Porter Knapp was born probably in April of 1841, in New York, the son of Aaron and Aurelia.
In 1860 there was one Porter Knapp living in Hinsdale, Cattaraugus County, New York. That same year there was also a woman named Aral Knapp, age 40 and born in Massachusetts keeping house as the head of the household and living in Vienna, Genesee County, Michigan; living with her were three of her children all born in New York. (Porter would settle in Vienna after the war.)
Porter stood 5’6” with black eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion and was a 24-year-old laborer when he enlisted in Company H on January 19, 1864, at Grand Rapids, Michigan, for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. He joined the Regiment on February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia, was sick in the hospital in March, and wounded slightly in the head in early May.
Porter was probably still absent sick when he was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and reported absent sick from May through July, and on detached service in August and September. He had probably returned to the Fifth Michigan when he was wounded and taken prisoner on October 27 at the Boydton Plank road near Petersburg, Virginia. He was apparently exchanged or released and discharged for disability on June 11, 1865.
Porter returned to Michigan after the war and eventually settled in Vienna, Genesee County, where he may have worked as a clerk. (In 1870 his parents were living in Vienna where Aaron owned a dry goods store.) By 1880 Porter was a widower suffering from rheumatism and living with his parents in Pine Run, Genesee County.
In 1865 he applied for and received a pension (no. 195242) for his service in the Third and Fifth Michigan infantry, as well as service in Company H, Third Michigan cavalry.
He died of liver disease in Vienna on July 20, 1880, and was presumably buried there.
In 1890 his mother was residing in Nebraska when she applied for and received a dependent mother’s pension (no. 346464).