He led a group of 16 and 17 year olds called Chrisman's Boy Company during the latter part of the Civil War. He had enlisted in 1861 after raising a company that became part of the 10th Virginia Infantry. When he was not re-elected Captain, he enlisted as a private in a horse artillery battery in which he served eighteen months. In 1864 the reserves were needed and Chrisman was put in charge of the boy company. Most of them rode white steeds, so they were also known as the White Horse Cavalry. In 1898, Major Chrisman became a founding member of the Rockingham County Historical Society.