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Federal (USV)


William Crapo


(1843 - ?)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 21st New York Infantry

Before Antietam

In 1860 he was an 18 year old corn farmer at Ballston in Saratoga County, NY with one horse and two milk cows. He enlisted on 9 May 1861 in Buffalo, NY to serve two years, and mustered in on 20 May as a Private in Company G, 21st New York Infantry.

On the Campaign

He was wounded in the left thigh in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was admitted to the US Army hospital in the Old Church in Frederick, MD on 1 October 1862 and transferred to USA General Hospital #1 in Frederick on 24 January 1863. He was sent back to his unit on 5 February and mustered out with them on 18 May 1863.

After the War

By 1867 he was living in Alameda County, CA and in 1871, and to at least 1892, he was in Cerra Gorda, Inyo County. In 1873 he was one of the first to climb Mount Whitney. On 29 December 1892

Henry B. Boland and John Thomas were together walking toward the Postoffice. The house occupied by William Crapo is about sixty feet distant from the office. After the men had passed Crapo’s house he opened the door and fired after them. Boland fell dead at the first shot, which struck him in the back. When Boland fell Thomas started to get behind a wagon that was near, but before he could reach it he got one bullet in the right shoulder one in the right wrist and another in the left leg...

This tragedy is the outcome of the trouble over the late election at Cerro Gordo. H. B. Boland had been in business as a merchant at Cerro Gordo several years; he was Postmaster when killed; he was aged forty-two years and a native of Pennsylvania. A widow and five children are left to lament this awful tragedy. John Thomas is a native of Wales and has been mining at Cerro Gordo several years; he is foreman of the Newtown mine ... Crapo is one of the oldest residents at Cerro Gordo; he is a well educated man, by profession a civil engineer, but for many years engaged in mining. He is a native of Illinois, aged about 47 years.

When the report reached here Sheriff Gorman at once telegraphed a posse at Keeler to go to Cerro Gordo, nine miles distant, and arrest Crapo ... If Crapo resists he is a man who would be hard to take. The latest report this morning from Cerro Gordo is that Crapo had gone, nobody knew where. Beyond Cerro Gordo is the wilderness of deserts and mountains extending hundreds of miles, all of which he knows. He might make his way to Arizona. He has no family.

References & notes

His service from the Adjutant General1 and his New York Muster Roll Extract, online from fold3, with Antietam wound detail from the Chronicles.2 Further wound and hospital information from the Patient List.3 Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1860 (agriculture schedule) and 1880 (population), California History (Winter 1985), and a piece in the Inyo Independent of 30 December 1892, quoted above, online from the California Digital Newspaper Collection


02/05/1843; Lake County, IL


1   State of New York, Adjutant-General, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York [year]: Registers of the [units], 43 Volumes, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893-1905, For the Year 1899, Ser. No. 20, pg. 201  [AotW citation 28224]

2   Mills, John Harrison, and 21st Regiment Veteran Association of Buffalo, Chronicles of the Twenty-first Regiment New York State Volunteers, Buffalo: 21st Reg't. Veteran Association of Buffalo, 1887, pg. 294  [AotW citation 28225]

3   National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and Terry Reimer, Frederick Patient List, Published 2018, first accessed 17 September 2018, <>, Source page: patient #96  [AotW citation 28247]