As previous posts have noted, family historians of Berrien County, GA have struggled with the confusion of the two Confederate officers named Levi J. Knight. Apparently, even during the war, the Confederate States Army suffered the same confusion.
In July 1861, Captain Levi J. Knight, early pioneer of Ray City and Berrien County, called for 100 volunteers to go with him to the fight for the Confederacy. These men were mustered into Confederate service during the summer of 1861 at Big Shanty, Georgia and joined the 29th Georgia Volunteer Infantry as the Berrien Minute Men. This company traveled to Savannah where they trained and served near the Georgia coast. Levi J. Knight became Captain. Later, while stationed with “companies at Advanced Batteries, Savannah River, GA, commanded by Lieut. Col. Edward C. Anderson, C. S. Artillery,” he was promoted to Major of the 29th Regiment.
Knight, at 58 years of age and suffering from asthma, did not serve through the war. On May 14th, 1862 he retired from service and returned to his home.
Three months after L. J. Knight’s separation from the Confederate States Army, questions arose about pay he had received while serving as Captain of Company A, 29th Georgia Regiment. The Quartermaster General, A.C. Myers, reported the matter on August 12, 1862.
Quarterms Genl’s Office
August 12th 1862
As required by pas.
1086 Army Regulations I have
to report to you that Capt.
Levi J. Knight, Co. “A”, 29th
Reg. Geo. Vols., has twice drawn
pay from Maj. L. J. Smith,
Qtr Msr., for the month of
October 1861. He was first
paid Oct. 31. & again Nov.
Yr Obd Servt
A. C. Myers
Qr Msr Genl
Gen’l L. Cooper
Adj’s & Inspt Genl
C. S. Army
On August 14, 1862, Jasper S. Whiting, Major & assistant Adjutant General, ” Respectfully referred [the matter] to
Maj Genl E.K.Smith Mercer, Savannah Geo., Commanding , who will call the attention of Capt Knight, Co “A” 29th Regt Geo Vols & ask for explanation. By command of the Secy of War.”
At the Savannah Headquarters of Brigadier General Mercer, responsibility for the investigation was overseen by Captain George A. Mercer, Assistant Adjutant General. Captain Mercer further delegated responsibility for the investigation to Colonel Edward C. Anderson, 29th Georgia Regiment.
Hd Qrs Dist. Geo
Savannah, Aug 27th, 1862
Respectfully referred to Col Anderson
who will investigate and report upon the
charge against Capt Knight
By order Brig. Genl Mercer
Geo. A. Mercer
Apparently, Colonel Anderson was familiar with the case and was able to make a quick response to Captain Mercer.
Savannah 27th Augst 1862
Captain Geo A Mercer
Adj Genls Office
Captain I have made
inquiry concerning the matter referred to me in
the communication of Augst 12th from Quarter Master
Genls Office. Captain Levi J. Knight Commandg
Company G. 29th Regt Ga Vols at present serving
with me, was elected to his present position
on the reorganization in May & at the time
specified viz October 1861, was not a Captain.
Company C 29th Regt was first commanded by an
officer of the same name – Capt Levi J Knight
(afterwards Major) then by Capt Wylly & now
L.J. Knight Jr – the nephew of the former Capt
I learn that Majr L. J. Knight made
two companies, called the Berrien Minute Men,
lettered respectively A & B. These companies
were commanded by Capt Knight Senr. Last fall,
on the reorganization of the Regt in May, Majr
Knight retired from the service & is now
in Civil Life. I have no doubt the error
must have occurred unwittingly as he
bears the character of an honest old man.
Connetion with him was brief & entirely official
in its character. He commanded the outpost
companies at MacKays Point.
Edwd C. Anderson
Subsequently, Capt George A. Mercer wrote a letter “informing Levi J. Knight that he will forward any papers to Richmond in reference to his case.”
Confederate States of America
Head Quarters Military District of Georgia
Savannah, Aug 28th, 1862
L.J. Knight Esq
I am directed by Genl. Mercer
to call your attention to the enclosed papers and
to request that you will return them to this office.
Genl. Mercer will of course report to the War
Department that you are no longer in the service
and therefore not subject to his control : he will
however gladly forward any explanation you may de-
sire to make to the Authorities at Richmond.
I am Sir Very Respy
Your Obdt Servt
Geo. A. Mercer
On September 6, 1862 Levi J. Knight wrote a response to Captain Mercer indicating that he never drew double pay and that the error must be in the bookkeeping of the Quartermaster Generals Office.
Lowndes County Sept 6th 1862
Capt Geo A Mercer
Agt Genl Officer
Captain yours dated 27th
concerning charges from Richmond that I had drawn
pay twice as captain for the month of October 1861
has been read and is now before me. I cannot see how
any error can have taken place except it should be in
the dates. I was mustered in as Captain the 1st of August
1861 and drew my pay as such from Maj Smith for
the months of August September and October 1861 at
three different times. I afterward drew as captain for
six days for the month of November – and for the ballance
of that month as Major and drew my pay as Major
up to the 30th of April at the reorganization. I retired the
14th of May last and am now at my residence in Lowndes
county. I know I drew only for three months and six
days. Two of the requisitions may have been dated October
and none for September. This I know that I drew only
what was due me as Captain for the time I served as
Very Respectfully Yours
Levi J. Knight
- Reverend William A. Knight at old Troupville, GA
- Organization and Command of the Berrien Minute Men
- L.E. Lastinger and Captain Knight’s Berrien Minutemen
- The Commission of Major General Levi J. Knight
- Levi J. Knight and Lowndes First Superior Court
- Levi J. Knight and the Confederate Payroll Fraud
- General Knight’s Railroad Rolls Into Civil War
- Berrien Minute Men and Civil War Stories
- Berrien Skirmishes, the Battle of Brushy Creek, and the Indian Maiden
- General Levi J. Knight ~ Railroad Tycoon
- Levi J. Knight ~ Next Generation
- Levi J. Knight’s Military Heritage