Charles Cotilda Crews

Charles Cotilda Crews was born in 1830 in Harris County, Georgia, the son of Reuben and Elizabeth (Phillips) Crews. Brought up in Ellerslie, he studied law with his father but later switched to medicine, and in 1853 graduated from Castleton Medical College in Vermont. By 1860 he was a practicing physician in Cuthbert in Randolph County, Georgia.

On January 10, 1861, nine days before Georgia seceded, Crews was appointed ensign of a local cavalry company. That October he was commissioned second lieutenant of Georgia cavalry. Crews enlisted in the Confederate army on March 4,1862, at Cuthbert. On May 7, 1862, he was elected captain of Company C, 2nd Georgia Cavalry. The 2nd was attached to then Brigadier General Joseph Wheeler's cavalry

corps of the Army of Tennessee. In the fall of 1862 Crews was captured during a raid into Kentucky. After being exchanged he was promoted to colonel of the 2nd on November 1, 1862. The "brave and faithful" Crews fought in all the battles of the Army of Tennessee. During Wheeler's January 3,1863, attack on Dover, Tennessee, Crews was shot in the hip and severely wounded. Recovering, he led a brigade of Georgia cavalry regiments as senior colonel in the Chattanooga and east Tennessee campaigns of 1863. As early as December, 1863, his divisional commander urged that Crews be appointed brigadier general. During the Atlanta campaign Brigadier General Alfred Iverson was placed in command of the Georgia cavalry brigade; Crews reverted to regimental command. He particularly distinguished himself in the repulse of Stoneman's July, 1864, raid on Macon, Georgia, personally accepting the surrender of General Stoneman. By August Crews, "brave, intelligent, prompt, and always at his post,"' again took command of the brigade, now in Brigadier General William W. Allen's division. That month the division accompanied the bulk of Wheeler's corps on a raid against the supply lines of the Union army besieging Atlanta. The two-month raid through Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama damaged Wheeler's cavalry more than it damaged the enemy. By early October the cavalry returned to Georgia to oppose Sherman's March to the Sea. The brigade fought in numerous skirmishes during Sherman's march and in the 1865 Carolinas campaign. On March 10, 1865, Crews was severely wounded in the Battle of Monroe's Crossroads, North Carolina. Crews was paroled as colonel on May 3, 1865.

After the war Crews returned to Georgia. In 1869 he was appointed general agent of the Bainbridge, Cuthbert & Columbus Railroad, and settled in Bainbridge. The company folded in 1872, and in 1874 Crews removed to Texas, stopping in Hill, Hamilton, and Bejar counties. In 1879 Crews settled in Hillsboro, New Mexico, a mining town in the arid mountains where the climate was better for his health. There he was a physician and part-owner of one of the local mines. Crews died in Hillsboro November 21, 1887 and is buried there.

CMH, Wood, Heitman, SHSP, and CV all list Crews as a general. CMH says he was promoted brigadier general before the April 26,1865, surrender of the Army of Tennessee. However, the report of General Johnston, the army commander, dated April 24, 1865, terms him colonel, commanding brigade, as does General Wheeler's April 15 report, in which Crews is said to be "still disabled from wounds."

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Reference:  More Generals in Gray.  Bruce S. Allardice.  A companion volume to Generals in Gray.  Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge. LA.