Stryker Area Heritage Council

William J. Knight

     As a young man, William J. Knight was part of a group of soldiers who volunteered to go behind Confederate lines during the Civil War and steal the locomotive “The General” in an attempt to disrupt rail traffic and supply lines. The endeavor was later termed “Andrews Raid” and was made famous in books and movies that dubbed it “The Great Locomotive Chase.”
     William Knight was not born in Stryker, but did live in Stryker following his escape from capture by the Confederates and is buried here. He was one of the first people to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor
Click on William Knight’s photo below for a brochure full of information about him..


Reunion of the survivors of the “Andrews Raid” with the captured locomotive “The General” at the Grand Army of the Republic encampment in Columbus, Ohio in 1888. Stryker’s William J. Knight is in the cab leaning out of the window. A close-up is provided below.


The monument dedicated to the participants in Andrews Raid and placed by the State of Ohio in 1891. It resides at the National Cemetery in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (Note “The General” on top.)


“The General” as featured in an antique postcard


Village marker placed in 1953 by the state as part of Ohio’s Sesquicentennial. This was also Stryker’s centennial year. Pictured left to right are Paul Beck, Stryker Centennial chairman, Ralph Simmons, Community Club president, and R. D. Rex, Stryker mayor and a member of the county’s Ohio Sesquicentennial committee.


William Knight is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery at Stryker. The monument on the left was erected in 2004 to commemorate his reception of the Medal of Honor.

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