Sgt James Crownover

Sgt James Crownover

Birth
Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 18 Jul 1903 (aged 68–69)
Braddock, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Braddock Hills, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Section 3, Lot 65, Grave 1
Memorial ID 134767181 · View Source
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Born in Pennsylvania in July 1834, James Crownover was a son of Peter Crownover (1813-1869), a native of the Blacklog Valley in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, and his first wife, Eleanor (Carmon) Crownover (1818-1848), a daughter of James Livingston Carmon and Martha (Johnston) Crownover.

His mother passed away in May 1848 when James was just 14 years old, followed by James' brother, Lloyd, who died just over a month later and was laid to rest at the same cemetery where the Crownover family matriarch had been interred.

In addition to brother Lloyd, James Crownover's other Pennsylvania-born siblings were: Martha Crownover, who was born sometime around 1841, later took the married surname of "Hamerick", and resided as a widow in 1880 in Rochelle, Ogle County, Illinois; Franklin Livingston Crownover (1842-1905), who served during the Civil War with Company H, 119th Illinois Infantry (1862-1865), wed Mary Darr (c. 1851-1920) sometime around 1871, relocated to Nebraska where he became a farmer, and passed away there in Benedict, York County on 8 April 1905; and Marietta Crownover (1845-1918), who also relocated to York County, Nebraska, where she passed away on 22 December 1918.

Sometime following the death of James Crownover's mother, Crownover family patriarch Peter remarried, taking as his bride, Mary Catherine Frankenberry (1828-1874), a native of Maryland and daughter of Samuel and Prussia (McDade) Frankenberry. Additional Crownover children (James' half-siblings) soon followed. Those born in Pennsylvania included: Laura, who was born sometime around 1854, later wed Samuel Work, and raised a family with him in Rushville, Schuyler County, Illinois; Anne Grace, who was born 31 January 1853 and later wed Lee Martin; Amanda and Rebecca, who were respectively born sometime around 1854 and 1855. Son Elmer (1859-1938) is believed by Crownover family genealogists to have arrived after Peter Crownover had relocated his second wife and part of the Crownover brood to Missouri although another daughter Ida was reported to have been born in Pennsylvania sometime around 1862. Butler Benjamin and Lillian (1865-1937) were then born in McDonough County, Illinois, respectively, in 1865 and 1869.

CIVIL WAR

By the dawn of America’s Civil War, James Crownover had grown up to become a 23-year-old teamster and resident of Blain in Perry County, Pennsylvania. He enrolled for military service at Bloomfield in Perry County, Pennsylvania on 20 August 1861, and then officially mustered in on 31 August 1861 at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, Dauphin County as a Private with Company D, 47th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Physical Description: 5'8" tall with dark eyes. (Note: While his Pennsylvania Veteran's Burial Index Card notes his service company as "C," the rosters of Samuel P. Bates in his "History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5" confirm the company was "D." Additionally, although another source indicates enrollment and muster dates occurring in September 1861, muster rolls for the 47th Pennsylvania confirm enrollment and muster-in dates in August 1861.)

Veteran Volunteer. Re-upped for a second three-year term of service while stationed with his regiment in Florida in 1863. Re-enlisted at Fort Taylor in Key West, Florida on 10 October 1863; promoted to the rank of Sergeant the same day.

Honors and Other Service Distinctions: Promoted to the rank of Corporal 16 August 1862. Wounded in the chest during the Battle of Pocotaligo, South Carolina 22 October 1862; recovered and returned to active duty. Promoted to the rank of Sergeant 10 October 1863 at Fort Taylor, Key West, Florida. Shot in the right shoulder during the Battle of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana 9 April 1864; captured that day by Confederate forces, and held near Tyler, Texas as a prisoner of war (POW) at Camp Ford, the largest CSA prison west of the Mississippi River; released during prisoner exchange 22 November 1864. While held as a POW, he was commissioned, but not mustered as a 2nd Lieutenant 31 August 1864. He was then officially promoted from the rank of Sergeant to 1st Sergeant 5 July 1865, and mustered out honorably with his regiment on Christmas Day 1865 at Charleston, South Carolina.

