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Caspar Crowninshield facts for kids

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Caspar Crowninshield
Caspar Crowninshield.jpg
Born October 23, 1837
Boston, Massachusetts
Died January 10, 1897 (age 59)
Boston, Massachusetts
Christ Church
(Sears Memorial Chapel)
Brookline, Massachusetts
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1861 – 1865
Rank Union Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel
Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brevet Brigadier General
Unit 20th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment
Commands held
  • 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment
  • Reserve Bde, 1st Div, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Shenandoah
  • 1st Div, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Shenandoah
Battles/wars American Civil War

Caspar Crowninshield (October 23, 1837 – January 10, 1897) was a volunteer officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Early life and education

Caspar Crowninshield was born into one of Boston's elite families. The Crowninshields were known for their wealth and success in shipbuilding and maritime trade. Members of the family also held significant political positions. Caspar's grandfather, Benjamin Crowninshield had served as Secretary of the Navy under Presidents James Madison and James Monroe.

Crowninshield entered Harvard College in 1856. His roommate was Robert Gould Shaw who would go on to be the colonel of the famed 54th Massachusetts Infantry—the first African-American infantry regiment. After graduating in 1860, Crowninshield spent a short time employed in the family mercantile business. The start of the Civil War interrupted his business career as Crowninshield sought out an officer's commission.

Civil War service

Crowninshield started the war as a private in the 4th Battalion of Massachusetts Militia. He became captain of the 20th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry on August 18, 1861. He transferred to the 1st Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry as a captain on November 28, 1861. He was promoted to major of the 2nd Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry on January 31, 1863 and became lieutenant colonel on March 18, 1864. He was promoted to colonel of the regiment on November 18, 1864. He was intermittently commander of the Reserve Brigade of Division 1 of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Shenandoah between October 19, 1864 and February 10, 1865 when Colonel, and in December, Brigadier General, Alfred Gibbs was in command of Brigade 2 or for brief periods, in command of the division. Crowninshield temporarily commanded the division for five days at the end of January 1865. Crowninshield was mustered out of the volunteers on June 16, 1865. On February 21, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Crowninshield for the award of the honorary grade of brevet brigadier general to rank from March 13, 1865. The United States Senate confirmed the award on April 10, 1866.

Post-war life

Crowninshield was described as a "gentleman of leisure" after the war. He died on January 10, 1897 at Boston, Massachusetts. He was buried in Christ Church (Sears Memorial Chapel) Brookline, Massachusetts.

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