Mary Foster Crawford

This week’s writing prompt for 52 Ancestors is ‘Strong Woman’. I have a lot of strong women in my family, including those young mothers modeling for their children what it means to be a gentle, kind mother while being a strong woman. Thus, it was hard to decide who to write about.

I’ve selected my great-great grandmother, Mary Foster Crawford (1842-1929) as an example of the strong women in my tree.

Mary Foster was born in 1842 in Warren County, Indiana. Like most women of that time period, most of Mary’s story comes from the story of her father and her husband. Since Mary’s father, Zebulon, was listed as a farmer on the 1850 census in Pike Township, Warren County, Indiana, Mary likely was raised on a farm.

At the age of 17, Mary married Washington Marion Crawford on 4 Mary 1860 in West Lebanon, Indiana. According to the 1860 census, Washington and Mary Crawford were living in Jordan Township of Warren County, Indiana. The young couple was establishing their home on a farm worth $2000 at the time. An affidavit included in Washington Marion Crawford’s military file provides more information about their farm life:

State of Indiana Warren County

Before me the undersigned authority personally appeared Washington M Crawford who being by me first duly sworn says my age is 46 years.

In the matter of my claim for Pension No 170744 my occupation has always been that of a farmer for five years preceeding my enlistment in Co H 2nd NY Cav. I worked on a farm for my father in Washington township Warren County Ind except the last year prior to the breaking out of the war. I moved to Jordan township and began farming for myself.

Mary’s life as a young wife changed when her husband enlisted in Company H of the 2nd New York Calvary. Washington Crawford’s affidavit continues to tell the tale of the young couple.

I continued there until August 3rd 1861 when I enlisted in the army in the above named Co and regiment. I was in all the engagements the regiment was in from the time of its organization until the 22nd day of Sept 1863 when I was taken prisoner in an engagement betwen Gen Kilpatrick and Gen Stewart near Liberty Mills, Va.

Whether Mary knew of her husband’s capture is unknown. Washington Crawford’s military record suggests that she may not have known since he is reported as “Missing in Action since Sept. 22, 1863” on several Company Muster Rolls including the March and April 1864 report.

Washington Crawford was imprisoned at Belle Isle in Virginia from his capture in Sept 1863 until March 1864. Then he was transferred to Andersonville Prison in Georgia. His affidavit continues with the story of his imprisonment.

The circumstances under which my disability was incurred was hardships of prison life such as being confined with thirty five thousand men on about sixteen acres of ground with insufficient food and no shelter except a government blanket which makes a poor shade and no shelter from the rain whatever I passed the winter of 1863 and 1864 in Belle Isle and in March 1864 I was taken to Andersonville Ga where I incurred the disability during the summer of 1864. I went from there to Charleston SC was there eighteen days and was then taken to Florence SC where on the 7th of Dec 64 I was paroled in the agreement between the two commitioners to exchange ten thousand sick

When her husband returned from the war, the young family moved in with his mother so his mother could help care for him. For the next few years, the family moved around a lot as Mary’s husband was under constant medical care, leaving Mary to care for their growing family.

I arrived home in June 1865 and remained on the old homestead with my mother and was treated by Dr Tebbs and Dr Greely who are both deceased. In 1866 I lived in Jordan township tried farming. and received treatments from Dr Frankeberger who is also deceased. in 1867 I lived in Washington township followed farming and was again treated by Dr Greely. I remained in Washington township until 1871 when I moved to Pike Township and followed farming there until 1873 when I again moved to Washington Township where I have remained to the present and have been following farming. …

I am not above to do more thane one fourth as much of any kind of farm work as I could before the war … all the work I do must be done under great difficulties and with great pain. I am frequently confined to the house and sometimes to my bed

Mary was fortunate to be surrounded by both her husband’s family and her family during this time. The need for family support is likely why the family moved to Dodge City Kansas in 1885. Washington’s brother, James H. Crawford, had moved his entire family to Dodge City in 1878. With family and land drawing them westward, the family moved to Dodge City where Washington Crawford paid $2 at the Garden City land office toward 160 acres of land in the SE 1/4 of Section 31 township 28 South of range 26 West. At about the same time, the family began the construction of a boarding house on 2nd Avenue in Dodge City.

In 1886, Washington and Mary faced another struggle as their daughter, Carrie died of consumption. A little over three years later, Mary would bury her husband, Washington Marion Crawford, next to her daughter.

It was the boarding house built in 1885 that provided a livelihood for Mary as she continued to raise her children.

I wish I knew more of the story from Mary’s eyes. I believe she was the glue that held the family together as they faced the after affects of her husbands imprisonment during the civil war. Thus, Mary Foster Crawford, is my example of a ‘Strong Woman.’

 

 

 

 

Prisoner of War

State of Indiana Warren County SS

Before me the undersigned authority personally appeared Washington M Crawford who being by me first duly sworn says

my age is 46 years.

