02 July 2016

Thomas P. Crosell (1840-1862)

I have a soft spot for family members who die at war before their lives have really started. This is the story of Thomas P. Croswell.

I have been picking at some end of line ancestors for the last few weeks. I was working my wife's fourth great-grandfather's Elijah Croswell. I have not fully fleshed out this line and there is some conflicting data so I started to work on his children to see if their information could add more clarification about Elijah. This is when I came across Thomas P. Croswell. Elijah's youngest son.

I had record of Thomas living in his father's household, in Pike County, Alabama, in the 1850 and 1860 U.S. Census records. I figures that he would have been married and I should be able to find him and maybe his wife and children in the 1870 Census.  As I looked I could not find any records. The time frame and age of Thomas lead me to believe that I might also find him in Civil War records.

Ancestry has a collection called Alabama, Civil War Soldiers, 1860-1865. In this database I found records for Thomas. Included in the information was a Cause of Death.

Apparently the Alabama 15th served with Robert E. Lee and were stationed with him in Richmond, Virginia in the Spring of 1862. On May 22, while waiting for the next movement, Thomas "Died of wound received from citizen while stealing Bee Gum."

The Alabama 15th had many casualties up to this point because of illness. But in the leading months they would play a pivotal role at Gettysburg. It is hard to speculate if he would have made it through the war but it is easy to morn the loss of someone so young for something so petty when the threat of death in much more serious ways was much more of a reality.