Crandall, Richard Bailey
Age: 24, credited to Berlin, VTVITALS
Birth: 08/14/1837, Berlin, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Berlin Corner Cemetery, Berlin, VT
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and other veterans who may be buried there.
The remains of Major Crandall of the 6th regiment, have been sent home to Montpelier for interment.
Rutland Herald, June 16, 1864
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.
Maj. R. B. Crandall
The remains of this gallant young officer were embalmed and sent home. They reached this place on Wednesday last, and the funeral services were held in Berlin on Friday following. A large concourse of people were present to testify their respect for his memory. From the discourse preached on this occasion by Rev. W.H. Lord of this village, we gathered some facts of Major Crandall's life. He was a native of Berlin, and at about twenty years of age entered Dartmouth College. He was in his junior year when the war broke out. Animated by the warm sentiment of patriotic devotion which then swept over the land, he offered himself to the service of his country. By the assistance of friends who were interested in his character and address, he received from the Colonel of the 6th regiment the position of his Adjutant. He commended himself in this office to his comrades and superior officers. Subsequently he was promoted to a Captaincy, and soon to the Major-ship of the regiment. AT the time of his death he was acting as its commanding officer.
While engaged in the routine of his duties on the picket line of our army near the Chickahominy, on Wednesday morning the 7th of June, he was shot by a rebel sharpshooter. The ball passed through his lungs, and he died on the evening of the same day. He had anticipated, and was not unprepared for such an event, for he was a man of consistent religious life. He was a member of the Church at Dartmouth College, and had revealed the sincerity of his profession in a devoted, generous, and active Christian character.
He was rapidly acquiring those military qualities which, had his life been spared, would have made him eminent in the service. There were few officers among our Vermont regiments who stood so high in the affection of the men, or in the respect of the superior officer. He was brave to a fault, and yet never lacking in presence of mind and soul self-possession. He is a great loss to the cause in which he gave his life.
We add to this brief notice one of the last letters Major Crandall wrote addressed to Hon. Roderick Richardson of this village.
Near Spottsylvania Court House
May 20th, 1864.
Mr. Richardson -- My Dear Sir -- Yours of recent date, from Freeport, was received a day or two since, in the first mail we have had since we left Brandy Station. Since that time we have been literally walking in a "pathway of fire."
We have known nothing of fighting until this time. Our other battles have been but skirmishes in comparison. God has most mercifully preserved me through all, while my comrades lie in almost every woods between this and the Rapidan. Our Brigade has been in all the hardest battles, and, I will venture to say, has fought better than any other Brigade in this Army. I do not say this because I am a Vermonter, but because it is in accordance with an impartial observance, and because it is the universal testimony of the whole Army. We have lost seventeen hundred men. God help the poor mothers, wives and sisters at home. You have probably got Gen. Grant's official reports of the casualties in any Brigade before this, so I need not speak of them. My own regiment has lost three-fifths of his members, and some of our best officers, including our Colonel and Adjutant, and our three senior Captains.
We have got a Commander now! I never saw such tenacity. If we had had him while the rebel army was in Pennsylvania, I believe he would have destroyed it, but I will venture to say that he finds an army and leader opposed to him here, rather more difficult to manage than anything he ever found in the West. Neither army has ever fought before as it has this time.
The confederates fight with a desperate fury, knowing how much depends for them on the issue of this campaign, and the Union soldiers, with a cool, heroic endurance, that more than once in the last twelve days has warmed my heart with a quick throb of national pride. The old Republic will live! The losses on both sides have been terrible. We have forced Lee back, inch by inch, to this place, some twenty miles, and are now lying close under his guns in line of battle, and the conflict may be renewed at any moment. We are on the first line. We have fought all the time in interminable forests, but we are now getting into a more open country. Lee is now strongly entrenched, but as we have forced him from a dozen lines of works, I think we can from these. The fighting is not yet over. Our losses must be yet greater. But we must not turn back now though desolation be brought to every fireside at the North. My regiment has been augmented by 140 men from Brattleboro, so that now I think we are the largest of any of the old regiments. The 11th is with us. The army, though worn with its terrible and exhausting work, is buoyant in spirit, and will fight it through the unshrinking fortitude. I cannot tell you with what regret this corps laments the death of its beloved leader, the lion-hearted Sedgwick. The country could illy spare him.
I am much obliged for the trouble you have put yourself at for me. I will give you an account of the battles, perhaps, some time.
With the highest hopes for the cause of our country
I remain yours most truly,
R. B. Crandall
Green Mountain Freeman, June 21, 1864