Corporal Charles Knox

Written at Lawton Prison, Ga November 14th, 1864

A rare piece of Civil War history was unveiled in August, 2011, when a letter written by a Prisoner of War was released. It offered a rare glimpse of the life of one Schroon Lake family with a loved one fighting on the front lines.

The letter was written by Cpl. Charles H. Knox in November of 1864.  He was held at the Lawton prison, near Millen, Georgia, after being captured by confederate forces.

The letter is revealing on multiple levels – it describes the passion Knox has for the North, how he describes the South as “Cecesia” in reference to their desire for secession from the United States and how he longs to be back at home with his wife and four-year-old son Charlie.

He offers advice to his wife Frances on how to survive in his absence – including collecting on a debt of $9.50 and selling the family cow – to save money on buying hay. Knox was finally reunited with his family after the end of the war. He lived until he was 70, working as a carpenter. You can find more on the story here and read a full transcript of the letter below.

Dear Wife, haveing a chance to send a line into God's Land-- & hopeing you may hear from me by it I write a few lines hopeing they will reach you in safety -- I have written to you every month since I was captured the 5th of May, last & have seen hard times since, but now hopeing the scene may soon change, for we all look for an exchange of most if not all of the Prisinors that are here -- God knows I hope so... for I am tired of (Cecesia) I have been a Prisnor 6 months & 9 days & I think that will do for this time, but I must change the subject .. I have not heard from any of my Friends since the last letter I got from you, about the 28th of April, last, but hope you & Little Charlie are well to all the rest of my friends at home, hope you have not suffer'd for Provisions or Clothing & not let my absents trouble you to much. I am here & shall get out some time & hope that will be soon, but don't know -- if you want any money write to Martin if he is alive for that he is oweing me, it is nine dollars & a half that will help you some; do that you think is for the best as it regards our affairs perhaps you had better sell the cow if hay is dear, there will be some money due me when I get out & get into our lines: & I think that I shall get a furloe & get home to see you & C -- I think there is no use of your trying to get a letter to me for it will never be delivered to me if it should come here -- my health has been good since here but am rather poor but will soon recruit up when I get to our lines, & will come & see you & the rest of the folks So good by

Yours affectionately C.H. Knox

Addressed to:

Mrs. C.H. Knox

Schroon Lake

Essex Co--

New York