He was born in October 1839 (24; 11 (22 in 1861), 12 [24 in 1863], 17 [71 in 1910], 22 [21 in 1860], 23 [40 in 1880], 24 [60 in 1900], 25 [30 in 1870]). He was born in Pennsylvania (17, 22, 25).
In 1860, he was living in ward 18, northeast division, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (22). He was a fisherman (22). He was living with Adam Myers and his family (22).
When he enlisted, he was a fisherman, and was living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (11, 12).
When he enlisted, he was 6 feet 0 inches tall, and had a light complexion, blue eyes, and light hair (11, 12).
He enlisted and was mustered into service as a private on 7 October 1861 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1, 11, 13, 15). He was in company B (1, 27 (corp)).
He re-enlisted for three years, as a veteran volunteer, on 26 December 1863, at Bealton, Virginia (1, 11, 12 [25 Dec]). He was reenlisted by Lieutenant Carpenter, and mustered in by Lieutenant Swann (12). He was then a corporal (11).
He was promoted from corporal to sergeant, before July 1863 (1, 7 [simply lists him as sergeant], 18).
He fought at the Battle of Gettysburg (18).
He was wounded on 27 October 1864 (1, 11).
On 1 January 1865, Sellers asked that he be discharged to allow him to accept a commission as first lieutenant (4). He was discharged near Petersburg, by order of Major General Meade (9). He was promoted to first lieutenant on 4 January 1865 (1, 8, 9, 11, 19).
On 25 June 1865, he went on a leave, which expired on 10 July 1865 (5, citing SO 141 HQ 5th Corps). He was absent, on furlough, when the regiment mustered out on 10 July 1865 (1, 11, 13 [10 Jul 65], 15 [10 Jul 65]). He was first lieutenant, of company B (27).
In 1865/1866, he married Phillipine Godfrey (17, 20, 24). She is the sister of Amos Godfrey and Stephen Godfrey, who also served in the 91st (20). In 1900 and 1910, she reported having had four children, all of whom were alive (17, 24). Their children were (26):
In 1870, he was living in ward 18, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (25). He was living with Mary (presumably his wife), his son William, and Pauline Godfrey (25). He was a retail liquor dealer, and owned $600 in personal property (25).
In 1880, he was living at 825 Richmond Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (23). He was living with his wife Philophine [?], children William, Charles, and Clara, and niece Mary Godfrey (23). He was a laborer at the Mint (23).
On 16 July 1890, and again on 15 February 1907, he successfully applied from Pennsylvania for a pension (2, 15).
In 1890, he was living at 825 Richmond Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (13, 14). He probably was running a restaurant (14). William Knapp, Junior, was also living there; he was a salesman (14).
He was part of a group of Republican veterans dismissed from the Philadelphia Mint apparently in May 1897 (21). They appealed their dismissal to Secretary Gage, claiming that they were dismissed simply because they were Republicans (21). He, at least, was apparently rehired (26).
In 1900, he was living at 631 Heller [?] Street, ward 18, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (24). He was living with his wife Phillippina, and children Charles and Ella (24). He was a driver [?] (24).
In 1910, he was living at 631 Keller Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (17). He was living with his wife Philipina, and daughter Ella (17). He was a day watchman (17).
He retired from the US Mint in 1912 (26).
He died shortly after 6 AM on 26 December 1919, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (15, 16, 26). He was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (16). His death notice refers to three organizations: Newhall Post No. 7 GAR, US Mint Beneficial Society, Nevada Tribe Number 76 Improved Order of Red Men (16, 26). His funeral was held at his residence, 1621 East Eyre Street (16, 26).
Contact his descendent Sue Chiaverini at [email protected].
1 Bates, Samuel Penniman. History of Pennsylvania volunteers, 1861-5. Harrisburg: B. Singerly, state printer, 1869-71. 5 volumes. 'Ninety-first regiment', volume 3, pages 186-233. (In the roster)
3 Pension index, by name. (Searched 8 May 2001, on Ancestry.)
4 letter, Sellers to Bartlett, 1 January 1865.
