Pvt Robert G Carter

23 January 2019

A 16 year old farm boy, Robert Goldthwaite Carter gave his age as 18 when he enlisted as Private, Company H, 22nd Massachusetts Infantry on 5 August 1862. In September he was Antietam. Afterward, on the battlefield, he observed

The enemy had now, it was soon discovered, left our front … Upon visiting Sherrick’s house this morning, we found it quite a sumptuous affair. It had been hastily evacuated, as it was between the lines. The foragers ahead of us had pulled out what edibles it contained, and among them a splendid assortment of jellies, preserves, etc., the pride of every Maryland woman’s heart, but now scattered all about. The orchard was filled with the choicest fruit. What a feast! Our stomachs just beginning to become accustomed to “salt horse” and “hard tack,” earnestly opened and yearned for this line of good things.

No crowd of schoolboys, Let loose from the confinement of a recitation room, ever acted so absurdly, as did these rough, bronzed soldiers and recruit allies, on that death-strewn ground about Sherrick’s yard and orchard …

After the war he was admitted to the US Military Academy at West Point and he graduated 38th in the Class of 1870. He was awarded the Medal of Honor (in 1900) for action against Commanches on 10 October 1871 on the Brazos River, TX and retired for disability in 1876. He was promoted to Captain on the retired list in 1904.

This photograph of him was taken on Broadway in New York City on 16 August 1862, and is from his book Four Brothers in Blue, or Sunshine and Shadows of the War of the Rebellion: A Story of the Great Civil War From Bull Run to Appomattox (1913).

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