January 10, 1863
George Knox was no stranger to compassion and understanding when he presented money for the family members of Company K, 10th Maine Infantry Regiment, of Lewiston, in 1863.
A graduate of Newton Theological Seminary, in Massachusetts, Knox was ordained as a minister in 1841. After several pastoral assignments, he was appointed chaplain of the 1st Maine Infantry Regiment in April, 1861.
As chaplain, Knox held the same rank as a captain of cavalry, and was responsible for the spiritual and emotional needs of the soldiers. A chaplain had to be an ordained Christian minister.
As a Union chaplain, Knox was issued a uniform, received $100 a month in pay, and was provided certain number of meals each day. In addition, he received housing (a tent) and extra clothing upon request. Like his Confederate counterparts, however, Knox was provided little training, supervision, or the supplies needed to provide a spiritual environment.
After his 90-day service expired with the 1st Maine, Knox’s commission as chaplain was transferred to the 10th Maine Infantry Regiment. He joined Company K, of Lewiston, commanded by Captain George Henry Nye.
In addition to his religious role, Knox acted as a trusted representative for the soldiers. As reported in the Lewiston Daily Evening Journal in January, 1863, he was responsible for presenting $2,883 in allotment funds from Company K to their families. A.J. Cole, at the Porter Mill, in Lewiston, acted as the local representative for Knox and the Company, and assisted in distributing the funds.
Military allotments were money that was set aside from a soldier’s paycheck to then be given to specified individuals, such as family members or creditors. The Lewiston Daily Evening Journal credited Company K as a leader in allotments, describing it as a "banner company," with "no other Company having done so well."
Knox later joined the 29th Maine Infantry Regiment as chaplain on October 18, 1864. He died suddenly on October 31.
- What other responsibilities did chaplains have during the Civil War?
- Were there differences between Union chaplains and Confederate chaplains?