5 undated officers' furlough list, in regimental letter, order, guard, and furlough book (Wm Knapp)
6 [undated and untitled chart with officers' names] (Lt Knapp)
7 list of non-commissioned officers, co.B (William Knapp, 2 entries)
8 company B, list of commissioned officers (Wm Knapp)
9 company B, register of men discharged (Wm Knapp)
10 company B [first] descriptive roll, entry 4 (William Knapp) [no information]
11 Civil War Veterans' Card File, available at the Pennsylvania State Archives, searched 30 May 2004 (William Knapp)
12 company B, [second] descriptive book, entry 2 (William Knapp)
13 1890 US census, veterans schedule, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, supervisor's district 1, enumeration district 355, page  (image 759 on Ancestry), line 7 (William Knapp)
14 1890 Gopsill's Philadelphia directory (William Knapp)
15 pension index, by regiment (William Knapp)
17 1910 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 18th ward, supervisor's district 1, enumeration district 283 [?], microfilm series T624, film 1392, page 180 = 9 handwritten (William Knapp)
18 Pennsylvania Memorial, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (William Knapp)
19 consolidated morning report, 91st Pennsylvania, 5 January 1865 (Sergt Knapp)
20 e-mail, Sue Chiaverini, 16 January 2007
21 'Veterans appeal and enter protest', Philadelphia Inquirer 27 May 1897 page 3 (W Knapp)
22 1860 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, ward 18, northeast division (post office Kensington), microfilm series 653, film 1168, page 179 = 179 handwritten (Wm Knapp)
23 1880 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, supervisor's district 1, enumeration 343, microfilm series T9, film 1177, page 236 C = 24 handwritten (Wm Knapp)
24 1900 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, ward 18, supervisor's district 1, enumeration district 352, microfilm series T623, film 1460, page 65 A = 4 handwritten (William Knapp)
25 1870 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, ward 18, district 54, microfilm series M593, film 1403, page 326 = 163 handwritten (William Knapp)
26 'William Knapp, Mint Employe [sic], Dies', Evening public ledger 26 December 1919, Night Extra Financial (William Knapp)
27 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (William Knapp)
|Name||Adam Myers||Mary "||George "||Lillie "||Wm Knapp|
|Occupation||ditto [sc. Cordwainer]||Fisherman|
|Value of real estate owned|
|Value of personal estate|
|Place of birth||do [sc. Penna]||do||do||do||do|
|Married within year|
|Attended school within year||1|
|Cannot read & write|
|Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.|
|Name||Knapp William||- Mary||- William||Godfrey Pauline|
|Occupation||Ret Liquor Dealer||Keeping House|
|Real estate value||2800|
|Personal estate value||600|
|Father foreign born||1|
|Mother foreign born||1|
|Birth month if born within year|
|Marriage month if married within year|
|Attended school past year|
|Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.|
|Male US citizen at least 21 years old||1|
|Male US citizen at least 21 years old who can't vote ...|
|dwelling visit #||185|
|family visit #||221|
|name||Knapp Wm||" Philophine [?]||" Wm Jr||" Chas||" Clara||Godfrey Mary|
|month born if born in year|
|married during year|
|occupation||Laborer at Mint||Keeps House||At School||At School||At Home||At Home|
|school this year||1||1|
|father's birthplace||Germany||France||France [sic]||Penna||Penna [sic]||France|
|[the two entries I have marked 'sic' are light, and may have been erased and rewritten]|
|street||Heller [?] Street|
|name||Knapp William||- Phillippina||- Charles||- Ella R|
|birth date||Oct 1839||Oct 1849||Feb 1873||Mar 1881|
|# years married||34||34|
|mother of how many children?||4|
|# of children living||4|
|# years in USA|
|occupation||Driver [??]||P. Officer||[illegible] Weaver|
|# months not employed||0||0||0|
|# months in school|
|free or mortgaged|
|# of farm schedule|
|name||Knapp William||- Philipina||- Ella R|
|#years present marriage||44||44|
|mother of # children||4|
|mother of # living children||4|
|father's birthplace||Switz - German||Fr - French||Pennsylvania|
|mother's birthplace||Pennsylvania||Fr - French||Pennsylvania|
|nature of industry etc.||[illegible]||shipyard|
|out of work 15 Apr 1910?||No||No|
|# weeks out of work 1909||0||0|
|school since 1 Sep 09|
|owned free or mortagaged|
|nr on farm schedule|
|civil war vet||UA|
|deaf & dumb|
Dec. 26, William Knapp, husband of late Philippine Knapp, aged 80. Relatives and friends, Newhall Post No. 7, G. A. R.; U.S. Mint Beneficial Society, Nevada Tribe No. 76, I. O. R. M., invited to funeral, Tues., 2 p.m., 1621 E. Eyre st. Int. private, Greenwood (K. of P.) Cem. Friends may call Mon., after 8 p.m.['Veterans appeal and enter protest', Philadelphia Inquirer 27 May 1897 page 3]
To-day the committee having in charge the reinstatement of Republican veterans discharged from the Mint for political reasons will go to Washington, and, accompanied by Congressman James Rankin Young, will call upon Secretary Gage to present their case. They have prepared the following "protest and appeal."Hon. William McKinley, Present.