Note: While one source states that James Crownover embarked on a 60-day furlough from a Union parole camp at Lake Ponchartrain near New Orleans, Louisiana after having been released via parole on 16 June 1864 at Red River Landing, multiple other sources – including Union Army muster rolls and Camp Ford prison records – confirm that he was advanced in rank (but not mustered at that rank) while being held as a POW at Camp Ford, and that he was then released during the Union-Confederate POW exchange on 25 November 1864.

This procedure of promoting men while they were held in captivity as POWs was a common practice for the 47th Pennsylvania. It was done both to protect the incarcerated 47th Pennsylvanians since officers were generally treated somewhat better at CSA prison camps than Union enlisted men, but also because of historical precedent. The Dix-Hill Cartel of 1862 enabled both sides to free larger numbers of soldiers when exchanging enlisted men for officers. In the case of 2nd lieutenants like James Crownover, the CSA would receive four privates in return when his prisoner exchange occurred (versus the two privates the CSA would have received had he remained a sergeant). As a result, the newly commissioned Crownover was more likely to receive better treatment from guards and prison medical personnel that would keep him healthy and alive until his prisoner exchange could occur. That thinking by leaders of the 47th Pennsylvania proved to be correct since Crownover survived the rigors of Camp Ford (unlike three other 47th Pennsylvanians); he ultimately returned to active duty following his November 1864 parole and subsequent furlough which enabled him to receive medical treatment and regain his physical and mental strength following the ordeal.

Major Engagements of the 47th Pennsylvania During His Term of Service: Defense of the nation's capital (Fall 1861) and Grand Review and Divisional Reviews, Bailey’s Cross Roads, etc., Virginia (11 and 22 October and 21 November 1861); defense of Florida and occupation of Beaufort, South Carolina (February-September 1862); capture of Saint John's Bluff, Florida (1-3 October 1862); Battle of Pocotaligo, South Carolina (October 1862, wounded in the chest, survived, returned to duty); defense of Florida via garrisoning at Forts Taylor and Jefferson (1863); Union General Nathaniel Banks' Red River Campaign across Louisiana (March-May 1864), including the Battles of Sabine Crossroads and Pleasant Hill (shot in the right shoulder and captured by Confederate forces 9 April 1864); defense of the nation's capital following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln (spring 1865); Grand Review of the Armies (May 1865; Provost and Reconstruction-related duties in Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina (late May-25 December 1865).

LIFE AFTER THE WAR

After returning home, James Crownover obtained civilian employment and, in 1868, wed Perry County native, Malissa Frances Harman (1847-1917), daughter of John Harmon, a native of Germany, and Mary Vanhorne, a native of England. (An alternate spelling of her maiden surname was “Harman.”)

From 1870 to 1877, he was employed at the large tannery in Henry’s Valley, located roughly ten miles south of Blain, and living with Malissa in Jackson Township, Perry County, Pennsylvania, along with their three-year-old daughter, Ella (1868-1938), who had been born in May 1868 (and was shown on other federal census records as Frances E. or Ellen).

In October 1870, son Franklin was born, followed by daughter Anna (“Annie”) in March 1873, and son James Oscar in August 1875.

On 27 March 1877, "The New Bloomfield Times" reported that James Crownover had been appointed to serve on the Grand Jury for Jackson Township for the April term. On 26 February 1878, the same newspaper reported that he had been elected to the post of Constable in Blain Borough, Perry County, Pennsylvania.

By 1880, the Crownovers had relocated to East Huntingdon Township in Westmoreland County where James, the elder, supported his larger family through employment as a teamster.

