"...I excuse you for not writing any oftener knowing that you have a very poor chance to write but is the greatest pleasure to me to read your letters. They are my only solace here, O such good kind letters. Hopeing to hear from you soon and that this may find you in fine spirits I close. My love to all and prayers for your welfare. May God fill you all with health and the comforts of life and restore me to you is my prayer."
The above was written June 6th, 1864 by William McKnight, a lieutenant in the 7th Ohio Cavalry, while in Nicholasville, Kentucky. It is part of the last letter he wrote to his wife, Samaria. On June 12th, at Cynthiana southeast of present Battle Grove Cemetery, William McKnight was mortally wounded in the right lung. McKnight had joined the "River" Regiment in September 1862. He was from Langville, Ohio, in Meigs County. When he died he left a young widow (Samaria was twenty-six at the time of William's death) along with six children under the age of nine, including eleven month old twins born on the previous Fourth of July.
Today, as we hang out by swimming pools and have our cookouts, let's take a few moments to think of men and women like William and Samaria and consider the cost some families pay so that we may swim and grill. We owe our veterans and their families more than we can ever pay.