Samuel J. Crockett was born in Baltimore, MD in January, 1837. His parents Hugh and Margaret were both Irish immigrants. The family moved to Cayuga County, NY in 1842, where his father was a farmer.
Samuel was working as a school teacher near Chicago in Sterling, Whiteside County, Illinois at the beginning of the Civil War. He initially enlisted as a private in Company B, 127th Illinois Infantry on September 5, 1862. He was discharged at Camp Douglas just a month later on October 15th for undisclosed reasons. Undeterred, he was enlisted into Company A, 1st U.S. Cavalry by Captain John Feilner on November 6, 1862. His enlistment documents describe him as 5’8″ tall, with brown hair, blue eyes and a light complexion. He was twenty five years old.
The details of Samuel’s service in the 1st U.S. Cavalry are chronicled but currently unknown. He was a good soldier, progressing through the enlisted ranks to first sergeant of his company by the summer of 1863. He kept a diary of his wartime experiences that grew to three volumes by the end of the war. Gettysburg National Military Park has an excerpt of this diary for July 3, 1863, but the whereabouts of the rest of the diary is currently unknown. He was wounded at least once at some point during his service, but not seriously enough to keep him from finishing his enlistment.
Samuel Crockett returned to civilian life at the expiration of his enlistment in New Orleans, Louisiana on November 6, 1865. After a brief trip home, he attended Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University of Philadelphia, PA. Upon graduation in 1867, Dr. Crockett returned home to nearby Oswego County to practice medicine in the town of Sandy Creek. His invalid pension was approved by the War Department on September 8, 1870. Samuel maintained an interest in the Civil War, contributing an account of the fighting on South Cavalry Field at the battle of Gettysburg to John J. Bachelder.
Samuel married Frances C. Doolittle of Oswego County in 1872. They purchased a home in Sandy Creek shortly before the birth of their son, Robert L. Crockett, in February 1876. Samuel practiced medicine and lived there for the rest of his life. Samuel was the treasurer of the Oswego City Medical Society in the early 1870s. Robert became a doctor as well, eventually starting his own practice in nearby Oneida County.
Dr. Samuel Crockett died on April 3, 1906. Frances moved to Oneida and lived with Robert after Samuel’s death. She filed a widow’s pension and survived him by twenty years. They are buried together in Woodlawn Cemetery, Sandy Creek, Oswego County, New York.