Perry Austin Crandall was born on April 17, 1839, in Bayham, Ontario, Canada, the son of New York natives John Crandall and Jerusha Maria Noble (b. 1814).
John and Jerusha were married on August 7, 1831. Sometime in the late 1850s Perry moved to America from Canada, eventually settling in western Michigan. By 1860 Perry was working for and/or living with the David White family in Big Prairie, Newaygo County.
Perry stood 5’6” with blue eyes, light hair and a fair complexion, and was 22 years old and still residing in Newaygo County when he enlisted at the age of 22 in Company H on May 13, 1861; his brother Lyman Crandall joined Company K. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.)
On December 15, 1861, Perry wrote from Camp Michigan, Virginia, to a soldier friend, possibly George Nellis in the 10th Michigan cavalry. “I am sorry to say that I take my pen in hand to write to you for it has been so long since I seen you and not wrote to you before. One reason is because I [do] not know where [whether] you was in Croton [Newaygo County, Michigan] or not. I thought you might be in Big Rapids [Michigan] but my brother [Lyman?] got your letter last evening and I seen it and I found out where you was. Well we have good times here only we do not have the fun with the girls like you do but I hope that I will see the time gone when we can go to the dance together once more like we have done before when you go to a spree. I want you to spree it for me and when I get back I will help you spree it too, but I am here alone without any friends to have any fun with . We can't get outside of the guard to without a pass from the colonel and the general. . . . You had better come here and see us.”
Perry was absent in the hospital from October of 1862 until he reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Nelson, Kent County. He was probably on veterans’ furlough for thirty days in January of 1864 and if so probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was transferred to Company A, 5th Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and was reported missing in action from June 22.
In fact Perry had been captured during the siege of Petersburg, Virginia, on June 22, and confined at Richmond on June 25. He was then sent to Lynchburg, Virginia, on June 29, and paroled at Charleston, South Carolina, on December 6. He reported to Camp Parole, near Annapolis, Maryland, on December 10 and was admitted to the hospital at Camp Parole (probably the general hospital at the Naval School at Annapolis).
Perry was furloughed on January 11, 1865, for 30 days, probably from the hospital, and reported to Camp Chase, Ohio on April 29, 1865. He was sent to the Provost Marshal at Columbus, Ohio on May 2 and then to Wheeling, West Virginia on May 3. He was returned to the 5th Michigan Regiment on May 19, 1865, at Washington, DC, and was mustered out of service on July 5, 1865 at Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Following the war Perry returned to Michigan and married Ohio native Mary R. Peugh (b. 1849) on January 22, 1865, in Ottawa County; they had at least two children: Amos (b. 1870) and Anna (b. 1873. (It is possible that she was related to James Pugh, who had also served in Company H and who had lived in Ottawa County just before the war.)
Mary and Perry were divorced in June of 1878 and he married New York native Salina Kile (b. 1842), on February 25, 1879, in Vienna, Genesee County; she had at least six children from a previous marriage: Francis (b. 1865), Welcome (b. 1867), Chauncey (b. 1869), Matilda (b. 1871), Rosa (b. 1873) and Mary (b. 1876) – these were noted as Perry’s stepchildren in later records.
By 1880 Perry was working as a laborer living with his wife and stepchildren in Vassar, Tuscola County, along with another laborer, Savillian Morris and his family. (That same year one Amos Crandall, age 11, was working as a servant and living with the Helms family in Deerfield, Mecosta County.)
By 1887 Perry had moved to Otisville, Genesee County, where he was living in 1888 and 1890. In September of 1904 he was living at R.R. 2, Silverwood, Michigan. By 1920 Perry was living in Watertown, Tuscola County; also living with was his stepdaughter, the widow Ellen Waldie and stepson Chauncey Lawrence. By 1930 Perry was living in Mayville, Tuscola County. (That same year there was one Amos Crandall, b. 1853 in Canada, living in Watertown, Tuscola County.)
Perry was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, and in 1877 he applied for and received a pension (no. 576,739).
Perry died of “senility” on March 1, 1933, at Mayville in Tuscola County. He was buried in Watertown cemetery, in Watertown, Tuscola County.