William Ayers Crawford letters, 1858-1866
Col. William Ayers Crawford
Photograph shows the overloaded steamboat Sultana on the Mississippi River the day before her boilers exploded and she sank on April 27th.
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
- Arkansas History Commission
- Confederate Army officer; of Benton, Ark.; 1861, enlisted with rank of lieutenant in Company E 1st Arkansas Cavalry Regiment; in 1863 promoted to Colonel; before the Civil War he was sheriff, Saline County, Ark., Arkansas state legislator, and served in the Mexican War.
- Chiefly Civil War letters from Crawford to his wife, Sarah Helen Henslee Crawford (d. 1890); together with letters (1858-1866) from friends and family to Crawford. Topics include Crawford's service with the 1st Arkansas Infantry Regiment and army life.
- Crawford writes to his wife from Camp on Trinity River, Navarro County, Texas, on May 26, 1865:
- "… It appears that our cause for which we have so ably defended, and for which so many of our noblest & best spirits have lain down their lives, is lost and that we are over powered, our Armies surendered, and disbanded. We are here awaiting to see what is to be the result with this Department. The Texas Cavalry in this state have been disbanded, the Infantry is yet held together. A greate [sic] many of our cavalry has deserted, & I am awaiting orders to Know what to do with the men yet with me. I think they will be disbanded in a few days. The Missouri Cavalry I understand is going to Mexico to join in, in the war now going on there. I do not Know what to say to you about coming home,
we have not & I presume will not be surendered. [sic] If we had have been, I would have went home, but under existing circumstances I cannot do [so] until I see what policy the Federals will pursue toward those who go home. If [we] do not go home soon, you will hear from me again. I will
make some arrangements for you and the children."
(See the NUCMC catalog record)