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B.F. Carter

B.F. Carter

Confederate (CSV)

Lieutenant Colonel

Benjamin Franklin Carter

(1831 - 1863)

Home State: Texas

Education: Jackson (TN) College (1850),
Cumberland University Law

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 4th Texas Infantry


see his Battle Report

Before Sharpsburg

After graduating from Jackson College, Columbia, Tennessee, he studied Law at Cumberland University (Lebanon, TN) and in the fall of 1852 moved to Austin, Texas and began his legal practice. He served as Mayor of Austin 1858-59.

The Tom Green Rifles, organized and led by Captain Carter, was the second company to depart Camp Van Dorn (Harrisburg, Texas) for Richmond. He enrolled with them on 11 July 1861 in Guadalupe County, and they officially became Company B of the Fourth Texas Volunteer Infantry on 30 September 1861. He was in action on the Peninsula Campaign of 1862 and was appointed Major of the regiment on 27 June, then elected Lieutenant Colonel on 10 July 1862. He was out of action with typhoid fever for the rest of the summer, but rejoined his regiment in time to command at Second Manassas on 30 August.

On the Campaign

He was in action with his regiment at Fox's Gap on South Mountain on 14 September and commanded it at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862. His 4th Texas was part of the Texas Brigade's counterattack from the West Woods through the Cornfield on the morning of 17 September 1862. It stopped Federal General Hooker's I Corps attack, but wrecked the Brigade.

The rest of the War

In the winter of 1862-63 he was detailed to serve on a Court of Inquiry. At Gettysburg on 2 July 1863, the Fourth Texas participated in the attack against the Union left flank and, in the fighting for Little Round Top, lost 140 men (twenty-five killed, fifty-seven wounded, and fifty-eight captured), including Lieutenant Colonel Carter, who was seriously wounded there. He was left behind in Pennsylvania, too badly injured to return to Virginia, was captured soon after, and taken with other prisoners to Chambersburg, PA. He was treated at the School House Hospital then transferred on 17 or 18 July to the Academy US Army General Hospital. He died there on the 21st of that month.

References & notes

Service details from Chaplain Davis1 and his Compiled Service Records,2 via fold3. Personal details from family genealogists and from his (slightly twisted) obituary in the Chambersburg Franklin Repository of 29 July 1863. His picture from a photograph in the Austin History Center.

He married Louisa Oakley Rust (1836-1861) in Austin in March 1856 and they had 3 daughters. Louisa died in December 1861 and two of their babies died in September 1861 and April 1862, respectively. Daughter Ella (1858-1886) died relatively young at about age 28 and her two children also died in infancy.

More on the Web

His Chambersburg obituary was transcribed in a piece about Methodist churchman Charles M. Burnett and the last days of Colonel Carter, published in The Chronicle (Vol. XXIII, Spring 2012), the Journal of the Historical Society of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church. That article "assembled" by editor Milton W. Loyer is online as a PDF thanks to Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA.


1831; Maury County, TN


07/21/1863; Chambersburg, PA


1   Davis, Rev. Nicholas A., The Campaign from Texas to Maryland, Houston: Telegraph Book and Job Establishment, 1863, pp. 78-79  [AotW citation 1079]

2   US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, Record Group No. 109 (War Department Collection of Confederate Records), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927  [AotW citation 26701]