In the matter of my claim for pension No 170744 my occupation has always been that of a farmer. For five year preceding my enlistment in Co H 2nd NY Cav I worked on a farm for my father in Washington township Warren County Ind except the last year prior to the breaking out of the war I moved to Jordan township and began farming for myself. I continued there until August 3rd 1861, when I enlisted in the army in the above named Co and regiment. I was in all the engagements the regiment was in from the time of its organization until the 22nd day of Sept 1863 when I was taken prisoner in an engagement between Gen Kilpatrick and Gen Stewart near Liberty Mills Va.

The circumstances under which my disability was incurred was hardships of prison life such as being confined with thirty five thousand men on about sixteen acres of ground with insufficient food and no shelter except a government blanket which makes a poor Shade and no shelter from the rain whatever. I passed the winter of 1863 and 1864 in Bell Isle and in March 64 I was taken to Andersonville Ga where I incurred the disability during the summer of 1864. I went from there to Charleston SC and there eighteen days and was then taken to Florence SC where on the 7th of Dec 64 I was paroled in the agreement between two Commissioners to exchange ten thousand sick.

I arrived home in June 1865 and remained on the old homestead with my mother and was treated by Dr Tebbs and Dr Greeley who are both deceased. In 1866 I lived in Jordan township, tried farming and received treatment from Dr Frankeberger who is also deceased. In 1867 I lived in Washington township followed farming and was again treated by Dr Greely. I remained in Washington township until 1871 when I moved to Pike township and followed farming there until 1873 when I again moved to Washington township where I have remained to the present and have been following farming.

I am a constant sufferer with the following troubles: rheumatism, neuralgic, bronchitis, piles and the effects of Scurvy in my feet My treatment since the death of Drs Tebbs of Williamsport Ind, Dr Greely of West Lebanon Ind, and Dr Frankeberger of Jordan has been by Dr Leech who now resides at Crawfordsville Ind, Dr T B Campbell of West Lebanon, Ind and Dr. Osborne of West Lebanon Ind

I have performed manual labor every year since the war except the first year immediately after the war. I have not been able at any time since the war to do a full day’s work from the fact that my feet are so affected that I cannot stand the walking. My mussles also pain me so that I am compelled to stop. I am not able to do more than one fourth as much of any kind of farm work as I could before the war. When I do any heavy work it brings on piles when I am exposed. I suffer with Bronchitus. All the work I do must be done under great difficulties and with great pain. I am frequently confined to the house and sometimes to my bed but I cannot give dates as to time of said confinement. All I can do with any degree of certainty is to oversee the work and do chores.

I have not suffered at any time with any acute disease since my discharge from the Army.

Washington M Crawford

 

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 7th day of April 1884 and I certify that I have not interest in the claim this affidavit seeks to establish.

Henry C Johnson, Clk.

Fry Bryant Dep

From the Military and Pension Record File of Washington M. Crawford, obtained via mail from the National Archives and Record Administration.

My Military Heroes

In honor of Veterans’ Day this Friday, I would like to honor my ancestor Veterans.

crawford-eugene-b1927-1945-us-navyWhile still in high school, my father, Eugene David Crawford, enlisted in the US. Navy and attended training at the Naval Training Center (EE & RW) in Gulfport, Mississippi and at the Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill. He was assigned to the U.S.S. Oneida (APA-221) from May 1946 to July 1946. The U.S.S. Oneida was part of Operation Magic Carpet to bring troops home from the Pacific Theater. Eugene received an honorable discharge from the service in August 1946.

crawford-leon-b1894-1917-wwi-portraitEugene’s father, Leon Russel Crawford, began his military service on 26 Apr 1917 in Dodge City, Kansas and was appointed wagoner 2nd class gunner in the 25th A. A. Battery 1st A.A. Sector. Leon’s unit was at the St. Misner 2nd Battle of the Marne from 31 Mar 1918 to 31 May 1918 in France. Later in 1918, his unit was assigned to the outer defense of Paris. On 28 Mar 1919, Leon received an honorable discharge from the service and returned to Dodge City.

None of my great-grandfathers served in the military. However, most of my great-great grandfathers and one great-great-great grandfather served during the War Between the States.

