Francis Knowles, Artist at Petersburg
Francis "Frank" W. Knowles, from Charlestown, Massachusetts, was mustered into the 36th Massachusetts Infantry as a private. Before the war he was a clerk, and in the army he found his skills in demand, serving as clerk and assistant adjutant general for his regiment. In April 1863, he was detailed as clerk to the staff of General Orlando Willcox's headquarters. Willcox afterwards commanded a division of the 9th Army Corps. Knowles made many sketches during the war and collected several in a scrapbook/diary after the war.
The diary is available online in the East Carolina University Digital Collections.
“On the 6th of July we had a photograph of Gen’l Willcox and staff as they were in Tennessee, taken in a group in front of the mess tent. The general asked me to join them as I had been with him through the Tennessee campaign. Then we got the general’s colored boy George and the doctor’s John to hold a pair of game roosters while we all sat or stood about my tent and had a photo taken of that for a fancy picture.” Knowles Diary, pg. 134. Collection of East Carolina University.