91st PA: Richard T McCarter

Richard T McCarter

Before the war

He was born on 23 January 1847, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [sources: date: 14; 4 (19 in 1864), 9 (64 (?) in 1910), 10 (33 in 1880). place: 4, 9, 10]

He also served in the 20th Pennsylvania Regiment. He enlisted in May 1863, and served in York, Greencastle, and elsewhere. He was discharged in July 1863. [source: 14]

Two of his brothers served in the war, in the 71st Pennsylvania Infantry and in the 213th Pennsylvania Infantry. (Footnote's index to the Pension index by regiment cards does not have a McCarter in the 71st or 213th Pennsylvania--the only McCarter's who served in Pennsylvania regiments are in the 3rd and 7th Pennsylvania Cavalary and in the 124th Pennsylvania Infantry. But the 1890 US census, veterans schedules, have a Warren McCarter who served in company D of the 71st Pennsylvania (as well as D 69th, and F 95th); he was living at 621 N 13th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [see s.d. 1, e.d. 248, image 1450 of 2610 on Ancestry].) [source: 14]

When he enlisted in the 91st, he was a clerk. [source: 4]

Description

When he enlisted, he was 5 feet 7 inches tall, and had a light complexion, brown eyes, and dark hair. [source: 4]

During the war

He enlisted and was mustered into service on 3 February 1864. He was enlisted for three years, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Lieutenant Shipley. He was a private in company D. [sources: 1, 4, 8, 17]

He swore that he was "over 18", rendering this technically true by placying the number '18' in his shoe, so that he was standing over the number. He was sent to Chester, Pennsylvania, and then to Warrenton Junction, Virginia, and went through months of drill. [source: 14]

While in Virginia, he and another man killed and ate a sheep. They were punished by being required to carry an eight-foot-long and eight-inch-thick log around camp for twenty-four hours. Apparently, men from other regiments, as well as the 91st, enjoyed the spectacle. [source: 14]

He was wounded on 8 May 1864 at Laurel Hill, Virginia. He was hit by a rifle ball as he was removing a cartridge from his cartridge box. The ball entered under his left shoulder, went through his right lung, and exited through his right arm. Lieutenant Shipley (B) had two men (Baker and Snyder--allegedly from company B) carry him about a thousand feet back from the front. The Provost Marshal, Lieutenant Brass (A), assigned him to the first available stretcher. While he was being carried away, another officer gave him alcohol, called "commissary", because of his condition. [sources: 1, 7, 14]

He was eventually transported to Washington, where he ended up in the Armory Square Hospital, arriving on 14 May 1864. (Apparently, he even had a choice to which hospital he went!) On the next day, President Lincoln visited the hospital, and spoke with McCarter. McCarter had refused to identify himself, thinking he would see his family soon, surprising them. However, the physician told Lincoln McCarter would die soon, and Lincoln had someone get the information from McCarter, and contact his father, who arrived the next morning. His father requested permission to take McCarter home, which the physician initially refused, believing that the trip would kill him. But his father eventually contacted Lincoln, who gave McCarter a 30-day furlough, and had McCarter released. He survived the trip (with the help of whiskey!), and was able to return to Washington at the end of the furlough--claiming that cold water had saved him (but only applied externally!). (It seems more likely that running a silver probe through the wound helped, since silver has antibacterial properties.) [source: 14]

In Washington, he received the back pay owed to him, after convincing the paymaster to cancel charges against his account, apparently made by the Orderly Sergeant who had punished him for stealing the sheep. He was sent to Philadelphia, but assigned to a hospital he did not like, and went home instead. He convinced someone to send him to McClellan Hospital, at Nicetown, where he remained until the end of the war. [source: 14]

He was discharged by general order 94 (War Department) on 19 May 1865, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The regiment received his muster-out roll on 25 May 1865. He was a private, in company D. [sources: 1, 2 (also has 2 June), 3, 6, 8, 14 (19 April 1865), 17]

After the war

On 9 October 1865, he and others published an ad in the Philadelphia Inquirer supporting Jacob E Ridgway for State Senator in the second district. [source: 13]

On 1 March 1875, he successfully applied for a pension. [source: 8, 15]

In 1879/80, he married Elizabeth B [unknown family name]. [sources: 9 (2 children both alive in 1910), 11 (married 18 years in 1900; 2 children both alive in 1900)]

In 1880, he was living on Oak Lane, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (He was a boarder, with Jennie Pecat [?].) He was living with his wife Lizzie and son Alvin P. He was a clerk. [source: 10]

