Captain Walter O. Crain’s Battery

No muster rolls were found on this battery, and the date and place of organization is not known. Pay vouchers show that Captain Walter O. Crain drew pay as captain of Artillery from September 1, 1861. The first mention of the battery found was in a note from Major General Leonidas Polk dated January 24, 1862, in which he stated; “I have ordered Cram’s Field Battery and Gee’s Arkansas Regiment from Memphis to the Tennessee River Bridge.”

About two weeks later, Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman’s report showed Crain’s Light Battery, three pieces, attached to Colonel Joseph Drake’s Brigade at Fort Henry on February 5, 1862. What became of it after the evacuation of Fort Henry is not known, for it was not listed as being among the troops at Fort Donelson.

The next report showed the battery in Brigadier General D. S. Ruggles’ Division, Colonel L. Pope Walker’s Brigade at Corinth, Mississippi on March 9, 1862. Colonel Preston Pond, Jr., commanding a brigade at the Battle of Shiloh, April 6-7, 1862, wrote: “I would call attention to the case of that gallant officer and soldier, Captain Walter Crain, whose battery has been taken from him. I saw him fighting gallantly in the ranks with his rifle, and in the engagement of Monday he received a severe wound. If gallantry would entitle an officer to his command, none deserve it more than Captain Crain.” From this it would appear that some time before the battle of Shiloh, Crain was deprived of his command, but nothing was found to show under what circumstances.

The records show that he resigned April 12, 1862; was commissioned as lieutenant in the Confederate States Navy, May 5, 1863; as captain June 2, 1864. Prior to his service as captain of the battery, he had been a private, and then a 2nd lieutenant in Company D”, 1st Louisiana Infantry Battalion.

This unit history was extracted from Tennesseans in the Civil War, Vol 1. Copyrighted 1964 by the Civil War Centennial Commission of Tennessee and is published here with their permission. This history may not be republished for any reason without the written permission of the copyright owner.

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