John Jordan Crittenden (1854 - 1876)

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Death: Died in Big Horn, Montana Territory
Cause of death: Killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About John Jordan Crittenden

John Jordan Crittenden (June 7, 1854 – June 25, 1876) was an officer in the United States Army and a member of the Crittenden family, who were prominent in political and military circles throughout the 19th century. He was killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn in the Montana Territory while on temporary assignment in the 7th U.S. Cavalry under Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer.

John Crittenden was the son of American Civil War general Thomas Leonidas Crittenden and his wife, Catherine Todd. He was a grandson and namesake of former Kentucky U.S. Senator John J. Crittenden and the great-grandson of Virginia politician John Crittenden, Sr. He was also descended from Hancock Lee, son of Richard Lee the Immigrant.

Young Crittenden received an appointment to the United States Military Academy in 1873, but failed to graduate, leaving school in 1875. He petitioned President Ulysses S. Grant for a commission and in the autumn of that year was assigned as a second lieutenant in the 20th U.S. Infantry.

Before the Little Big Horn campaign the following year, Crittenden was temporarily assigned to Company L of the 7th Cavalry, serving under Captain James Calhoun. Shortly after his 22nd birthday, he was killed during the Battle of Little Big Horn. His body was identified by a prosthetic glass eye from an earlier injury when a shotgun accidentally discharged in his face. At the specific request of his family, Crittenden was initially buried with his men on what became known as "Calhoun Hill", but his body was exhumed in 1931 and reinterred in the Custer National Cemetery near Crow Agency, Montana.

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Lt. John J. Crittenden, 7th US Cavalry's Timeline

1854
June 7, 1854
1876
June 25, 1876
Age 22
Big Horn, Montana Territory