Civil War Hero
Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away

Peter J Knapp

Born: June 2, 1842 Sandusky, Ohio - Died: April 13, 1924 Kelso, Washington


For Some Memorial Service Snapshots, Click photo below:

April 13, 2012

From KPTV FOX 12 04/12/12:

Civil War veteran to be laid to rest decades after death
Posted: Apr 12, 2012 9:23 PM PDT
Updated: Apr 13, 2012 8:51 AM PDT
By Laura Rillos
A Civil War veteran will be laid to rest with full military honors Friday, 88 years after he died.

The cremated remains of Peter Knapp and his wife, Georgianna, sat in storage at a crematorium in Portland until a distant relative tracked them down.

Alice Knapp didn't start out looking for the remains. Instead, she was trying to track down a diary Peter Knapp kept during the war.

"I'm just floored at the attention this is getting. I'm very, in a sense, very humbled by the whole experience," she said. "All I wanted to do was get information and find the diaries."

Peter Knapp is the "third great-uncle" of her late husband, she said. The soldier began fighting for the Union during the Civil War and even spent months in a Confederate prison in Andersonville, GA.

After the war, he settled in Kelso and began operating sawmills. Peter Knapp died in 1924. His wife died a few years later. For reasons no one knows, their remains were never interred.

Alice Knapp, of Nehalem, has been researching the family's genealogy since the 1980s, an endeavor that's gotten easier thanks to the internet.

After a distant cousin, found online, mentioned Peter Knapp's diary, Alice Knapp's research led her to a crematorium where the remains were being held.

She said, "I just felt that, you know, if it was a relative of yours, if you suddenly discovered your relative was forgotten about at a mortuary somewhere, and had never been buried or no final arrangements made for them, wouldn't you want to bury them?"

The ceremony will be held April 13 at 3 p.m. in the Willamette National Cemetery.

Copyright KPTV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

From KOIN Local 6 CBS 04/11/12:

Civil War vet to be laid to rest -- 88 years after death
This marks the first Civil War veteran to be buried at Willamette Cemetery.
Reported by: Kohr Harlan
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Civil War veteran who died years ago will finally be laid to rest this Friday in Portland.

He was the youngest of 13 children, and the last one to die. And so, after he passed away, his remains laid unclaimed for 88 years. 

Alice Knapp's curiosity about her own family tree led her to Peter Knapp's remains. She still remembers taking possession of the box Peter's remains are in. 

"It was a gold box -- both he and his wife were placed in this gold box," Alice Knapp said. "It had a ribbon around it and it had a seal on it." 

Peter volunteered for the Union Army in 1861 as part of the 5th Iowa Infantry. Captured by confederates at the Battle of Missionary Ridge, he survived the notorious Andersonville prisoner-of-war camp. 

After the war he moved to the Longview-Kelso area. His obituary says he died there, in the arms of his wife, April 13, 1924. 

His remains were sent to the Old Portland Crematorium, which is now Wilhelm's Funeral Home at Southeast 14th Avenue. When Knapp’s wife Georgianna died in 1930, her remains also were cremated in Portland and placed next to those of her husband. 

For all these years their boxed-up remains have sat on a shelf, unclaimed until now. 

On Friday Peter and his wife will finally be buried. They will be laid to rest at Willamette National Cemetery, the military burial ground on Portland's Mount Scott. Peter will be the only Civil War veteran laid to rest here. 

Alice says the burial service will help bring her family closer, and link them a little more to their past. And Alice hopes, in some unknown way, it also will bring some satisfaction to Peter -- 88 years to the day after he died.

"This is really just overwhelming -- really," Knapp told KOIN. "I think he and his wife would have some kind of satisfaction in being laid next to each other."

-- Jennifer Meacham contributed to this report.

