|(Reprinted from the November 1999 53rd PVI Newsletter, with the kind permission of Larry Hollenbeck and Dan Doyle.)|
Allington Alphonso Crandall, 1830-1891
A woodsman from Potter County, Pennsylvania, Crandall enrolled for service on February 25, 1864 at Coudersport and was mustered into service at Harrisburg on March 4, 1864 as a private in Company G, 53rd Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
‘Forward!!’ ‘Double-quick!’ ‘Charge!’, the Federals struck the Confederate salient almost at the very tip of its apex in the attack by Hancock’s II Corps, Barlow’s 1st Divison, Brooke’s 4th Brigade, of the Army of the Potomac, on the “Mule Shoe” salient, in the battle of Spotsylvania (Wilderness Campaign), May 12, 1864. Pvt. Crandall suffered multiple wounds and was taken from the trench of the “bloody angle”, a prisoner, upon a determined Confederate counter-attack and transferred by rail to Andersonville (Camp Sumter), GA. Crandall spent many weeks recovering in the hospital; however, on October 9th, 1864, A.A. Crandall, Dr. A.W. Barrows, (a surgeon of Amherst, MA, member of the 27th Massachusetts Infantry) and Charles Mather Smith, of Co. E, 1st Massachusetts Cavalry, successfully made their escape from Andersonville. With Crandall’s experience as a woodsman and stealth as a deerhunter, he guided them to a chance connection with a Union gunboat and safety. Due to the results of the wounds received at Spotsylvania, he was no longer capable of service to his country and was eventually given a Disability Discharge on March 7, 1865. Crandall and Smith corresponded for years and eventually met again in person prior to Crandall’s death in 1891, including the example below from his fellow escapee.
|Charlemont, Dec. 26th, 1864
My Dear Friend Crandall,
(Source: “Descendants of John Crandall” at http://www.usgennet.org/usa/pa/county/lycoming/family_histories/crandall/alfonsoallingtoncrandall.html)