By the turn of the century, the family had relocated yet again, this time to Ward 3 of Braddock in Allegheny County. Ella, Frank and James (now shown on the census as “Oscar”) all still resided at home, as did daughter, Anna (Crownover) Eberhart, and her son, Laird Eberhart. (Annie, who was living at her parents’ home without her husband, had married an Ohio native sometime in the early months of 1894. Their son, Laird, had been born in December of that same year.) In addition, Malissa’s widowed mother, Mary Harman, also lived with the Crownover clan in 1880.

By 1900, James Crownover had landed a job as a laborer at a local mill, while his children Ella, Frank and Oscar were employed, respectively, as a saleswoman, bridge builder and carbon setter.

Just three years later, James Crownover was gone. Having answered his final bugle call in Allegheny County on 18 July 1903, he was then honored at well-attended funeral services before being laid to rest in Section C, Lot 65, Grave 1 of the Monongahela Cemetery in Braddock Hills, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

His son, Oscar, passed away at the Crownover family home in Braddock, Pennsylvania just over a year later, succumbing to complications from valvular heart disease on 25 July 1904. He was just 27 years old, and had suffered from the condition for two years, having developed it performing stressful and dangerous work as a structural steel engineer. Like his father before him, he was laid to rest at the Monongahela Cemetery in Braddock Hills.

Crownover family patriarch, Malissa (Harmon) Crownover, survived nearly another decade and a half without Ella's father and brother, passing away from chronic interstitial nephritis at home at 543 Corey Avenue in Braddock at 9 a.m. on 14 August 1917, where she was living with Ella.

And daughter Ella, having made her home at the Ladies G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) House in later life, succumbed to pneumonia there on 17 July 1938. Her funeral was handled by the W. L. Dowler Funeral Home of Braddock, and she too was then interred in the Monongahela Cemetery.



Sources:

1. Bates, Samuel P. "History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5"; Harrisburg: State Printer’s Office, 1869.

2. Crownover, James, in "Applications for Headstones for U.S. Military Veterans," in "Records of the Office of the U.S. Quartermaster General" (Record Group Number 92). Washington, D.C.: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

3. Crownover, James, in Camp Ford Prison Records. Tyler, Texas: The Smith County Historical Society, 1864.

4. Crownover, James, in Civil War Veterans’ Card File, 1861-1865. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania State Archives.

5. Crownover, James, in Pennsylvania Veterans’ Burial Index Card File. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

6. Death Certificates (Ella Crownover and Malissa Crownover), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Vital Statistics

7. Ellis, Franklin and Austin N. Hungerford, ed. "History of That Part of the Susquehanna and Juniata Valleys, Embraced in the Counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union and Snyder, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Vol. I." Philadelphia: Everts, Peck & Richards, 1886.

8. Hain, Harry Harrison. "History of Perry County, Pennsylvania. Including Descriptions of Indians and Pioneer Life from the Time of Earliest Settlement." Harrisburg: Hain-Moore Company, 1922.

9. Lloyd Crownover, in "Our Family History: Descendants of Wolphert Gerretse Van Kouwenhoven." Rootsweb: Ancestry.com, November 2011.

10. Oscar Crownover (obituary). Pittsburgh: "The Pittsburgh Press," 26 July 1904.

11. Schmidt, Lewis. "A Civil War History of the 47th Regiment of Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers." Allentown: Self-published, 1986.

12. "The Exchange of Prisoners.; The Cartel Agreed Upon by Gen. Dix for the United States, and Gen. Hill for the Rebels. Supplementary Articles." New York: "The New York Times," 6 October 1862.

13. "The New Bloomfield Times" (Perry County, Pennsylvania), in "Historic Newspapers Collection." U.S. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C.: 1840-1922.

14. U.S. Census. Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania: 1870, 1880, 1900.


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  • Created by: lesnyder1
  • Added: 23 Aug 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 134767181
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt James Crownover (Jul 1834–18 Jul 1903), Find A Grave Memorial no. 134767181, citing Monongahela Cemetery, Braddock Hills, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by lesnyder1 (contributor 47451559) .