In 1900, he was living in Radnor Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He was living with his wife Elizabeth, children Alvin and Lucie, and a servant. He was a president. [source: 11]

In 1910, he was living on Strafford Road, Radnor Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He was living with his wife Elizabeth, children Alvin and Lucy, and three others. He was president of a trust company. [source: 9]

In 1920, he was living on Stratford Avenue, Radnor Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He was living with his wife Elizabeth, daughter Lucy, and two others. He was not working. [source: 12]

He died on 10 October 1926, at Stratford, Pennsylvania. He was buried in the Old St David's (Radnor) Church Cemetery, in Wayne, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. [sources: 5, 8, 16]

On 29 October 1926, his widow, Elizabeth M McCarter, successfully applied from Pennsylvania for a pension. [sources: 8, 15]

Sources

1 Bates, Samuel Penniman. History of Pennsylvania volunteers, 1861-5. Harrisburg: B. Singerly, state printer, 1869-71. 5 volumes. 'Ninety-first regiment', volume 3, pages 186-233. (In the roster) (Richard T McCarter)

2 company D, register of men discharged (Richard McCarter)

3 company D, register of men discharged ("reorganization" page) (Richard T McCarter)

4 company D, second descriptive roll, entry 48 (Richard McCartey [sic])

5 Civil war veterans buried at St. David's (Radnor) Church; Delaware Co., Pa (searched 27 December 2005) (Richard McCarter)

6 consolidated morning report, 91st Pennsylvania, 29 May 1865 (Richd McCarter)

7 'The Ninety-first Pennsylvania volunteers', Philadelphia Inquirer 8 June 1864 page 3 (Richard McCarter)

8 pension index, by regiment, 91st PA Infantry, company D (Richard T McCarter)

9 1910 US census, Pennsylvania, Delaware County, Radnor Township, supervisor's district 2 [?], enumeration district 154, microfilm series T624, film 1340, page 232 = 11 B handwritten (Richard T McCarter)

10 1880 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, supervisor's district 1, enumeration district 437, microfilm series T9, film 1181, page 229 C = 3 handwritten (Richard McCarter)

11 1900 US census, Pennsylvania, Delaware County, Radnor Township, 1st district, supervisor's district 2, enumeration district 178, microfilm series T623, film 1405, page 40 = [illegible] handwritten (Richard T McCarter)

12 1920 US census, Pennsylvania, Delaware County, Radnor Township Northern Precinct, supervisor's district 2, enumeration district 191, microfilm series T625, film 1562, page 191 B = 20 handwritten (R T McCarter)

13 support for Jacob Ridgway for Pennsylvania state senator, Philadelphia Inquirer 9 October 1865, page 8 (Richard T McCarter Jr)

14 'Richard T McCarter', in The Pilgrims' book, containing the Articles of Constitution of the Pilgrims to the battlefields of the rebellion and other matters of interest to the members of that organization, compiled as of Memorial Day, 1911. Philadelphia: George H Buchanan Company, [no date]. Pages 73-81. available at http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?view=image;size=100;id=mdp.39015064424495;page=root;seq=81;num=73 (accessed 17 October 2010) (Richard T McCarter)

15 pension index, by name (Richard T McCarter)

16 Find a grave, memorial 123029855, created by Neil D Scheidt, added 9 Jan 2014, accessed 6 January 2015 (Richard T McCarter)

17 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (Richard McCarter)

Sources checked unsuccessfully

1890 US census, veterans schedules
Ancestry index (accessed March 2007)
RootsWeb WorldConnect
accessed 5 December 2009
1930 US census
Footnote index (accessed 18 October 2010)

Display



Richard T McCarter in the 91st PA database

1880 census

[1880 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, supervisor's district 1, enumeration district 437, microfilm series T9, film 1181, page 229 C = 3 handwritten]
[the head of household was Jennie Pecat [??]]
line202122
street nameOak Lane
house number   
dwelling visit #[22]  
family visit #[23]  
nameMcCarter Richard- Lizzie- Alvin P.
colorWWW
sexMFM
age33241 7/12
month born if born in year   
relationshipBoarderBoarderBoarder
single  1
married1  
widowed/divorced   
married during year   
occupationClerk  
months unemployed   
currently ill?   
blind   
deaf/dumb   
idiotic   
insane   
disabled   
school this year   
can't read   
can't write   
birthplacePennaPennaPenna
father's birthplacePaPaPa
mother's birthplacePaPaPa

