Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War for the Union, 1861-1865. Philadelphia: Printed by J.B. Lippincott, 1894, pp. 226-228.