Louis Carpenter was born in Philadelphia, the son of Rachel Barnholt and George Washington Carpenter. His siblings included: Sarah "Sallie" Carpenter Hunter. William H. Carpenter George W. Carpenter, Jr.; James Knox Polk Carpenter (1845-1865) Louis was accidentally killed in Catawissa, Pennsylvania where he was working on a coal railroad dock. He fell 60 feet to his death. Local folklore says he was known as "Louie the Bum" since he showed up in Catawissa in the fall where he worked on the coal trains. He would leave as soon as the weather was warmer. There was also a rumor that he was an undercover detective investigating the operations there.