1900 census

[1900 US census, Pennsylvania, Delaware County, Radnor Township, 1st district, supervisor's district 2, enumeration district 178, microfilm series T623, film 1405, page 40 = [illegible] handwritten]
line6566676869
street     
house number     
dwelling number186    
family number192    
nameMcCarter Richard T- Elizabeth- Alvin- LucieMcFaddon Martin
relationshipHeadWifeSonDaughterServant
colorWWWWW
sexMFMFF
birth date1840 [?][illegible]188118841884
age40 [sic]30191616
married?MMSS [sic]S [sic]
# years married18 [sic]18 [sic] 16 [sic]16
mother of how many children? 2   
# of children living 2   
birthplacePennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaIreland
father's birthplacePennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaIreland
mother's birthplacePennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaIreland
immigration year    1896
# years in USA    4
naturalized citizen?     
occupationPresident At schoolAt school 
# months not employed0    
# months in school  99 
can readyesyesyesyesyes
can writeyesyesyesyesyes
speaks Englishyesyesyesyesyes
owned/rentedO    
free or mortgagedM    
farm/houseH    
# of farm schedule     

1910 census

[1910 US census, Pennsylvania, Delaware County, Radnor Township, supervisor's district 2 [?], enumeration district 154, microfilm series T624, film 1340, page 232 = 11 B handwritten]
line78798081828384
streetStrafford [sic] Road
house nrHouses not numbered
dwelling nr225      
family nr225      
nameMcCarter Richard T- Elizabeth B- Alvin P [?]- Lucy D.Parker Liley L.Davis ElizaRoyster Rosa
relationshipHeadWifeSonDaughterSister-in-lawGuest [?]Servant
sexMFMFFFF
colorWWWWWWB
age64 [? could be '54'?]542928 [?]569025
marital statusM1M1SSSWdS
#years present marriage3030   41 
mother of # children 2   5 
mother of # living children 2   2 
birthplacePennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaNorth Carolina
father's birthplacePennsylvaniaVermontPennsylvaniaPennsyvlaniaVermontIreland EnglishNorth Carolina
mother's birthplacePennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaIreland EnglishNorth Carolina
immigrated       
naturalized/alien       
speaks EnglishEnglishEnglishEnglishEnglishEnglishEnglishEnglish
occupationPresidentNoneClerkNoneBrokerNoneServant
nature of industry etc.Trust Company Trust Company Real Estate Private family
employer etc.W W OA W
out of work 15 Apr 1910?No No   No
# weeks out of work 19090 0   0
can readyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
can writeyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
school since 1 Sep 09       
owned/rentedO      
owned free or mortagagedF      
farm/houseM      
nr on farm schedule       
civil war vet       
blind       
deaf & dumb       

1920 census

[1920 US census, Pennsylvania, Delaware County, Radnor Township Northern Precinct, supervisor's district 2, enumeration district 191, microfilm series T625, film 1562, page 191 B = 20 handwritten]
line7980818283
streetStratford Avenue
house number[112]    
dwelling visit number413    
family visit number471    
nameMcCarter R T- Elizabeth- LucyParker LucyBlake Bertha
relationshipHeadWifeDaughterGuest [?]Servant
own/rentO    
free/mortgaged (if owned)F    
sexMFFFF
raceWWWWB
age at last birthday7370356033
marital statusMMSSS
year of immigration     
naturalized/alien     
year of naturalization     
attended school since Sept 1919     
can readyesyesyesyesyes
can writeyesyesyesyesyes
birth placePennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvania
native language     
father's birthplacePennsylvaniaVermontPennsylvaniaVermontDelaware
father's native language     
mother's birthplacePennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPa [?]PennsylvaniaDelaware
mother's native language     
can speak Englishyesyesyesyesyes
occupation   nonecook
industry, business     
employment status     
number of farm schedule     

index to compiled service records

[index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania]
[transcribed 8 January 2015, from Fold3]


McCarter, Richard
Co. D, 91 Pennsylvania Inf.
Pvt | Pvt
See also [blank]

GENERAL INDEX CARD.

The Pilgrims' book

['Richard T McCarter', in The Pilgrims' book, containing the Articles of Constitution of the Pilgrims to the battlefields of the rebellion and other matters of interest to the members of that organization, compiled as of Memorial Day, 1911. Philadelphia: George H Buchanan Company, [no date]. Pages 73-81. available at http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?view=image;size=100;id=mdp.39015064424495;page=root;seq=81;num=73 (accessed 17 October 2010)]

[page 73]
RICHARD T. McCARTER

This Pilgrim was born on the 23d day of January, 1847, and enlisted for the first time in May, 1863, in the 20th Penna. Regiment, State Militia, when he was a few months over sixteen years of age. He was sent with his regiment to York, Greencastle and other places before and after the Battle of Gettysburg, and when the Rebels went back over the Potomac he was sent home and honorably discharged in July, 1863. He really ought to have been spanked and sent to bed.

