Amor A. McKnight
From the Brookville Republican, May 20, 1863
It has seldom been our lot to fulfill more painful duty than is now before us, in recording the death of our brave friend and fellow townsman, Col. Amor A. M'Knight, of the 105th Pa. Vols, who fell at the battle of Chancellorsville, on Sunday, May 3d, while bravely leading his gallant regiment against the enemy--and while, with hat in hand, he was cheering on the brave men of his command, he received a ball through his left arm, which passed into his head, killing him instantly.
Col. M'Knight was one of the most prominent lawyers at the Brookville bar, and, at the time of entering the army, was engaged in a lucerative and extensive business in partnership with Geo. W. Andrews, Esq. He was a man of more than ordinary mental ability, possessing great firmness of character. At the time Fort Sumter was attacked by the rebels, he was Captain of the Brookville Guards, the service of which company he promptly tendered to the Governor and was accepted. He immediately set to work to recruit his company to the number required, and met with so much success that at the time of starting he found he had two full companies, and on the 22d of April, 1861, he left here at the head of one of the companies, while the other was commanded by the brave and lamented Capt. W. W. Wise. These two companies served during the the three months campaign in the 8th Regt. P. V., and as soon as their time expired, Capt. M'Knight returned home and proceeded to raise a regiment, having been commissioned by the Secretary of War to raise one for the war. Although meeting with some obstacles, his indomitable will and courage surmounted them all, and on the 28th of September, 1861, he was mustered into three years service--his regiment entered the service by being mustered into the brigade of Gen. Jameson, and the division of the grim old warrier, Gen. Heintzelman, with both of whom Col. M'Knight was ever a favorite.
Being determined that his regiment should be excelled by none other in the service, he labored incessantly to make it what it eventually became, one of the best drilled, best disciplined, and best fighting regimetns in the Army of the Potomac. And who can wonder that his heart that his heart ever glowed with pride at the praise they received from time to time from their Commander-in-Chief for their bravery and soldierly bearing. The regiment had grown up under his care, and he knew that he could always depend upon it in any emergency.
Col. M'Knight was with his regiment up to the Battle of Fair Oaks, where he so gallantly led them against a superior force, and where he was slightly wounded. His regiment was then under the gallant Kearney. Soon after this battle his health gave way beneath the arduous duties of the position, and fro disease engendered by the fatal miasmas of the Peninsula; and he was reluctantly obliged to resign, which he did in July, 1862, though doing so only when positively told by his physicians, that if he remained he would die. But his brave heart could not bear to remain idle when his country needed his services, and, although scarcely recovered from his illness, he rejoined his regiment in September, 1862, having been again commissioned as its Colonel, and to which he was gladly welcomed by the brave men of his command.
He remained with his regiment, sharing all its dangers, toll, and honor, until the time of his death, with the exception of a short leave of absence, which he obtained in March last, for the purpose of making a short visit home. ALso, the last one he was ever to make.
There has not fallen since the commencement of the rebellion, a man in whose heart burned a truer patriotism, whose am was served with sterner courage, and who was more fully devoted to the holy cause for which he has poured out his life-blood, than Col. M'Knight. Had he lived, he would have made a mark in the military world; at the time of his death he had been strongly recommended by Gen. Birney for promotion to the command of a brigade; but, a higher Power saw fit to cut short his brillant career, and promote him, we trust, to a better world.
Col. M'Knight at the time of his death, was 30 years, 11 mos. and 14 days of age, and leaves two brothers, a large circle of relatives, and many warm personal friends to mourn his loss. His remains had to be left on the field of battle, and were buried by the enemy with the honors due his rank, and his place of sepulcure was marked, so that we trust they will yet be recovered, and that he will sleep the last sleep amd the scenes of his boyhood and manhood.
And thus has fallen the affectionate brother, the true friend, the noble officer; and in the hearts of his friends a void has been left that can never be filled, while the army has lost one of its bravest officers. But we know that his life was freely given, and feel that it was not given in vain, for
"Who dies in vain
Upon his country's war-fields, and within
shadows of her altars!"
But thou art gone friend, companion, brother; may the sod rest lightly on thy breast--may thy sleep be sweet and pleasant, and may others be led to emulate they noble deeds!
"Oh! Never shall the land forget
How gushed the life-blood of the brave--
Gushed warm with hope and courage yet,
Upon the soil they fought to save."
Note: A short article beside the above, reads as follows:Respect for our dead--Information has been received in Washington under a flag of truce, the the bodies of our officers who could be recognized were buried by the rebels with the honors of war. Col. M'Knight and Maj. Chandler were thus interred, and their places of sepulcare marked.
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