John Thomas Knight
2. Rank, unit served with, etc.
Mississippi 39th Infantry, Barry Guards, Co. E
3. Any personal info about the soldier that you’re aware of –
John Thomas Knight was an orphan who was never sent to school, could not read or write, but worked on a farm. He told his children that his mother was of the Choctaw tribe, that he had Choctaw Indian in his family background but there is no documentation of this.
He joined the Confederate services as a private in April of 1963 at the age 15. He fought at Franklin and at Nashville – at Nashville he was captured by the Union on 16 Dec 1864, 13 days before his 17th birthday. He was transferred to Louisville, KY, and on to Camp Chase, Ohio where he spent four months as a prisoner of war.
Nine days after Lee surrendered, on April 21, 1865, he joined Co. E, 5th regiment of the U.S. Infantry volunteers. He was honorably discharged on 11 Oct 1866 and returned to Mississippi.
The history compiled by Richard Michael Taylor, great-great grandson of John Thomas Knight states that John Thomas most likely joined the U.S. army in order to make money to return to Mississippi. The supporting documentation is attached in a pdf document.
4. Was he wounded at Franklin? Captured? Missing? Killed?
He survived Franklin and was captured at Nashville – there is no indication that he was wounded in his battles.
5. Survive Franklin? Survive the war?
He married Mary Elizabeth Hodges on 16 May 1867 and they had 9 children.
6. Your exact relation?
John Thomas Knight is my great-great grandfather. His son, James Daniel, or J.D. Knight was my great- grandfather, Robert Malcolm Knight was my grandfather, and Charles Ray Knight was my father.
7. Burial place?
John Thomas died on 20 Dec 1924 and was buried in Pine Bluff cemetery, Dentville, MS.
8. Any pictures of the soldier: in uniform? Before or after the war?
I will attach the only copy of a picture I have when John Thomas was an older man.
9. Surviving letters, diaries, or documents you’re willing to share?
He could not read or write.
10. The email address for you to be contacted?