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Andrew Knox

Revolutionary War Vet Obituary

Extracted from
The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Volume 38, January 1, 1914
pages 443-60

[The following obituary notices of officers and privates who
served in the Continental Line and Militia of Pennsylvania during
the Revolution have been collected from the newspapers of Montgomery

Andrew Knox.-Died at his house in Whitpain township, the 17th. ult.
Andrew Knox, in the 80th. year of his age. . . . The friends of the
American Revolution will be gratified by the recital of an incident
in his life, which connects his name with that revolution. His office,
a magistrate, procured him the honor of a visit from certain Royalists,
when the British army held the city of Philadelphia. About 4 o'clock
in the morning of the 14th. of February 1778, seven armed refugees
approached his house, two stood sentry at the back window, while the
other five attempted the door. Finding it bolted, they endeavored to
gain admittance by artifice. Squire Knox, partly dressed, came to the
door at their call, when a dialogue took place nearly as follows: K.
"What do you want?" R. "I came to tell you that the enemy are coming,
and to warn you to escape for your life." K. "What enemy 1" R.
"The British." K. "And who are you that speak?" (A friendly name was
given, and on looking out the window the Squire saw their arms in the
moonlight.) K. "I believe you are the enemy." Upon this they burst the
door and attempted to force their way in. Mr. Knox seizing the open door
with his left hand, with his cutlass in the other, saluted the agressors
in a manner they did not expect, and repeated his strokes. The assailants
meanwhile, made repeated thrusts with their bayonets, from which Mr. Knox
received two or three slight flesh wounds, and had his jacket pierced in
several places, but the door standing ajar, covered his vitals and saved
his life.

By this time Mr. Knox's eldest son, then a young strippling, having laid
hold of a gun loaded with small shot, came to the scene of action and asked
his father if he should shoot. The Squire having just broke his cutlass on
one of the enemy's guns, now apprehended that he must surrender, and thinking
it imprudent to exasperate the foe to the utmost, told his son not to shoot,
trying his weapon further and finding it capable of service, he continued to
defend the pass, and his son wishing to co-operate struck one of the assailants
with the barrel of his gun and brought him to his knees (and to his prayers,
it is hoped). This gave the besighed an opportunity to close the door, whereupon
the party presented their pieces and fired five balls through the door. Whether
it arose from deliberation or from the scattered position of the men, so it was
that some of these balls passed through the door directly and others obliquely,
so as to hit a person standing by the side: and in fact, Squire Knox, who stood
there as a place of safety, received a touch by one of them. Thus foiled in their
object and perhaps that the report of their guns would alarm the neighborhood,
the men commenced a retreat towards the city. Squire Knox having at the approach
of day collected some friends and armed men went in pursuit. They tracked the
blood several miles. One of whom had taken refuge in a house was taken, brought
back and made an ample confession. This fellow being found to be a deserter from
the American army was tried by court martial for the desertion only, condemned
and executed near Montgomery Square. Another was apprehended after the British
left the city, condemned by a civil court and executed. Of the rest little is
-Norristown Register, November 6, 1808.

Keywords/Tags: Andrew Knox, Pennsylvania, Revolutionary War, Norristown Register

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