Civil War Records of Franklin R. Knowlton

Frankilin R. Knowlton


Co. Regiment / Ship From To Residence / Credit Occupation Notes
M 1st Maine HA must. Jan. 4, 1864 discharged April 21, 1865 Swanville, Maine  

age 18; single;

wounded June 18, 1864

House, The First Maine Heavy Artillery: 402, 472.

Service Record (select pages from the National Archives): 7 Pages (PDF*)
Service Ledger (Town of Acton): x


Co. Regiment Date Filed Type App. No. Cert. No. State Beneficiary/Remarks
1st Maine HA June 12, 1865 Invalid 71 827 46 779    
Nov. 1933 Widow 1 736 065   Fl. Ellen H. Knowlton

Pension File (select pages from the National Archives):  x

Grand Army of the Republic

Recorded as member no. 35 in the membership roster of Isaac Davis Post No. 138 G.A.R., Acton, Massachusetts. Served as Post Commander, 1892-1894 and 1909-1910  (Acton Memorial Library archives, 92.2.1). 

Fifteen members of Isaac Davis Post No. 138 G.A.R. in front of the Telephone Office Building, West Acton, on May 30, 1924 (photograph, Acton Memorial Library archives 24.1.1)

G.A.R. Personal War Sketch

G.A.R. Supplementary War Sketch


Date September 17, 1933
Place Acton, Mass.
Age 86
Obituary Concord Enterprise, September 20, 1933
Burial Mt. Hope Cemetery, Acton, Mass.; name on stone: Frank Roscoe Knowlton
Survived by Ellen H. Knowlton

Additional Information

Born 1847 in Swanville, Maine, Franklin Knowlton enlisted in the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery in 1863. For the first 18 months, he was assigned to the construction of Fort Sumner in Maryland. He fought at Spotsylvania, North Anna River, Totopotomy, and several engagements in the siege of Petersburg. One of these was the June 18th attack on Confederate earthworks later known as Fort Stedman, where, out of 900 men, the regiment lost 635 killed or wounded. This was the highest toll sustained by a single unit in a single action of the entire war. Knowlton was wounded and spent ten months in various hospitals before being mustered out as disabled in April 1865.  After the war, he moved to West Acton and established the Knowlton Cigar Factory.  He served as a trustee of the Acton Memorial Library from 1905 until his death in 1933. He is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery, West Acton (Text from "Not Afraid to Go", exhibit at the Acton Memorial Library).


Franklin was the son of Amasa and Olive Knowlton and the brother of Amasa and George.

Franklin R. Knowlton, age 23, a house carpenter, is recorded as an inhabitant of Swanville, Maine in the 1870 federal census, in household (dwelling no. 126/130) of Amasa and Olive W. Knowlton. Also in the household was Amasa M. Knowlton, age 27. ("1870 United States Federal Census,"

Frank R. Knowlton, age 32, a house farmer, is recorded as an inhabitant of Acton, Mass. in the 1880 federal census, in household (dwelling no. 200/230) with his wife Emma S. and infant son, Roscoe H. ("1880 United States Federal Census,"

Frank R. Knowlton is recorded in the 1890 special veterans census as a resident of Acton ("1890 Veterans Schedules,"

A memorial stone on Knowlton Drive in West Acton reads: Having survived the Civil War, Frank Roscoe Knowlton, and his family, moved to West Acton from Swanville, Maine. He first sold, and delivered gun powder through the White Mountains. Next, starting in a small way, he went into the cigar manufacturing business housed in a four story factory with an elevator. He hired 30 employees and produced five brands of his own, plus several for other large concerns. On May 15, 1879, Frank married Emma Hosmer and lived here in the Hosmer Homestead which he purchased from Emma’s father, Silas Hosmer. Six children were born in this house—Roscoe, Jessie, Helen, Harold, Evelyn and Ruth. ("Acton's Monuments Presentation," Acton Historical Society Newsletter, Feb. 20, 2014. Print of electronic newsletter at Acton Memorial Library).


See also:

"Evelyn Knowlton (1891-1979): Formation of the Town of Acton and the Knowlton Cigar Factory." Acton Memorial Library Oral History #2.

Hosmer, The Town of Acton in the Civil War: 120, 121.