Charles A. Crump, son of Richard and Elizabeth R. Crump, was born in Powhatan County, Virginia, August 16, 1822. He was the youngest of five children. His eldest brother, Captain William G. Crump, commanded a company of Texas Rangers in the Mexican war. Another brother, James H.Crump, served as a quartermaster during the late war; and a third brother, Colonel Philip Crump, commanded an independent regiment from the vicinity of Jefferson, Texas, which did efficient service with the armies of McCulloch and Sterling Price. The latter, a brave and fearless soldier, escaped the vicissitudes and dangers of the war to die from the hardships of an unjust imprisonment to which he was subjected, upon an utterly groundless charge, by the Federal authorities, after the war.
As a child and youth, Charles Crump was of amiable and affectionate disposition; reared by a widowed mother, he was always a source of comfort to her.
When about seventeen years of age, through the influence of his friend and relative, Colonel Henry L. Hopkins, of Powhatan, he was appointed acadet in the new State Military Institute then about to be organized at Lexington. On the nth of November, 1839, the natal day of that institution, with twenty-seven companions, he matriculated. Of this little band more than one-half served our country during the war, and five laid down their lives for her.
Cadet Crump resigned before graduation, and, settling in Nottoway County, took charge of a male school located at the present site of Burkeville Junction. He continued principal of this school until 1845, when he went into mercantile business with Mr. G. A. Miller, spending a portion of his time as salesman with Brook, Bell & Co., and later with Wadsworth, Turner & Co., wholesale dry-goods merchants in Richmond.
In 1845. he was elected colonel of the Nottoway militia, and was appointed brigade-inspector of his district.
In 1859 he was elected to the Legislature from the counties of Amelia and Nottoway. While a member of the Legislature, the State Convention, sitting at Richmond, passed the ordinance of secession. Colonel Crump, though opposed to secession, was among the first (after the passage of the ordinance) to offer his services to the Governor of the State. He was sent, with Hon. John Seddon and others, to take possession of the United States Armory at Harper's Ferry. On his return to Richmond, was ordered, with Colonel Colston, to Norfolk on a similar expedition, and took possession of the United States Arsenal and Armory at this place. In May, 1861, was appointed lieutenant-colonel of volunteers, and was assigned to the 16th Virginia Infantry (Colonel Colston), and in July was commissioned full colonel, and ordered to Gloucester Point to the command of the 26th Virginia Regiment and other forces stationed at this point. He remained in command of this place until the reorganization of the army, when he was not re-elected, Colonel P. R. Page being chosen colonel of the regiment. He retained the command of the post, however, by special order of General Joseph E. Johnston, until after the evacuation of the Peninsula by the Confederate forces, when he conducted the retreat of his command—about two thousand five hundred troops and one hundred and twentyfive wagons—along the north bank of York River to the lines around Richmond.
Just at this time he was attacked with a severe fever, which compelled him to retire from his command, and was carried to his home in Nottoway. During his illness, his old regiment, the 16th Virginia, learning that he was without an office, unanimously elected him colonel of the regiment. As soon as he was able to leave his bed he hastened to this regiment, then stationed at Manassas. He reached his command on the 28th of August, 1862. Just before night, when victory was crowning our arms, after the battle of Sunday, the 3Oth, Colonel Crump was ordered to charge a battery of the enemy. Dismounting from his horse, he was addressing a few words of encouragement to his men, when he received a severe wound in his arm, which would have justified him in leaving the field; but instead, as a lion enraged by the sight of blood, he waved his sword aloft with his bloody hand and arm, and shouted, " Come on, boys, I am with you till the last!" With the words on his lips, another ball struck him, piercing his neck, and he never spoke again. His remains were interred at Hay Market, in Prince William County.
Colonel Crump was of splendid personal appearance, and his innate qualities matched the goodly form which nature in her prodigality had bestowed upon him. He was a most devoted son, a fond brother, an affectionate husband, a kind father, a true, faithful friend, a high-toned, unflinching, honorable, brave man and soldier. He left a wife and one little daughter, who soon followed her father to the grave, and an aged mother, who lived to see three of her sons die for their country, and who, having reached the "labor and sorrow" of fourscore years, has just gone to her rest.