Col. Ichabod Crane, USMC

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Ichabod Bennet Crane, (USMC)

Birthplace: Elizabethtown, Union, New Jersey, United States
Death: Died in Richmond County, New York, United States
Place of Burial: Staten Island, New York, Richmond County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Brig. General William Crane, USA and Abigail Crane
Husband of Charlotte Crane
Father of Gen. Charles H. Crane (USA), 13th Surgeon General of the US Army
Brother of Commodore William M. Crane, USN; Joseph Halsey Crane, US Congress; Mariah Crane; Phebe Crane and Joanna Crane

Occupation: US Marine Corps, US Army, War of 1812
Managed by: Private User
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About Col. Ichabod Crane, USMC

Ichabod Bennet Crane (July 18, 1787 – October 1857) was a military officer and probable namesake of the protagonist in Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Personal life

Crane was born in Elizabethtown (now Elizabeth), New Jersey. He was the son of Gen. William Crane. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1809 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant, assigned to the USS United States, a 44-gun frigate commanded by Stephen Decatur. He served aboard the United States for two years. Crane resigned from the Marines in April 1812, to accept a commission in the United States Army as a captain in command of Company B, 3rd Artillery; the unit designation would later be Battery B, 1st Artillery (today's 2nd Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery).

During the War of 1812, Crane served on the Niagara Frontier. He was assigned command of an artillery battery at Fort Pike, which he helped construct, in Sackets Harbor, New York, and was involved with the capture on April 27, 1813, of Fort York, and at the end of May 1813 the capture of Fort George in Canada. While Crane and the Americans were capturing Fort George a joint British-Canadian force attacked the American positions at Sacket's Harbor in the Second Battle of Sacket's Harbor.

Crane continued to serve in the Northern Department after the war. In 1820 his unit was transferred to coastal defense at Fort Woolcott, at Newport, Rhode Island and he was placed in command of the fort. While stationed here his son Charles was born.

In 1825 he was brevetted to major in the 4th Artillery and was transferred to Fort Monroe, Virginia. In 1832 Crane led five companies of troops from Fort Monroe in the Black Hawk War. He received a promotion to lieutenant colonel in the 2nd Artillery in November 1832, and was transferred to the Buffalo Barracks in Buffalo, New York. He commanded the 2nd Artillery unit in the Second Seminole War (1835–1842)and acted as Commander of the U.S. Army District of Northeast Florida, serving under Col. Zachary Taylor who commanded the 1st Infantry Regiment. Ft. Crane south of Rochelle in Aluchua county was named after Crane, the fort was built in January 1837 and was commanded by Lt. John H. Winder. After service in Florida Crane and his unit were transferred back to the Buffalo Barracks.

During the “Patriot War” in 1838, an insurrection against British rule in Canada he was tasked with the responsibility of preventing U.S. involvement by preventing the smuggling of arms across the border. In mid-1843 he received his final promotion to colonel and was given command of the 1st Artillery.

Two companies of the 1st Artillery, Co. L and Co. M where assigned to Fort Umpqua in southwest Oregon. During a visit there Crane employed a young Umpqua Indian named Juan as a personal valet. Juan died on December 27, 1856, in Staten Island, and is buried with Crane and his wife Charlotte.

Crane was stationed in Washington D.C. in 1851 was and given an additional assignment as acting governor of the Military Asylum at Washington (later the Soldier’s Home), a position he held until November 1853. He also served a post commander of Governors Island, an island in New York Harbor approximately one-half mile south of lower Manhattan.

Crane and his wife Charlotte (May 25, 1798 – September 25, 1878) had a house built in the New Springville section of Staten Island, New York in 1853, while he was still on active duty. The house was located on Victory Blvd; it was demolished in the 1990s. The owner had offered it to Historic Richmond Town, on the condition they move it off its former site; it never transpired due to a lack of funding.

Crane died in October 1857 while still on active duty, and is buried in Asbury Methodist Cemetery, in New Springville, not far from his former home. His grave marker bears the inscription:

He served his country for 48 years and was much beloved and respected by all who knew him.


Stephen Crane (1709 – July 1, 1780); grandfather, a delegate to the First Continental Congress. Bayoneted by British troops passing through Elizabethtown on their way to Springfield on June 23, 1780, died of his wounds on July 1, 1780.

Gen. William Crane, father; born 1748 in Elizabethtown, served as major of an Essex County, New Jersey regiment. Fought with Richard Montgomery in the Battle of Quebec, received a leg wound that required amputation years later. Promoted to brigadier general in the New Jersey militia after the war.

Abigail (Miller) Crane; mother

Charlotte; wife (May 25, 1798 - September 25, 1878)

William Montgomery Crane (February 1, 1776 - March 18, 1846) brother, naval officer, fought in War of 1812, born in Elizabethtown died in Washington. Middle name in honor of Richard Montgomery.

Joseph Halsey Crane, brother; Ohio congressman.

Mariah Crane, sister

Joanna Crane (died about 1818),sister;married John Magie.

Phoebe Crane,sister

Charles Henry Crane (19 July 1825 - October 10, 1883) son; Would rise through the ranks to become a Brigadier General and Surgeon General of the United States (1882–1883). One of the attending physicians of Abraham Lincoln after he was shot.

Mrs. John M. Brannan, daughter, disappeared on July 20, 1858 after taking a ferry from Staten Island to Manhattan. Her husband General Brannan was in command of the Department of Key West in Florida assigned to Fort Zachary Taylor. She had been living at the fort with her husband but went to Staten Island to stay with her mother due to illness.

Sleepy Hollow

The character of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is named Ichabod Crane. While Washington Irving did not expressly admit that the character is named after Colonel Crane, the two men had met in 1814 at Fort Pike located on Lake Ontario in Sackets Harbor, New York. Irving was an aide-de-camp to New York Gov. Daniel D. Tompkins, who was inspecting defenses in the Sackets Harbor area on Lake Ontario. Cranes' somewhat unusual and memorable first name Ichabod comes from the biblical name of the grandson of Eli the High Priest and son of Phinehas.

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Col. Ichabod Crane, USMC's Timeline

July 18, 1787
Elizabethtown, Union, New Jersey, United States
July 19, 1826
Age 39
Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island, United States
October 5, 1857
Age 70
Richmond County, New York, United States
New York, Richmond County, New York, United States