Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Civil War Soldier: Sgt. Angelo M. CRAPSEY (1842 - 1864)

Source: Crapsey, Angelo. Photograph. C. 1863. Digital copy from the Faces of the Pennsylvania Reserves website []. Original photograph's whereabouts unknown. 2008.

How Related:
Step-brother of my 3rd-great-grandmother, Viola Gertrude PECK; best friend and step-brother-in-law of my 3rd-great-grandfather Charles H. ROBBINS

Born: 9 Dec 1942, New York

Parents: only child of Rev. John CRAPSEY, Jr. (1816 - 1903) and Mercy Rhuama "Mary" (BARNUM) FRANTZ (c. 1822 - 1952); step-mother, Lura Ann (JACKSON) PECK CRAPSEY (1826 - bef. 1900)

Siblings: Older maternal half-sisters Catherine (b. 1833), Anna Maria (b. c. 1835), and Ann Orilla FRANTZ (b. c. 1838); younger paternal half-siblings Alice (b. 1855), William Merrick "Willie" (1858 - 1946), Harriet, a.k.a. Hattie/Suky (b. 1860), and George Bayard CRAPSEY (1863 - 1943); step-sister Viola Gertrude PECK (1848 - 1918)

Married: never

Children: none


Enlisted: 30 May 1861 at Port Allegany, McKean Co., Pennsylvania in Company I, 42nd Pennsylvania Infantry (a.k.a "The Bucktails"); private. Promoted to full corporal. Promoted to full sergeant.

Side Served: Union

History of Unit: See the history of the 42nd Pennsylvania Infantry (also known as the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves), including battles and rosters, here and here.

Discharged: 15 October 1863


Source: Libby Prison, 1865. Photograph number B-119. Matthew B. Brady Collection of Civil War Photographs. National Archives and Records Administration. Publication T252. Viewed at and downloaded from Footnote [] 16 Apr 2008.

Biography or Information of Interest:
Angelo's widowed father married my widowed 3rd-great-grandmother, and thus he was raised with my 2nd-great-grandmother as step-siblings. When the Civil War began, Angelo enlisted, followed not long after by his best friend, my 2nd-great-grandfather Charles Robbins, who after the war, would marry Angelo's step-sister.

During the Battle of Fredericksburg, Angelo was captured by the Confederates and imprisoned in the infamous Libby Prison on Richmond, Virginia. The deplorable conditions combined with shell-shock caused Angelo to lose his mind. When he returned to his community and family in Port Allegany, McKean County and Roulette, Potter County, he was suicidal and had to be watched continuously. Tragically, his attempts eventually were successful when he managed to get a hold of a gun.

His father later applied for his veteran's pension. The pension application is full of details pertinent to my families, as his father, step-mother, step-sister and several Robbins family members gave their testimonies to his war experiences.

Source: Civil War Pension Index Card of Angelo M. Crapsey. Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900. National Archives and Records Administration. Publication T289. Digital image purchased at Footnote [].

Angelo's is one of many, many tragic stories of the Civil War, and a reminder that not all men who die as a result of war die in battle. The complete fascinating story waits to be told in the as-yet-unpublished historical novel by Dennis W. Brandt.

Died: 4 Aug 1864 (age 21), Roulette, Potter Co., Pennsylvania, due to self-inflicted gunshot

Buried: Lyman Cemetery, Roulette, Potter Co., Pennsylvania

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