Jim and Kirby,
Thanks very much for more information.
There are two older sources for the death of "General Crabtree:"
One is the 1971 "Judge Jenkins' History of Miller County," pub. probably in Tuscumbia by the judge himself in 1971. His information is much the same as the 1981 "Missouri Life" article by Antweiler, but I tend to accept Antweiler's version of the details more than the judge's. This is based on other of his accounts of the CW in that area which stray a bit from the facts as corroborated by other sources.
The oldest source is a newspaper article in the weekly "the Central City and Brunswicker" of Brunswick in south Chariton County published 16 October 1862. This article states that northern troops killed "Captain Crabtree" some time prior to the issue of this newspaper, but gives no details of Crabtree's death. The article also said that with some of his men he earlier brought mail to southerners of Chariton County from their men away in the southern army. Sadly, I failed to obtain the headline of this article. If somebody can obtain it for us, I would appreciate it very much. This is all the details the "Brunswicker" has on Crabtree, though. The brief mention of Crabtree was in an article giving other happenings in the region around Brunswick.