Henry Knox, 1750–1806

[Mentioned in Retrospection and Introspection, p. 2]

Henry Knox, Revolutionary soldier and statesman, early took an interest in military studies, having read widely in this field in a bookshop which he had opened in Boston on his twenty-first birthday and which he called "The London Book-Store." He also belonged to the Boston Grenadier Corps and was responsible for drilling the men. His skill and his energy were recognized almost at once by the officers of the patriot army, which he joined at Cambridge before the battle of Bunker Hill, and he was given supervision of the artillery and field works.

Washington also was impressed by the young man. And when Knox asked permission to go to Fort Ticonderoga to bring back fifty-five pieces of ordnance and other ammunition, Washington granted it. Knox accomplished his mission. Faced by the new supply of guns furnished the men defending Dorchester Heights, the British were forced to evacuate Boston harbor. Washington reported to congress, "The resources of his genius supplied the deficit of means."

Knox was placed in command of the artillery of the main army under Washington. Knox supervised the troops' crossing of the Delaware and took part in the battle of Trenton. In recognition of his service, he was made a brigadier general, with full command of the artillery. He engaged in the battles of Princeton, Brandywine, and Germantown. At Monmouth his skill was so great as to draw the enemy's commendation. For his service at Yorktown he was named a major general. Next he was appointed one of the commissioners to work out peace terms.

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Signs of the Times
February 22, 1958

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