A Civil War Biography
Craig was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania on 28 February
1818. He moved to Mansfield, Ohio in 1821 where he attended the
public schools. He studied the law and was admitted to the bar in
New Philadelphia, Ohio in 1839. He moved to St. Joseph, Missouri in
1844 and established a law practice. He served during the war with
Mexico as a captain of a volunteer company formed in Holt County,
Missouri, that guarded wagon trains moving west on the Overland
Craig was appointed Missouri state's attorney for the 12th judicial
circuit in 1852 and served until elected to the state house of
representatives in 1856. He served in the state legislature until
1857 when he was elected as a Democrat from Missouri's 4th district
to the US House of Representatives. He served in Congress from 3
March 1857 until 3 March 1861. He failed in his bid for
re-nomination for a third term. In 1860 he was a delegate to the
Democratic National Convention.
After leaving Congress he returned to his law practice in Missouri.
Having boldly declared his intention to uphold the National
authority, he was appointed a brigadier of volunteers by President
Abraham Lincoln on 21 March 1862. Craig was given command of the
troops guarding the overland mail and telegraph lines from the
Missouri River to and including Utah. Later he would be assigned to
command the District of Nebraska.
He resigned from the army on 5 May 1863 and returned to St Joseph.
After an earnest appeal from Missouri governor Willard P. Hall in
1864 to defend the state from raids by Confederate armies and the
activities of bands of "bushwhackers", Craig accepted the position
of brigadier general in the Missouri State Militia. During Sterling
Price's 1864 raid, Craig's troops ambushed and killed Bloody Bill
Anderson. The threat to Missouri subsiding as the war wound down,
Craig resigned from the militia in January 1865.
He returned to the practice of law specializing in managing the
large interests and enterprises of his clients. In 1866 President
Andrew Johnson appointed Craig the collector of internal revenue for
the St Joseph district. Craig held this position until he resigned
when Ulysses S. Grant became president. In 1880 Craig was
unsuccessful in his attempt to return to the US Congress, losing by
a single vote. He was the first president of the Hannibal & St
Joseph Railroad and the first comptroller of the city of St Joseph.
He died in St Joseph on 21 October 1888.
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