Corporal John O. Farrell
Confederate corporal John O. Farrell poses for the Richmond photographer Charles R. Rees about 1862. Seventeen-year-old Farrell, a son of Irish immigrants named O'Farrell, arrived in Richmond from his hometown of Harpers Ferry on Saint Patrick's Day in 1862. He tried to enlist in the Crenshaw Battery, an artillery unit just organized in Richmond, but had to spend three days lobbying Virginia governor John Letcher and Captain Thomas Ellett of the battery before he gained admittance into the organization.
A History of Crenshaw Battery (1904), written by a former member, Private Charles P. Young, and revised by Ellett, describes the formation of the unit:
On Friday, March 14, 1862, there assembled at the wholesale warehouse of Messrs. Crenshaw & Co., on the Basin bank, between Tenth and Eleventh streets, Richmond, Va., one of the jolliest, most rollicking, fun-loving crowd of youngsters, between the ages of 16 and 25, that were ever thrown together haphazard, composed of clerks, book-keepers, salesmen, compositors, with a small sprinkling of solid business men, from Richmond, reinforced with as sturdy-looking a lot of farmer boys from the counties of Orange, Louisa, Spotsylvania and Culpeper as one generally comes across.
Crenshaw Battery became part of Pegram's Battalion, Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, and took part in forty-eight engagements and a number of skirmishes during the Civil War. Farrell served with the Crenshaw Battery for three years, until he was captured at Sailor's Creek on April 6, 1865. After the war he became a doctor.