Emmet Crawford was born in Philadelphia on 6th September, 1844. During the American Civil War he joined the 71st Pennsylvania Infantry and fought in several major battles against the Confederate Army. In November 1864 he became an officer in a Black Regiment.
In May 1867 Crawford was appointed second lieutenant of the 39th Infantry and served in Texas. In 1870 he was posted to Arizona and two years later was sent north to fight the Sioux.
On 17th June 1876, General George Crook and about 1,000 troops, supported by 300 Crow and Shoshone, fought against 1,500 members of the Sioux and Cheyenne tribes at Rosebud Creek. Crawford, who was a company commander, fought in the battle lasted for over six hours.
In 1882 Crawford was appointed military commander of the San Carlos Apache Reservation. The following year Crawford accompanied Crook on the expedition into the Sierra Madre. The venture was a great success and the army brought back nearly 400 prisoners.
Promoted to provost marshal at San Carlos he successfully kept the peace. He was transferred to Texas but was recalled to Arizona deal with Geronimo.
Emmet Crawford was killed by Mexican irregulars on 18th January, 1886.
Emmet Crawford was over six feet high, with a genuine military face and a spare but athletic form. He and I formed a friendship then and there which was only terminated by his unfortunate death on Mexican soil, and by Mexican hands, several years later, while he was leading a scouting party in search of the murderous Apaches. The scout was made under what may be called a treaty, and I have always looked upon the shooting of gallant Crawford as a deliberate and cruel murder, which ought to have been promptly avenged on the dastardly perpetrators.