(1835 - 1865)
Home State: Virginia
Education: Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Class of 1855
Command Billet: Corps Chief of Artillery
Branch of Service: Artillery
see his Battle Report
He graduated first in the class of 1855 from the Virginia Military Institute and taught mathematics there from his graduation to the outbreak of War in 1861. He was appointed full professor in 1858 and in May 1861 he was Acting Superintendent of the Institute with the rank of Major.
In June he was commissioned Major of the 9th Virginia Infantry Regiment, volunteering along with two other VMI professors: its Colonel Francis H. Smith and Lieutenant Colonel John. T.L. Preston. In October he was appointed Major of the 58th Virginia Infantry, but was not reelected at the reorganization of April 1862. He was elected Colonel of the 16th Virginia Infantry, but declined that commission and was instead appointed Lieutenant Colonel of Artillery and assigned as General T.J. Jackson's Chief of Artillery on 21 April 1862. He was promoted to Colonel on 6 May.
On the Campaign
He was General Jackson's Chief of Artillery on the Campaign.
The rest of the War
He was wounded at Chancellorsville, VA on 3 May 1863 and was in the ambulance with General Jackson, who had been shot ...
...Colonel Crutchfield, his chief of artillery, was also in the ambulance wagon. He had been wounded very seriously in the leg, and was suffering intensely.Crutchfield lost his leg to amputation and was assigned as Inspector of Ammunition and Equipment in March 1864. He had command of an Artillery Brigade in 1865 but was killed leading a "hodgepodge" unit in a counterattack on Federal troops at Sailor's Creek, VA on 6 April 1865.
The General expressed, very feelingly, his sympathy for Crutchfield, and once, when the latter groaned aloud, he directed the ambulance to stop, and requested me to see if something could not be done for his relief. Torches had been provided, and every means taken to carry them to the hospital as safely and easily as possible. I sat in the front part of the ambulance, with my finger resting upon the artery above the wound, to arrest bleeding if it should occur. When I was recognized by acquaintances and asked who was wounded, the General would tell me to say, 'A Confederate officer.' At one time he put his right hand upon my head, and pulling me down to him, asked if Crutchfield was dangerously injured. When answered 'No, only painfully hurt,' he replied, 'I am glad it is no worse.' In a few moments after Crutchfield did the same thing, and when he was told that the General was very seriously wounded, he groaned and cried out, 'Oh, my God!' It was for this that the General directed the ambulance to be halted, and requested that something should be done for Crutchfield's relief ...
References & notes
Biographical and service details from Walker 1 and Krick.2 Krick and other sources have him as Stapleton Crutchfield, Jr., but his father's name was Oscar. The quote above from Dr. Hunter McGuire in the Southern Historical Society Papers (Vol. XIV, January-December 1886). His memorial is on Findagrave.
More on the Web
See a painted portrait of him from the VMI Archives.
06/21/1835; Spottsylvania County, VA
04/06/1865; Sailor's Creek, VA
1 Walker, Charles D., Biographical Sketches of the Graduates and Eleves of the Virginia Military Institute Who Fell During the War Between the States, Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Company, 1875, pp. 145-151 [AotW citation 1134]
2 Krick, Robert E.L., Staff Officers in Gray; A Biographical Register of the Staff Officers in the Army of Northern Virginia, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003, pg. 106 [AotW citation 25848]