National Tribune, 4/20/1893

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From the National Tribune, 4/20/1893

Letter of an army scout, named Judson Knight, describing himself as “Serg’t Knight.”

....At Cold Harbor I met a citizen who was sent to our quarters with orders for us to take care of him. He was with us, I should think, three days, when he came over from Gen. Grant’s and Gen. Meade’s Headquarters and said to me: “Good-bye. I am going to leave you.”

“Well, sir, good-bye. Where are you going?”

“To Philadelphia.”

He then told me that Grant and Meade had not made him take the oath of allegiance; and when I asked the reason, he said it was not exacted from him, so that the Confederates should have no excuse, if they heard of it, for confiscating his property. Before I got through talking with him, I learned he was from Richmond; that his name was John N. Van Lew; that his family were from Philadelphia, originally; that his father had been a successful hardware merchant in Richmond for many years previous to the war; also, that he was in the same business; that his mother and sister were both living on Church Hill; that the family were known as Union people; also, that the rebel Provost-Marshal-General Winder was boarding at their house, and that they gave him his board as an equivalent for the protection he afforded the family. As soon as he told me he was from Richmond I began importuning him to join our party, and he inquired what we were. As soon as I told him, he declined, saying the life would not suit him. I went with him two or three miles toward the White House, using all the arrangements I could think of in order to try and induce him to stay, but failed. JUDSON KNIGHT, Post-office Department, Washington, D. C.

From the National Tribune, 4/27/1893

Letter of an army scout, named Judson Knight, describing himself as “Serg’t Knight.”

In my last article I spoke of endeavoring to get John N. Van Lew to become a scout, following him several miles on the road to the White House and using every means to accomplish this end, but failing signally. When we parted he said to me: “I will tell you something that may be of value to you. If you can ever get into communication with my mother or sister, they are in a position where they might furnish you with valuable information. Their names are both Elizabeth N. Van Lew.” I walked with him several miles, and urged him to stay with us, for patriotism if nothing else, but did not succeed.

[remainder of letter is on unrelated subjects, and not transcribed.]

From the National Tribune, 5/4/1893

Letter of an army scout, named Judson Knight, describing himself as “Serg’t Knight.”

...We were but just fairly settled in our new quarters when Col. Sharpe sent to me by his Orderly a man named Powers, who had been forwarded to City Point from a gunboat called the Commodore Morris. The Commodore Morris had been built for a ferryboat, and after being purchased by the Government altered into a gunboat. She was a double-ender and armed with heavy guns. She lay at Haxall’s Landing, just below Malvern Hill, eight miles above City Point.

Upon questioning Powers I learned he had been a clerk for John N. Van Lew in Richmond. As soon as Van Lew’s name was mentioned it refreshed my memory, and I remembered what he had told me at least two months before at Cold Harbor. Powers said the reason of his leaving Richmond was that he found he had to join the Confederate army, and that, while ostensibly engaged in getting ready to join, he left Richmond the night before he was to report for duty. JUDSON KNIGHT, Post-office Department, Washington, D. C.

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