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Federal (USV)


William G. Knowles

(c. 1841 - ?)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 124th Pennsylvania Infantry

Before Antietam

Age 21, he enlisted on 5 August 1862 in Media and mustered as Sergeant, Company H, 124th Pennsylvania Infantry on 8 August in Harrisburg.

On the Campaign

He was wounded by an artillery round to his left arm, breaking the bone, in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862. He was taken to the rear, but lay without medical attention for 24 hours.

The rest of the War

He was taken to a "grist mill" near Sharpsburg ...

... where he received medical attention. On the first visit of the doctor to him he was surprised to hear him call a consultant, when others he thought more seriously wounded were passed with single attention. He found it was a question whether amputation was necessary, but the wound being so near the shoulder socket rendered amputation dangerous, and he was passed for the time.

That afternoon he was transferred to the Court House at Hagerstown, and in a few days, after special treatment and the influence of friends, was fortunate in reaching his home with orders to report to the nearest hospital.

Sergeant Knowles considers the saving of his arm, and perhaps his life, due to the kindness and interest of Dr. Kerlin, of Media, whose treatment enabled him to reach home.
He was listed as absent, in the hospital when his Company mustered out on 16 May 1863.

References & notes

His service from Bates1 and the Register.2 Details and the quote above from his own reminiscences in the History.3


c. 1841


1   Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871  [AotW citation 11145]

2   Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Adjutant General's Office, Register of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865, 16 volumes, Harrisburg  [AotW citation 23856]

3   Green, Robert McCay, compiler, History of the One Hundred and Twenty-fourth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion 1862-1863, Philadelphia: Ware Brothers Company, printers, 1907, pg. 109  [AotW citation 23857]