Side A: William J. Knight (1837-1916) was born in Wayne County, Ohio and raised by his grandparents, Jacob and Martha Knight, near Farmer, Ohio. After the outbreak of the Civil War, William enlisted in Company E, 21st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. On April 12, 1862, the twenty-five year-old Knight participated in “Andrews Raid” as an engineer. Led by James J. Andrews, the raiders stole the locomotive “General” at Big Shanty, Georgia, planning to cut telegraph lines and destroy railroad bridges and tracks as they headed north between Atlanta and Chattanooga. Above Ringgold, Georgia, the raiders were captured. Eight were executed. Knight and seven others escaped from an Atlanta jail on October 16, 1862 and made it to Federal lines. Six raiders were exchanged in 1863 (Continued on other side)
Side B: (Continued from other side) Knight and 18 other raiders were awarded the Medal of Honor for their roles. On September 27, 1864, Knight was discharged from the army upon expiration of his term of service. By 1886, he settled in Stryker and was giving lectures about the raid. Andrews Raiders: James J. Andrews, William H. Campbell, Samuel Robertson, Marion A. Ross, John M. Scott, Charles P. Shadrach, Samuel Slavens, George D. Wilson (eight executed in June 1862). Wilson W. Brown, Daniel A. Dorsey, Martin J. Hawkins, William J. Knight, John R. Porter, John Alfred Wilson, John Wollam, Mark Wood (eight who escaped in October 1862). William Bensinger, Robert Buffum, Elihu H. Mason, Jacob Parrott, William Pittenger, William H. Reddick (six who were exchanged in March 1863). Samuel Llewellyn and Ovid Wellford (“James”) Smith (volunteered like the others, but missed the raid).