In January, 1864, while barely seventeen years old, he and some fifteen of his companions put the figure 18 in their shoes, walked down to the old Post Office building at the southeast corner of Chestnut and Fifth Streets, listened to the drums beating, saw the flags flying, and watched the old soldiers who had been sent from their regiments to gain recruits in the North. There were little tents in Independence Square, and one was occupied by a very seductive sergeant of one of the companies of the 91st Pa. Vet. Vols. The seductive sergeant and the boy with the 18 in his shoes were not long in getting together, for the spider was watching for the fly, and the fly was in reality flirt- [page 74] ing with the spider. It was a short walk to the second story of the Post Office building, and a glad one. The oath of allegiance and enlistment was soon taken; one of the terms of which was that the deponent was over eighteen--having reference, of course, to the figures in the soles of his shoes. The new recruit was shipped to the barracks at Chester, Pa., and then to Warrenton Junction, in Virginia, where for three months he was drilled, and drilled, and drilled again--and he needed it. He had not been used to salt pork at home; but he got enough of it in old Virginia. Too much, indeed, for one day when he saw a sheep in the distance all his desire for good things to eat rose up and insisted upon being satisfied to such an extent that under absolute compulsion he and another scapegrace went for that sheep, and when their work was over their stomachs were satisfied, although all good people hope that their consciences were not appeased. Like the Katzenjammer twins, they were soon found out, but instead of being laid across the sergeant's knees, as they ought to have been, they were compelled to cut a log eight feet long and eight inches thick and carry it around the regiment for twenty-four hours, in relays of two hours on and four hours off. Not only their own regiment, but several [page 75] other regiments came to watch the punishment, and the deep and mighty oaths of revenge made by the sheep lovers against the Orderly Sergeant, who so infringed on their dignity by meting out such punishment, are all recorded in the proper place where similar oaths are written.

