Friday, August 19, 2011

Medal of Honor Recipient - William Wallace Cranston

Located at Oakwood Cemetery in Parsons, KS.
This is the Cranston family plot.

William W. Cranston
Medal Of Honor
66 Ohio Inf
Nov 20, 1838 - Dec 7, 1907

Note: Born in Woodstock, Ohio; Married Jennie Elizabeth Fulton 20 Mar 1866 in Urbana, Illinois; Died in Parsons, Kansas. Son of  Christopher Cranston and Irene Ward Nott Cranston.

Cranston was a Civil War Captain that served with Company A of the 66th regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He fought in the battles at Chickamauga, Antietam, and Chancellorsville. On May 2, 1863 Sergeants Henry Heller, Thomas Thompson, William Cranston and Elisha Seaman voluntarily brought in a wounded Confederate officer from within the enemy's lines and all the while receiving a constant rain of enemy fire. The rescued officer provided important information that was key to the battle plan, and all four men were awarded Medals of Honor for their heroic and timely actions. After the war, he moved to Parsons, Kansas. Cranston was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives from the 28th District in 1888.

The following information is from

American Civil War Soldiers about Wallace Cranston
Name: Wallace Cranston
Enlistment Date: 10 Oct 1861
Enlistment Place: Urbana, Champaign Co., Ohio
Side Served: Union
State Served: Ohio
Birth Date: 20 Nov 1838
Death Date: 7 Dec 1907
Death Place: Parson, Kansas
Service Record: Promoted to Full Sergeant.
Enlisted as a Private on 10 October 1861 at the age of 22.
Enlisted in Company A, 66th Infantry Regiment Ohio on 10 Oct 1861.
Promoted to Full Sergeant Major on 12 May 1863.

U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles about Wallace Wallace Cranston
Name: Wallace Wallace Cranston
Age at enlistment: 22
Enlistment Date: 10 Oct 1861
Rank at enlistment: Private
Enlistment Place: Urbana, Champaign Co., OH
State Served: Ohio
Survived the War?: Yes
Medal of Honor: Wallace W. Cranston
Chancellorsville, VA


At Chancellorsville, four members of Company A, Sixty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Wallace W. Cranston, Henry Heller, Thomas Thompson, and Elisha B. Seaman, accomplished a deed, which won the admiration of their comrades, the gratitude of the enemy, and a Medal of Honor from the Government.

This story is told by Private Cranston as follows: "At about nine o'clock in the morning, the Twenty third North Carolina Infantry came up the plank road, and marched by platoons to within about seventy-five yards of our works. A few charges of grape and canister from a Pennsylvania battery stationed with our division on the plank road, served to stop their progress.

" In their retreat they left a Confederate soldier on the road. The poor fellow's piteous cries for help attracted the attention of the commanding general, who was passing along the lines. He asked for volunteers to go out and bring him in. 'The roads are full of rebels,' said he, 'but if you go boldly down unarmed, they will know that you are after a wounded man and will surely not be so inhuman as to fire on you who are bringing relief to one of their own men.'

" With three of my companions, I volunteered for the service. We laid off our accouterments, and, with two army blankets for stretchers, marched to where the man lay, in plain view of the enemy. We succeeded in bringing him back alive, and took him to the Chancellor House, which was then being used as a field hospital.

" After we had disposed of our wounded rebel, we rejoined our regiment, and very soon the battle opened in earnest all along the line. It continued for several hours with the greatest fury until we were driven in disorder from the field.

" The Chancellor House took fire from the rebel shells during the engagement, and burned to the ground, and I suppose this poor rebel soldier, with many of our own wounded must have perished in the flames."

Source: Deeds of Valor, p. 144
Service Record: Enlisted in Company A, Ohio 66th Infantry Regiment on 10 Oct 1861.
Promoted to Full Sergeant.
Promoted to Full Sergeant Major on 12 May 1863.
Birth Date: 20 Nov 1838
Death Date: 7 Dec 1907
Death Place: Parson, KS
Sources: Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio
Deeds of Valor. How our Soldier-heroes won the Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor Recipients 1863-1994

1850 United States Federal Census about William Cranston
Name: William Cranston
Age: 12
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1838
Birth Place: Ohio
Gender: Male
Home in 1850 (City,County,State): Oxford, Guernsey, Ohio
Family Number: 1600
Household Members: Name Age
Archibald Cranston 46
Phebe Cranston 40
Martin Cranston 20
Delilah Cranston 15
Joseph Cranston 13
William Cranston 12
Margaret Cranston 8
Catoria Cranston 6
Benjamin Cranston 3
Clarissa Cranston 0
Nancy Cranston 48

1880 United States Federal Census about William Cranston
Name: William Cranston
Home in 1880: Lime Creek, Washington, Iowa
Age: 42
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1838
Birthplace: Ohio
Relation to Head of Household: Self (Head)
Spouse's Name: Elizabeth Cranston
Father's birthplace: Rhode Island
Mother's birthplace: New York
Occupation: Farmer
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Gender: Male
Household Members: Name Age
William Cranston 42
Elizabeth Cranston 39
Eunice Cranston 18
Rebecca Cranston 16
Bell Cranston 8
James Cranston 1
Rebecca Deiser 64

Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 about William W. Cranston
Name: William W. Cranston
State Filed: Kansas
Widow: Jennie E. Cranston

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