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Crane and Creighton at Ringgold Gap

Orrin Crane

Orrin J. Crane was twenty-eight years old when he enlisted on April 19th, 1861 as a first lieutenant. Commissioned into Company A of the Seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment (a three months unit) he would enlist in the three years version of the Seventh on June 13th, 1861, as captain. He would rise to major on May 25th, 1862, and then to lieutenant colonel by March 1863. Seeing action at First Kernstown, Cedar Mountain, Antietam (where he led the Seventh), on Culp's Hill at Gettysburg, his command would be rushed to Chattanooga and take an active part in the Battle of Ringgold Gap after the siege of Chattanooga had been broken by the battles for Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. While leading the men of the Seventh towards the entrenched Confederates near the summit of Taylor's Ridge during the action at Ringgold Gap (White Oak Mountain), Crane was killed.

William Creighton

William Creighton was a twenty-three year old captain of Company A of the Seventh when he enlisted after raising his company in response to the Fort Sumter affair. He too, served in the three months version of the regiment before enlisting in the three years regiment, having risen to lieutenant colonel. He would be promoted to colonel of the Seventh on May 20th, 1862. Creighton would be severely wounded at Cedar Mountain, returning to service after Antietam. After Gettysburg, he was placed in command of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, XIIth Corps when it was moved to the west. On November 27, 1863, he was ordered to lead the brigade in an assault Taylor's Ridge near Ringgold, Georgia. The brigade struggled against the entrenched Confederate defenders, and suffered severe casualties. Colonel Creighton, rallying his old regiment, was shot through the heart, carried down from the mountain, and died six hours later. He had previously tried to retrieve the body of his friend Lieutenant Colonel Crane, commanding the Seventh Ohio Infantry, and who was shot near the top of the summit, but had been unsuccessful in the attempt.

Hal Jesperson map showing the location of the Seventh on the northern flank of the Federal attack

Both Colonel Creighton's and Lieutenant Colonel Crane's remains were brought back to Cleveland, Ohio where they lay in state at City Hall on December 7th and 8th, 1863. They were temporarily placed in the Bradburn Family Vault in the Erie Street Cemetery. Thousands of visitors lined the street for the funeral procession. In July 1864 they were buried, side by side, in Woodland Cemetery. Their friendship and service to the United States is just one of the millions of stories from the war.

Battle of Ringgold Gap by Alfred Waud

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