At last Grant's great campaign in the Wilderness was about to begin, and on May 2, 1864, as a member of Company D of the 91st Regiment, Pilgrim McCarter, seventeen years old, fell in behind Kilpatrick's Cavalry, crossed the Rapidan on the 3d of May, and on the 5th found himself in his first battle line. So thick were the woods that the regiment lines were marked by notches made by the engineers in the trees. It was on Thursday that he fought his first battle--a battle that was continued through Friday, the 6th, Saturday the 7th, and Sunday the 8th. About 10 o'clock on that Sunday, while at Laurel Hill, near Spottsylvania, he moved from behind a peach tree out into the open. The Rebs were only about 250 feet away, and their faces could be seen distinctly. After fifteen or twenty minutes of engagement, he was drawing a cartridge from the cartridge box, and in so doing necessarily exposed his side to the Rebs, when he was suddenly hit by a rifle ball, and felt as if a ten-pound cannon shot had [page 76] struck him. He involuntarily whirled around, jumped into the air and fell flat on his face, with profuse hemorrhage coming from his mouth. The ball went through his body under the left shoulder, passing through the right lung, coming out the right side, and through the muscles of the right arm. Lieutenant Shipley saw him fall, and instantly got two men from Company B, Baker and Snyder by name, to carry him back from the firing line. He rested on their shoulders and walked feebly with them back about 1000 feet, where they placed him under a tree. Lieutenant Brass, of Company B, the Provost Marshal of the day, recognized him, and gave him the first stretcher that came along. He had been under the tree about fifteen minutes when he was carried on the stretcher to a road that had been made by the engineers, and put under a shed made of boughs. He was put in charge of one of the drummers of the regiment, who mopped his wounds with water, for his back was bare, his coat having been cut in order that the wounds could be attended to. While he was being carried from under the tree, a cloth was placed upon his face so that the sun should not hurt him, and so that he should not be stared at too inquisitively by the many stragglers who were being brought up to the front. The [page 77] men who were carrying him rested for a little while, and while they were resting an officer of the regiment took the cloth from his face and, noticing the blood on the face and neck, said, "Young fellow, you have got more than your share," and, like the good Samaritan, handed him a canteen of the real stuff, known as "commissary." The wounded soldier, now worthy of being called a veteran at the age of seventeen, drank, and the drink stopped the bleeding and relieved the agony. He was then taken to an old stone house that was shortly afterwards shelled, and he finally got into the corps hospital, namely, a tent hospital. He became unconsious for several days, so that although he was put on a wagon train and carried to Fredericksburg, and then to Acquia Creek, and finally transported by boat to Washington--in all probability to G Street wharf--he knew very little of what was taking place until some good lady bathed his face with water at the wharf, and asked him where he was going. The Veteran did not know. She suggested that he should go to the Armory Square Hospital, or old Dr. Bliss' Hospital, as it was called. he was taken there in an ambulance on Saturday, the 14th day of May. On the following Sunday morning, May the 15th, the great President, Abraham Lincoln, with several [page 78] members of Congress, came walking through the hospital. The wounded Veteran, aged seventeen, had declined to give his name or his residence, thinking that he would see his family very shortly and surprise them. Mr. Lincoln stopped for a few moments at his cot and asked his name, and where he lived, which information, boylike, he declined to give. The great heart of Lincoln was moved to him, however, and he told one Ronaldson, who was in the party, to try and get the information, for the doctor had told Mr. Lincoln that the boy had but a few days to live, and the boy, while pretending to be asleep, had heard the doctor make that statement. Mr. Ronaldson remained at the cot after Mr. Lincoln had gone; took the boy by the hand, smoothed it, and after a while gained the necessary information. Ronaldson had a brother who was going to New York that afternoon, and the brother stopped off at Philadelphia; went to the boy's house at about 9.30 in the evening; called up the boy's father and told him where the boy was. The next morning about seven o'clock the father walked into the hospital, but failed to recognize his son, as the eyes and cheeks were so sunken. The nurse soon brought the father and son together, and the meeting brought tears to both. Shortly afterwards [page 79] the father went to Mr. Lincoln and stated the circumstances. The President well recollected that Sunday visit and the wounded boy, and sent word to Surgeon Bliss asking if the boy could be removed. The surgeon refused to give the desired permission, because he was of the opinion that if the boy were moved he would surely die on the road. Finally the father got Leonard Myers and Judge Kelley to intercede, and Lincoln himself wrote a special furlough for thirty days, saying that as the wounded soldier had said that he would live if he could get away he certainly would live. They bundled the soldier up, put him in a horse car, and then on a steam car, fed him on whiskey all the way, and finally landed him at Broad and Prime Streets, Philadelphia. There Dr. Stroud was waiting with a hack, and they got the soldier to his home, near Thirteenth and Green Streets, put him on a narrow couch and consulted with good old Dr. Hatfield, who recommended that they run a silver probe through the wound, which was done. The corruption oozed out and cold water and lint finally brought about such an improvement that the soldier went back to Washington at the expiration of his thirty days' furlough, and, notwithstanding all the commissary and other whiskey that he had taken, felt satis- [page 80] fied that cold water had at last saved him. (N.B. external treatment.)

While in Washington he went to the Paymaster to receive his pay. There were about five months' wages due to him which, at the extravagant rate of $16 per month, made up the sum of $80. To his surprise he found that the Orderly Sergeant who had made him carry the log in the sheep episode had now charged him with a knapsack, canteen, cartridge box, musket and several articles alleged to have been carried off by him from the field of battle, so that after charging the value thereof the amount credited to him was only two or three dollars. Having eaten a captured sheep without sharing with the Orderly, he was fit for treason or any other crime, and being wounded nearly to death was a fit subject to be charged with anything by the poltroon of an Orderly. He naturally protested against the charge, and calling the attention of the Paymaster to one stiffened arm and to the other in a sling, asked how it was possible for him to carry off such articles from the field of battle. The Paymaster instantly cancelled all the unjust charges and paid up what was due. But the Orderly has never got his deserts yet. Then the boy was sent back to Philadelphia, to be placed in a hospital there. He arrived at Broad and [page 81] Prime Streets; went into the Hospital of Distribution, and finally found that he was assigned to a hospital that he did not like. He was placed in line on Broad Street, but broke away and walked to his house at Thirteenth and Green Streets, where he arrived about 6.30 in the morning. He was then put down as a deserter, and the Provost Guard got after him. He begged the guard or some other good soul that he might be sent to the McClellan Hospital, at Nicetown, where they at last sent him, and there he remained until April 19, 1865, when, as the war was ended, he was honorably discharged.

He had two brothers in the war. One was in the 71st Pa., known as the California Regiment, and was at Ball's Bluff, and was wounded once at Chancellorsville and another time at Gettysburg. Another brother was in the 213th Pa., one of the Union League regiments. This brother enlisted when he was only fifteen. Both brothers lived to see the war ended, but the one who was wounded at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg has since answered to the long roll.

All of which has been extracted with the aid of strategy from Pilgrim McCarter, and is here set down in print.


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