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 Private 44th Mass. Vols. (Infantry), August 11, 1862; first Lieutenant 55th Mass. Vols., June 7, 1863; Captain, June 19, 1863; killed at Honey Hill, S. C., November 30, 1864.
William Dwight Crane was born in East Boston, Massachusetts, November 29, 1840. He was the son of Phineas Miller Crane, M. D., a native of Canton, Massachusetts, and Susan Hooker Dwight, daughter of Seth Dwight, a merchant of Utica, New York, and one of the earliest settlers of the place. His grandfather on his father's side was Elijah Crane of Canton, for several years Major-General of the militia forces of Massachusetts, and also Grand-Master of the Grand Masonic Lodge of the State. General Crane was a man of strict integrity and uncommon firmness of will. His grandson William, though he had never seen him, had conceived a great admiration for his character, and frequently expressed the wish that he might prove himself worthy of such an ancestor; a wish afterwards fulfilled in a manner little anticipated. He was admitted at an unusually early age to the Lyman Grammar School, and afterwards spent three years at the English High School in Boston. In his conduct at these schools he was exemplary, and in scholarship always successful. He became gradually so fond of study, that, although originally destined for a business life, he finally resolved to spend two years in the public Latin School, to fit himself for college. He entered the Freshman Class at Cambridge in July, 1859. Before this time he had devoted a good deal of attention to music, vocal and instrumental, occupying such leisure as he could command at home in practising on the piano-forte. In the spring of 1857 he began to play the organ of the East Boston Unitarian Society, and to give lessons in piano-forte playing. His labors as an organist and teacher he continued until the
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