Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cousins Die in Camp at Cape Girardeau in 1861

More on James R. Carter who was discussed in 20 Oct 2011 and 12 Nov 2011 blogs. Recently cousin Dennis Bell was following up on some items and shared what he found.  Here is what we know about this Carter connection:

James Carter was the same age as my great uncle Thomas B. Turpin and the two appear to be cousins although we’re not sure how.  Carter was probably Thomas Turpin's grandmother's maiden name.  The Carter and Turpin families intermarried several times.

Thomas and James enlisted together to serve the Union.  James’ service record shows he was eighteen, a resident of Rippey, Iowa, and born in Indiana.  Thomas and James enlisted August 23, 1861 and mustered-in September 7, 1861.  Both died of measles, James two months later on November 3, 1861 and Thomas on Christmas Day, 1861 at Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

The regiment Thomas and James served with was equipped in St. Louis and initially moved to Cape Girardeau.  While in camp there, James Carter died of the measles. The regiment was then ordered to Bloomfield to drive out Jeff Thomson’s force, but found it gone.  They returned to Cape Girardeau and made camp for the winter.  The soldiers suffered through that winter march to camp and there were troop losses due to sickness. Thomas Turpin died from the measles in December.  

The 1860 census shows James living in Warren County, Iowa, two counties southeast of Greene County where the Turpin family lived.  He is living in the household of John and Charlotte Epps.

Going back to Owen County, Indiana, we find Charlotte’s marriage record at

Carter, George; Evans, Charlotte Temple.; Sep 17, 1835; Thos Johnson, J.P.

These are the parents of our James.  The family is in the 1840 census for Washington, Owen County.  James was not born until 1843 so he is not on this census.

Head of Household: George Carter
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29: 1
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19: 1
Free White Persons - Under 20: 1
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 2
Total All Persons: 2

Around 1847-52, George must have died.  A census search for George or Charlotte in 1850 is not successful.  Charlotte then marries John Epps.  They are listed in the 1860 census in Iowa as mentioned above.  But then John Epps listed himself as a widower in the 1880 census Warren County, Iowa -- so Charlotte died before 1880. 

1860 United States Federal Census Washington, Warren, Iowa
Post Office: Indianola
John Epps 31
Charlotte Epps 40
John A Carter 20
James R Carter 17
E A D J Carter 15
Wm E Carter 13 
   (William Elijah CARTER (b. Feb 1847 IN) 
   m Rebecca Ella SHACKLEE and Mary Effie FISK)
Chris Col Epps 8
Rachel Agnes Epps 7
Jos Andrew Epps 5
Mary Louisa Epps 3
Amanda Chris B J Epps 11/12

Still looking for the Carter-Turpin connection though!


  1. In a Biographical Album of Lancaster County, Nebraska there is a sketch for George EPPS son of Joseph Andrew EPPS. It mentions Charlotte EVANS CARTER EPPS and at the time of writing was living in Mitchell, South Dakota. Hope this helps. William Elijah Carter's daughter Minnie Louise was married three times, John H. Raner and had 6 children, William Frederick Holkan (widower with 5 children) and Louis Frederick Karsten in Nebraska. She died sometime after 1950. Lou was my great-great-uncle.