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Re: James W. Knaggs at Battle of the Thames
Posted by: Kevin Knaggs Date: December 20, 2000 at 18:18:26
In Reply to: Re: James W. Knaggs at Battle of the Thames by JEFF ABLIN of 298

Hello Jeff:
Good story. I've not heard that version. I found it very interesting indeed. I too am a Knaggs, descended from George Knaggs and Elizabeth Whitmore, to George Knaggs and Rachel Sly, to George Knaggs and Elizabeth Chene-Lyons, to Alexis Knaggs and Archange Morin, to Peter Knaggs and Mary Descomptes-Labadie, to John Peter Knaggs and Stella Cousino, to Herman Knaggs and Johanna Luypen, to Frances Knaggs and George Smith, who are my parents.
There are a few inconsistencies I find with your story. Please take no offense at this, as none is meant. I'd just like to set the record straight with some documented facts.
1.)James W. (James Whitmore) Knaggs was the son of Whitmore Knaggs and the nephew of James Knaggs 'the Indian Fighter' who was the dear and trusted friend of the great Tecumseh.
2.)The Battle of the Thames, where Tecumseh was killed took place on 5 October, 1813, and William Henry Harrison was not the man who was there. Col. Richard M. Johnson was the man of which you speak, whose horse was killed, and he was trapped under it. James Knaggs, son of George Knaggs and Rachel Sly was attached to a company of mounted men called 'Rangers' under the command of Col. Johnson. Col. Johnson became Vice-President of the United States under Martin van Buren.
3.)During the presidential campaign of 1840, James Knaggs and his dear friend (and brother-in-law) Medard Labadie (who was also at the Battle of the Thames with James, and was the man who along with James carried the wounded Col. Johnson off the field of battle on a horse blanket) accompanied Col. Johnson and then Gov. Lewis Cass when they campaigned the state of Michigan for the Democratic party. They lost that election to the Whigs under William Henry Harrison and Tyler.
James and Medard were always seated on the speaker's platform, and were introduced as the "brave men who carried Col. Johnson off the field of battle." James Knaggs, my 5th great uncle, always denied killing Tecumseh, and swore an affadavit to that effect on 22 Sept. 1853 in my home town of Monroe, Michigan before B.F.H. Witherell. I have a copy of that sworn affadavit. I now quote from it James' own words; "He"(Tecumseh)"was stretched at full length and shot through the body, I think, near the heart. The ball went through his back" "I had known Tecumseh from my boyhood-we were boys together" and "I had no doubt then and have none now that Tecumseh fell by the hand of Col. Johnson." These are the sworn words of James Knaggs himself. I am in possession of a few of the old 'Knaggs heirlooms' including among other things, a British 5 pound blockbuster cannonball which either Whitmore or James had saved from the River Raisin Massacre in Jan 1813 and passed down through the family, a British copper penny of King GeorgeIII dated 1799, the old 'Knaggs prayer box' which was used in the early days of the Frenchtown settlement to administer the last rites when a priest could not be found, a very old handmade buckskin pouch (possibly Indian made and was given as a gift), a rosary which belonged to one of the Knaggs women, and assorted documents, land grant papers, government records, war pension applications, etc. I would be happy to send you, or any other Knaggs descendant copies of any of the information I have about the Knaggs family. I hope I have not offended you by correcting your information. Peace. Kevin Knaggs


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