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This biography is from HEROES OF ALBANY, by Rufus W. Clark, D. D.

Sergt. William Crounse
of Guilderland

William Crounse, fourth son of Abraham and Magdalen Crounse, was born in the town of Guilderland, Albany County, September 19, 1830. Under the supervision of an eminently pious mother, his youth was spent without anything more than the ordinary events of quiet farm life. If there was any one trait in his character most predominant, it was his respect and love for his parents.

At the age of twenty-one he became united in marriage with the daughter of Frederick Mathias of the town of New Scotland. After this, for several years, he was associated with his father in the management of the farm. In 1855 he left the farm and became united in business with his brother, in the city of Albany.

At the outbreak of the rebellion, he being a member of a militia organization, expressed his determination to enlist in the service of his country. But by the advice and solicitations of his friends, he was induced to relinquish the idea for the time.

Soon after he was offered a commission as Lieutenant in a regiiment then forming, which he declined, because he preferred to go out as a private in his own regiment, which was then making strenuous efforts to recruit up to the required number.

The One Hundred and Seventy-seventh Regiment being accepted, he was mustered into the service as a member of B Co., October 10th, 1862. He left with the regiment for New Orleans, December 16th of the same year.

Previous to his departure, his friends endeavored to persuade him to apply for a discharge on account of his health, which for some time previous had been very poor. His reply was, "my country needs every man she can get, and it is my duty to assist her all I can." But disease had marked him for a victim. On the rough passage to New Orleans he suffered greatly; still, on reaching their first camp at Bonnet Carre, La., his health was such as to enable him to attend to his duty with the regiment. While there he was promoted to the rank of Orderly Sergeant, and was detailed to duty as Assistant Provost Marshal.

His disease, which had never left him, was slowly and surely wasting away his life, and when his regiment was ordered to Port Hudson, he was obliged, though much against his desire, to remain behind on the sick list.

Although not a professor of religion, he was a constant attendant at divine service. While at home and in camp, he kept aloof from the vices and abuses to which, from a social and lively temperament, he was particularly exposed.

He died at Bonnet Carre, La., June 28th, 1863, at the age of thirty-two years and six months. He passed away quietly and peacefully, relying on the infinite mercy of his Redeemer, and expressing a firm conviction of his acceptance.

He was buried in the regimental burying ground at Bonnet Carre in December 1863; but his remains were disinterred, taken home, and deposited in the Albany Cemetery.

The following letter from Capt. E. H. Merrihew, was received by the brother of the deceased.

Bonnet Carre, La., June 29, 1863

Conrad Crounse:
Dear Sir—The painful duty of announcing to you the sad intelligence of the death of your brother William, devolves upon me. William died yesterday, Sunday, June 28, 1863, at about noon. You, no doubt, had been informed of his previous illness and of his again being convalescent. But he was again taken seriously ill on or about the twenty-first inst., and commenced sinking so very rapidly, that, towards the latter part of the week his friends here gave up all hopes of his recovery. Thus he continued until Sunday, when death put an end to his sufferings on earth. I do not know very much of the circumstances attending his sickness, as I have been away from here the last two months with the regiment. Fortunately, I called here on my way from Port Hudson to New Orleans, about the time he was last taken down, and on my way back, I arrived at camp just in time to be with him when he expired. His mental faculties were unimpaired until a few hours previous to his death.

His loss has cast a deeper gloom over the camp, than any event of the kind that I have before witnessed. We shall miss him. You will miss him, and there is one who will miss him more than us all. I have not written to her, but I wish you to break to her the sad intelligence. Tell her that everything was done for him that a good physician and careful nursing could do. But all was of no avail. It seems that his time had come, and no mortal hand could save him. It might have been diflerent, had he been at home, but we cannot tell.

He expressed a wish or thought, that he would make application for his discharge and go home. But that could not be done without taking considerable time. He has gone from us, and while we mourn his departure, our loss may be his eternal gain.

Yours truly,
Captain Company B, 177th N. Y. S. V.

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