William Allen Knowlton
West Point, 1943JAN
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Clay Edwards on August 13, 2008:
I have told a story quite often about GEN Knowlton, as he was leaving USMA at the end of my third year there. My grand-parents' neighbor in Tampa, Mr. Bill Harris, was a retired Postmaster, whom I grew up with and called Uncle Harris all my life. Before I left for West Point, he told me to say hi to his old Recon Troop Commander who was up at West Point doing something. Day 1 at West Point, I found out that "something" was Superintendant! I waited 3 years to get up the guts to go say hi for Uncle Harris. On LTG and Mrs. Knowlton's last Sunday at the Cadet Chapel, I walked to the front and asked for a minute of his time. I mentioned that I knew one of his old sergeants in Tampa and had been asked to say hi, and the General immediately said, "How is old Harris? Haven't heard from him in years." I recounted my delinquency, he forgave me, and had me walk back down the hill to the Supe's Quarters with them, talking all the time about Uncle Harris. I gave him Uncle Harris' phone number and he then sent me off happy to have had a belated conversation with a real gentleman. I called Uncle Harris and told him what had happened and just barely beat out the General calling him. Uncle Harris was thrilled that folks were talking about him, though he could not help but have wondered why it took me so long to approach such a gentleman. Well, he was a MG/LTG, and I wasn't! Anyway, Uncle Harris passed away not long after that, and I said a prayer of thanks that the Good Lord had forced me into saying something to the general when I finally did. Now that gentleman is gone himself. Thanks for the memories of Uncle Harris, and two battle buddies from long ago, Sir.
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