  • Washington Marion Crawford — Sergt in Co. H of the 2nd Regiment New York Calvary Volunteer — better known as the “Harris Light Horse”. Washington Marion was captured on 22 Sep 1863 in Liberty Mills, Virginia and imprisoned at Andersonville and Belle Isle.
  • Richmond Fisk Hammond – began his military service as a private in Company E 17th Illinois Volunteers later joining the 1st Illinois Cavalry Volunteers and Company D in the 14th Regiment Illinois Cavalry. Richmond was captured near Atlanta and taken as a prisoner to Andersonville on 5 Aug 1864.
  • Hiram M. Currey — served in Company B of the 12th Cavalry Regiment of the Kansas State Militia under Captain Samuel Hollister
  • Albert Hutchinson — served as a private in Company D of the 1st Regiment of the Iowa Cavalry Volunteers commanded by Captain Jinks and re-enlisted as a private in Iowa First Calvary Company D
  • Noah Washington Briles — served as a private in Company I, 1st Regiment Iowa Volunteers
  • Alexander Briles (Noah’s father) — served under Captain John Douglas in Company I of the Kansas State Militia
  • James Marshall Ricketts — served in Company K of the 7th Indiana Cavalry
  • George Mentzer — served in Company C of the Twenty-Foruth Massachusetts Infantry

According to my great-grandmother’s (Josie Hammond Crawford) DAR application, her ancestor, Jason Hammond, served as a private in Captain Coon’s Company of Col. J. Well’s Regiment in the Connecticut line. There is some question as to whether this military record is for my ancestor or another Jason Hammond. Thus, my DAR membership is thru his father, Nathaniel Hammond, for giving service to the cause.

Since almost all of my ancestors were in the colonies prior to the revolutionary war, it is likely that many of them served during the revolutionary war. It is even possible that at least one line traces back to loyalists.

It is thru this type of military service that our country was built. May we all pause to honor our military this week.

Honoring the Veterans in My Family

Anyone who has lived in Emporia, Kansas realizes that Veteran’s Day is a MAJOR holiday. Tomorrow, we take time to honor those who have served and who are serving. Thus, I would like to take a walk thru my family tree to honor my veteran ancestors.

World War II

Crawford-Eugene-b1927-1945-Navy-SailorEugene Crawford

Between 15 Feb 1945 and 1 Aug 1946, Eugene served at the Naval Training Center in Gulfport, Mississippi and at the Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois. He shipped out on the USS Oneida (APA-221) towards the end of the War in the Pacific as seaman 1st class in the U.S. Naval Reserves. He received the Victory Medal and the American Campaign Medal.

ESTHERMIEsther Crawford Noll

Esther served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in the European Theater between 1942 and 1945.

BRILEWA2Walter Emery Briles

Walter enlisted in March 1942 in Los Angeles, California serving in the U.S. Army. Walter was discharged in 1944 but re-enlisted in 1946 and served until 1958.

World War I

LEONMILWWILeon Crawford began his military service on 26 April 1917 in Dodge City, Kansas. He was appointed wagoner 2nd class gunner in the 25th AA Battery, 1st AA Sector. Leon was a wagoner at St. Misner 2nd Battle of the Marne from 31 March 1918 to 31 May 1918 in France.

Leon served with others from Dodge City including his brother-in-law Russel Horton and his brother, Marion.

War between the States

richmond fisk hammond MWCRAW

(On Right) Washington Marion Crawford enlisted in Company H of the 2nd Regiment of the New York Calvary Volunteers on 3 August 1861 serving as a sergeant. W. M. Crawford was captured in September 1863 and was imprisoned in Andersonville and Belle Isle. He was paroled on 7 Dec 1864 in Florence, South Carolina.

(On Left) Richmond Fisk Hammond enlisted as a private in Company E 177 Illinois Volunteers on 26 May 1861. He also served in the 1st Illinois Calvary Volunteers and in Company D 14th Regiment Illinois Calvary. Richmond Hammond was captured near Atlanta, Georgia on 5 Aug 1864 and was imprisoned at Andersonville.

Richmond Hammond and Washington Marion Crawford both moved to Dodge City, Kansas after the war. Richmond’s daughter, Josie, married Washington’s son Judson in Dodge City.

Other Civil War Veterans:

Hiram M. Currey served as a private in Company B of the 12th Regiment of the Kansas State Militia in 1864.

Albert Hutchi(n)son began his military service on 1 Sept 1862 in Independence, Iowa. He served as a private in Company D of the 1st Regiment of the Iowa Calvary Volunteers. Albert re-enlisted on 1 Jan 1864 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Noah Washington Briles enlisted on 13 Jun 1861 in Ottumwa, Iowa serving in Company I of the 1st Regiment Iowa Calvary Volunteers. His father, Alexander Briles served in 1864 under Captain John Douglas in Company I of the Kansas State Militia.

James Marshall Ricketts enlisted 11 Sept 1863 in Indianapolis, Indiana serving in Company K of the 7th Indiana Cavalry.

George Mentzer began his military service on 25 Sep 1861 serving in Company C of the 24th Massachusetts Infantry.

Revolutionary War

Nathaniel Hammond served the revolutionary cause by supplying provisions to the soldiers families between 1776 and 1783 in Bolton, Connecticut.

There could easily be other revolutionary war ancestors in my tree. However, I haven’t proven my descent from any of the other known patriots.