On board the U.S.S. Wyalusing, Crawford volunteered 25 May 1864, in a night attempt to destroy the rebel ram Albemarle in the Roanoke River. Taking part in a plan to explode the rebel ram Albemarle, Crawford executed his part in the plan with perfection, but upon being discovered, was forced to abandon the plan and retire leaving no trace of the evidence. After spending two hazardous days and nights without food, he gained the safety of a friendly ship and was then transferred back to the Wyalusing. Though the plan failed his skill and courage in preventing detection were an example of unfailing devotion to duty.