Dear Sir: We, the undersigned, your comrades and fellow-citizens, veterans of the war, dismissed from our positions in the United States Mint at Philadelphia for political reasons, respectfully ask your careful consideration to the following statement of facts.
First. We claim that we are entitled to the protection of the United States regarding the veteran, which have heretofore been interpreted as assuring to us our places under the government, where we have rendered faithful and efficient service, and from which we were unjustly and unlawfully removed.
Second. Our removal, in each and every case, was without cause, except that we were loyal Republicans, and our places were required for the Democratic partisan.
Third. The Superintendent whose mandate removes us was himself dismissed. This will certainly be accepted as proof of his unfitness to pass judgment on men who bore unchallenged reputations, as citizens, as well as honorable records as soldiers.
Fourth. The cruel dismissal, upon Decoration Day, May 30, 1894, of five of our number, who were maimed by the loss of an arm or a leg, gave a special emphasis to the bitterness of purpose in the Superintendent giving such an order, and is without a parallel, in our loyal city, of hatred to the soldier.
Fifth. The promulgation of the civil service law was not made until November 24, 1896, after your election. It is therefore very evident that if Mr. Bryan had been elected it would not have been needed; but as he was defeated, the law was wanted to prevent our reinstatement to places which had been filled by the Democratic politicians--some of whom were not born when the war was on.
Against all of this we protest, and from all and each we appeal.
This summary statement of our case we place before you, hoping and believing that it will receive the consideration which it deserves. We have the courage of our convictions in making this protest and appeal, and having patiently awaited the turn of the tide, have no hesitation in asking now from you such friendly support and action as shall result in our reinstatement.
The action of the Democratic administration in placing the Mint under civil service after the defeat of their party, and before your inauguration, is a procedure dishonest in purpose and partisan in motive. The conditions existing were perfectly understood by all who were interested, as well as by those in authority, through months of corerspondence [sic] with the Civil Service Commission. Also, a resolution of inquiry had passed Congress, asking the Secretary of the Treasury why the veterans had been dismissed, to which he made answer in a curt sentence: "For the good of the service." Against the Secretary's remark we place this statement of facts. They will not be disputed, as they are incontrovertible. If this treatment had been measured to us because of inefficient service, or the dereliction of duty, the answer to our appeal would be the record, by which we are willing to be judged.
We have associated as friends and comrades, making common cause in our appeal, pledging ourselves to stand together. We present our case for adjustment, trusting that you will right the wrong done to men who have given the best years of their lives--and in many cases their limbs--for the government.
We rest our case in your hands "praying that we may have and receive" that consideration whicih we claim is justly our due, and that the evil design [and] contrivance of the Democrats--to prevent our reinstatement--may not succeed.
In the name and on behalf of ourselves and comrades.
The committee will present the following as a complete list of war veterans discharged from the Mint by Sueprintendent [sic] Townsend, who now seek reinstatement:...
There are other names which ought to be included in this list, but their records are not accessible to the committee.
The committee, in indorsing the above list, says:
"Colonel Bosbyshell is charged with the dismissal of fifty-three soldiers. The committee suggests that inquiry be made of Colonel Bosbyshell, who can give sufficient reasons in every case. Five names on this list were dismissed by Superintendent Townsend, having been previously restored by Colonel Bosbyshell.
"The foregoing list is submitted in comparison with the list given to the public by Mr. Kretz. We insist upon accuracy and truthfulness, and give sixteen names not upon the list. Why were they omitted, and why does he include fifteen names who were in the Mint when he took charge and claim credit for their appointment?
"The committee regret to say that they are forced to the conclusion that Mr. Kretz has deliberately presented to the public a statement full of errors, and, as it is official correspondence with the Secretary of the Treasure, they are compelled to present his inaccuracies and demand judgment on his effort to mislead his superior officer in a matter of vital importance. Our case is not all stated yet."['William Knapp, Mint Employe [sic], Dies', Evening public ledger 26 December 1919, Night Extra Financial]
William Knapp, eighty years old, a Civil War veteran, died shortly after 6 o'clock this morning at his home, 1621 Eyre street, from maladies due to his advanced age.
Knapp was a member of Post No. 7, G.A.R. He served with the Ninety-first Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment. For thirty years he has been employed at the United States Mint here, retiring seven years ago.
He originally came from Easton, and is a direct descendant of one of the founders of that place. He is survived by two sons, William, Jr., a patrolman at the East Girard and Montgomery avenues police station, and Charles, a sergeant at the same station, and two daughters, Miss Ella Knapp, an employe of the Bureau of Highways, and Mrs. Clara Krause.