From The Oregon Herald 04/06/12:

Civil War Veteran To Be Buried In Portland 88 Years After His Death
by Randol B. Fletcher The Oregon Herald
PORTLAND, Oregon - On Friday, April 13th, 88 years after his death, the remains of Civil War veteran Peter J. Knapp will be buried with full military honors at Willamette National Cemetery. Located at 11800 Mt. Scott Blvd NE, the cemetery opened in 1950 and holds the remains of more than 100,000 eligible military personnel and dependents. Knapp will be the first, and likely the last, Civil War veteran to be interred in the cemetery.
Knapp, a Union Army veteran, died in Kelso, Washington on April 13, 1924. Following his funeral, Knapp's remains were taken to Portland for cremation. No arrangements were made for the disposition of the ashes and they have sat on a shelf at Portland Crematorium ever since. When Knapp's wife Georgianna died in 1930 her remains were also cremated in Portland and placed next to the cremains of her husband in a non-public storage tower at the crematorium.

Peter Jones Knapp was 19 years old when he volunteered for service with the 5th Iowa Infantry in 1861. He was captured by Confederates troops at the Battle of Missionary Ridge and survived confinement in the notorious Andersonville prison camp. After the Civil War he served on the frontier with the 5th U.S. Infantry and was promoted to sergeant. The Knapps moved to Longview-Kelso in the 1880's where they eventually owned several sawmills and acquired large real estate holdings. Knapp was elected Justice of the Peace and served as commander of the local G.A.R. post.

The disposition of Knapp's remains was discovered when a descendant of the Knapp family was attempting to track down burial locations of ancestors for her family tree. Alice Knapp of Nehalem read in Peter Knapp's 1924 obituary that the final arrangements were made by Portland Crematorium. When Mrs. Knapp called the crematorium, which has been in business since 1901, to inquire about the location of the remains, she learned they were still in storage. With the help of family friend Debbie Peevyhouse and the Oregon Military Department, arrangements were made for burial in the national cemetery.

The funeral for Knapp and his wife is scheduled for 3:00 PM on Friday and is open to the public. Capt. Christopher Miller of the Oregon National Guard will serve as master of ceremonies. Speakers include Brig. Gen. Eric C. Bush, Asst. Adjutant General Oregon National Guard; Chaplain Bill Roberts of the Patriot Guard Riders; and Lt. Col. York Barrett, Commander of the Washington camp of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. A combined honor guard from the Oregon and Washington camps of the Sons of Union Veterans, dressed in Civil War era uniforms, will fire a three volley musket salute. Steven Betschart, commander of Oregon's Edward D. Baker Camp of the Sons of Union Veterans, will play Taps. Also scheduled to participate are members of the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War; the Northwest Civil War Council; the Washington Civil War Council. A folded American flag will be presented to representatives of the Knapp family "on behalf of a grateful nation."

Mr. Fletcher is the author of Hidden History of Civil War Oregon published in 2011 by The History Press.

From KATU TV Ch2 ABC 04/10/12:

88 years later, Civil War veteran to be laid to rest
By Published: Apr 10, 2012 at 11:47 PM PDT Last Updated: Apr 13, 2012 at 9:51 AM PDT
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The tireless work of a local woman has finally brought her family the closure it wanted.

Alice Knapp of Nehalem wanted to know what happened to a loved one who served in the Civil War. That loved one was Peter Knapp and for 88 years, his cremated remains sat unclaimed at a Portland crematorium until Knapp family members started tracing their roots. 

That's where Knapp stepped in. She was married to Steve Knapp, a descendant of Peter. She started researching her husband's family back in 1980 when records were primarily kept on paper. And now with the help of modern technology, Alice Knapp was able to continue her search and it started when a distant cousin called her with a tip about Peter Knapp's past.

"She said, 'Did you know Peter Knapp wrote a bunch of diaries about the Civil War?' And I said, 'No.' She says, 'Yeah, look at this article,'" Alice said. "And sends me coughs up a bullet article)

Alice eventually found Peter's obituary.

"From his obituary, it said, they would go to a Portland crematorium and so I called the Portland crematorium and they said, 'Yeah, he's here,'" Alice said. "And I got his death certificate in Washington. I called back and said, 'By the way, is his wife there?' and they said, 'Yeah.' The shock was that he was not ever buried. That was the surprise to me."

That will all change on Friday. 

"His family will be together, also," Alice said. "They are really enthusiastic about the whole thing. I've got relatives coming from Colorado and California."

Peter Knapp will be laid to rest Friday at the Willamette National Cemetery -- exactly 88 years after he died. Friday's ceremony will also mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in Oregon. The Oregon National Guard is scheduled to provide full military honors.




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