James Crofutt started re-enacting in 1987 during the 125th-anniversary cycle as a member of the Holmes Brigade & served with them through most of the 125th Anniversary Cycle, Shiloh is where he first saw the Elephant.
In 1989, Crofutt moved to St. Joseph and a year later joined up with a local unit portraying the 16th Illinois. He made Corporal and served as such until that company went defunct and mustered out. After that, he spent a few years doing Confederate Infantry & worked his way up to Sergeant in the old guard of the original Company C, 9th Texas out of Kansas City. Later, he went on to organize the 16th Missouri Infantry CSA and became its 2nd Lieutenant and Captain.
In late 1995, Crofutt decided to return home and go back home to a federal impression. He began recruiting a new Union Infantry Company and subsequently founded the “Consolidated Company” of the 7th and 30th Missouri Inf. (a.k.a. Missouri Irish Brigade). Crofutt started as 1st Lieutenant, the organization grew, he became its Captain and served in that capacity until 2007 when many of the units in western Missouri needed to organize and so the U.S. Muddy River Battalion was built as the local federal Infantry umbrella organization in and around Northwest Missouri & he was elected to Colonel.
Crofutt's personal interests include just about anything 19th Century history & Civil War, but he holds a special interest in Civil War era newspapers. During the summer months, Crofutt Volunteers at the Shoal Creek Living History Museum & his civilian impression is as the editor of the Town Newspaper. Most Visitors walk away with a reproduction newspaper with local news that occurred in Clay County according to the date being portrayed that particular weekend.
His majority interest of the Civil War is largely the Army of the Frontier and anything out west in and around the Missouri region & this side of the Mississippi with a special passion for collecting & reproducing original Civil War Officer Commissions & collecting pictures of the average Civil War Soldier. I collect them like “baseball cards off the internet these days” Crofutt once said. He also enjoys 19th-century trains, riverboats & even horse-drawn wagons. Also the Enrolled Missouri Militia, he had an ancestor who was in the 81st EMM (Paw Paw Battalion) which served right around northwest Missouri.
As far as the hobby goes, he really enjoys the 19th-century Infantry, its concept, its organization, formations & drill. According to Crofutt, "It's a shoulder to shoulder thing and most folks these days can't understand unless you actually served back then or you are a Re-enactor with a lot of Campaigns under your belt. The U.S. Muddy River Battalion currently is a member unit of the 1st Federal Division & Col. James Crofutt is the senior Colonel in the Division.
Colonel Crofutt currently resides in St. Joseph Missouri with his wife Diana, and his son Sage Crofutt and daughter Shiloh Crofutt.