Civil War Blog

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Knouff Family in the Civil War – Enders and Millersburg

Posted By on February 18, 2011

According to records found at the Pennsylvania Archives, five persons with surname Knouff served in Pennsylvania regiments during the Civil War.  Recent research has confirmed that all five lived in the general area covered by this Civil War Research Project. An inquiry regarding confusion between two of these Knouff‘s, prompted a re-examination of the available records and an attempt to find out more information on each of them and to see how and if they were connected.  This post will examine two of the Knouff’s who have not been connected genealogically to each other – one who lived much if not all of his life in Enders, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, and the other who lived in Millersburg, Dauphin County..  Another post tomorrow, will examine two others, both of whom died, but the records at the Pennsylvania Archives have them mixed up as to which one died when and how.  The final post will look at the last of the these Knouff’s who appears in the Halifax area around the time of the Civil War, apparently survives the war, and then disappears from the records.  This research is being presented to find out more information about those with the surname Knouff from Pennsylvania who served in the Civil War.  Hopefully, if anyone can add anything, it will be greatly appreciated!


Joseph W. Knouff (1848-1902).  Joseph was probably born on 5 Jul 1848 in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, the date on his grave marker, although his military records indicate he was born about 1844. He was the son of Joseph Knouff and Mary [Sweigard} Knouff.

Most likely lying about his age (he declared he was 18, but was probably only 14), Joseph enlisted as a Private in the 130th Pennsylvania Infantry (volunteer), Company H, at Harrisburg on 12 August 1862.  According to his discharge papers, he was five feet, five inches tall, of fair complexion, blue eyes and dark hair.  He claimed he was a wagoner by occupation.  According to historian Russell Ottens, Joseph Knouff fought in various skirmishes as well as major battles at South Mountain, Antietam,  Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.  His regiment’s losses were severe.  When his term of enlistment expired, the regiment returned to Harrisburg and he was mustered out with his company on 12 May 1863.

Upon returning from the war, Joseph Knouff went to work at a saw mill in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  On 28 August 1868, he slipped and fell into the saw which cut off about one-third of his lower right arm.

On 12 October 1879, he married Isabelle E. “Belle” Enders, at Enders, Pennsylvania, the ceremony performed by H.E. Bohner.  Belle was born 19 October 1855 and died 22 November 1939 in Harrisburg.  They had one child, James Byron Knouff, who was born  29 January 1880.  J. Byron Knouff became an auctioneer and was one of the co-founders of the Enders Monumental Association and he served as its first historian.

Pension document for Joseph Knouff giving date and place of marriage and name and date of birth of son, James Byron Knouff. Signature of Joseph Knouff attests to correctness of the information.

According to the 1880 census for Enders, Dauphin County, Joseph and Isabella were living in the household of her father, George EndersGeorge Enders was a retired farmer and Joseph was working as an agent for farm implements.  Misfortune continued to befell Joseph.  On 22 March 1882, be bought a colt and on the way home it became vicious and threw him, damaging his left shoulder so as to limit his arm movement.   In the 1890 Veterans Census, Joseph reported his military service with the 130th Pennsylvania Infantry, told of the saw mill accident, but did not indicate any war-related disability.  In 1900, the family was still living in Enders, Jackson Township.  Joseph was an auctioneer and son Byron,  age 20, living with his parents was a school teacher.  A niece, Ruth Enders, age 8, was also living with the family.

Sworn statement by Joseph Knouff for pension purposes attesting to his misfortune at the saw mill and with the colt. According to other records, Joseph did not receive a Civil War invalid pension.

Joseph Knouff applied for in invalid pension for his war service but according to the Pension Index Card for the records at the National Archives, he did not receive one.  Joseph died in 1902 and is buried in Fairview Cemetery in Enders.  His widow, Belle, applied for a widow’s pension after his death, claiming to have no means of support,  left without life insurance, and possessing only a small property in Enders worth about $600.  She received a pension until her death.

Information for this post was compiled from records of the Civil War Research Project, including portions of pension application documents.  Some information was obtained from a story about Joseph Knouff in Captain Enders Legion (see prior post on Enders family). Veterans Index Card was found at the Pennsylvania Archives.  The Pension Index Card and census information was obtained from Ancestry.com.



Henry Knouff, as his name appears on the Millersburg Civil War Soldier Monument

Henry Knouff (abt 1827-abt 1892).  Henry Knouff was born about 1827 in Pennsylvania.  Although the date and month are not known, there is a consistency in the year of birth among the military and census records as well as other information supplied by private researchers.  His exact date of death is not known, although it can be assumed he died in 1892, as that is the year his wife applied for a widow’s pension.

Henry married Catherine Yeager about 1855 and to them, two known children were born: John H. Knouff, born about 1855, and Frank L. Knouff, born about 1859.  In 1860, prior to the start of the Civil War, the family was living in Millersburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  In the household were John Frank, age 60, a carpenter (perhaps a boarder) and Mary S. Harman, age 16, a domestic.  Henry Knouff indicated that he was a laborer.

On 7 March 1864, Henry Knouff enrolled in the 46th Pennsylvania Infantry at Harrisburg.  His veteran card from the Pennsylvania Archives indicates he was 37 years old, five foot, ten inches tall, with a ruddy complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.  The card indicates that his name also appears in the rolls a “Knoaff.”   He was mustered out with his company on 16 Jul 1865.  Records of the 46th Pennsylvania Infantry place the regiment at battles in Georgia in 1864, notably at Kenesaw Mountain, Culp’s Farm, Peach Tree Creek, and Atlanta.  By 1865, the regiment had moved into North Carolina for the “clean-up” campaign of the last remaining rebel strongholds, in that area, and had final engagements at Bentonville.

Following the Civil War, Henry Knouff returned to Millersburg, where the 1870 Census indicates he rejoined the labor force, but he is then a widower.  Son John Knouf,  age 15, is living in the household, but is not employed.  Mary Harmon is still living in the household.  Later in the year, Henry Knouff would marry Mary Harmon.  No record is found that they Henry and Mary had any children. Records have not yet been located as to the date of death of Henry’s first wife, Catherine.

In 1880, Henry Knouff was still living in Millersburg and still working as a laborer.  His second wife, Mary, was living in the household as was her mother, Elizabeth Harman, age 72.  In the 1890 Veterans Census, Henry declared his service in the 46th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, but must have been unclear on his dates of service, as they were not reported.  He declared his post office address as Millersburg, but mentioned no disability that was service incurred.

Henry Knouff probably died in 1892, as that is the year his wife Mary [Harman] Knouff applied for a Civil War widow’s pension.  The Pension Index Card from the National Archives records shows that Henry applied for a invalid pension around 1885 and received one.  His widow also applied and received a pension.

A tribute to Henry Knouff’s Civil War service was given when his name was included on the Millersburg Civil War Soldier Monument.  Because he probably died in 1892, he would not be pictured in the G.A.R. photo which was taken in 1913 at the dedication of the monument.  Perhaps he was a member of the Kilpatrick Post of the G.A.R. of Millersburg.

The Pension Index card for Henry Knouff was found at Ancestry.com, as was census and military information.   The Veterans Index card was found at the Pennsylvania Archives.  Additional confirmation of Henry’s military service was found at Steve Maczuga’s Pennsylvania Civil War Project.


More information is sought on both Joseph W. Knouff (1848-1902) and Henry Knouff (1827-1892).  Comments can be added to this post or sent by e-mail to the contact given at the bottom of the Civil War Research Project page of this blog or the “Contact” bar at the top right on any page of the blog.  The types of information being sought is also listed on the Civil War Research Project page.


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