Joseph E. Knapp was born in April or May of 1845 in Lucas County, Ohio, the son of Ephraim (b. 1812) and Mary A. (b. 1823).
New York or Canadian native Ephraim married Maine-born Mary and they eventually settled in Ohio. By 1850 Joseph E. was attending school and living with his family in Waterville, Lucas County, Ohio. Joseph’s family left Ohio, possibly in the late 1850s and moved westward eventually settling in western Michigan where by 1860 Joseph was a sawyer living with his family in Green, Oceana County where his father worked as a farmer.
Joseph stood 5’8” with blue eyes, light hair and a light complexion and was 17 years old and residing in Oceana County when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company K on May 13, 1861. He was discharged for consumption on December 20, 1861, at Camp Michigan, Virginia.
After his discharge from the army Joseph returned to western Michigan, probably to Dayton, Newaygo County where he died of disease, probably consumption, on June 18, 1862, and was buried in Dayton cemetery. (See photos G869a-869d. Also listed on the same headstone is one Nancy A., wife of E. Knapp, who died in 1882 at the age of 74.)
No pension seems to be available.
In 1870 his father (who owned some $4000 worth of real estate) was still living in Green, Oceana County.