CPT William Lewis Carpenter

CPT William Lewis Carpenter

Dunkirk, Chautauqua County, New York, USA
Death 10 Jul 1898 (aged 53–54)
Sackets Harbor, Jefferson County, New York, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 1, Grave 427
Memorial ID 121937701 View Source
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Watertown Daily Times , Monday, 11 Jul 1898, Watertown, NY

Capt William L Carpenter died at Madison Barracks, Sackets Harbor, Sunday morning at 2 o'clock. The interment is to be at Arlington Cemetery, opposite Washington and the funeral services are held at the post at 5 o'clock this afternoon.

Capt Carpenter was born in Dunkirk, NY, his father being the Publisher of the Dunkirk Journal. He was brought up in the newspaper office and had his education in the public schools. In the early part of the war, he was admitted to Annapolis Naval Academy and stayed 2 years, when his impulsive spirit forbade him to remain longer at his books, and with a desire to serve his country on the battlefield, he resigned his cadetship and at the age of 17, enlisted as a Private in the regular army. He served about Petersburg and, in the battles of the closing year of the war and came out a Second Lieutenant.

He then accompanied his regiment to the west and in the years since, from the freezing climate of the northwest to the torrid plains of Arizona and Texas he has done a soldier's duty, through the 31 years of active and arduous service. He has been in all the notable Indian fights on the plains and his scientific knowledge as well as his daring soldierly dash made him invaluable. He was constantly on scouting duty with his command and it was in the famous "freeze out" campaign of '76, when in the pursuit of the Sioux, the same campaign in which Custer and his command were massacred, that he lost his health.

On this long march, cut off from their base of supplies, the troops suffered severely for want of food and water, and many died of the hardships. Capt Carpenter pulled through, but having an attack of the grippe on his return to Whipple Barracks in Arizona, his enfeebled condition caused it to take an aggravated form and it was the beginning of Bright's disease, of which he died.

His active service, however, was unchecked until with a year or two, within which time he has had frequent absences on sick leave.

Capt Carpenter, besides being known as a splendid soldier, was equally well known in the scientific circles as one of the leading scientists of the country. His spare time in army life has always been devoted to scientific research. He is a Fellow of the Smithsonian Institute, has written several scientific papers and has made a number of new discoveries in zoology. He was the escort on one or two government scientific expeditions in the west and a close friend of Prof Marsh, of Yale College, who was sent to Arizona to study the geology and zoology of the unknown regions. Prof Marsh was delighted to find that the Captain of his escort was one who was as thorough a student as himself, and at the same time a brave soldier, who guarded his expedition through many perils and brought it safely out of the hostile country. The friendship created at the time has grown closer and warmer ever since.

As a soldier, Capt Carpenter was loved by his men and respected and esteemed by his fellow officers of the 9th, with which regiment he has for years been connected. His greatest sorrow was that he was not enabled to go with the regiment to Cuba, and his heart was broken when the news of their gallant conduct at Santiago reached him that he had not been there to lead his men.

He was a member of the Masonic Fraternity of the Grand Army of the Republic and a comrade of the Loyal Legion.

Saturday evening, he expressed himself as feeling better than for some time. Two hours later, he was stricken with pain and at 2 o'clock on Sunday morning he passed to the last review. Only the families of some of the officers are at the post, each of them with their own societies, besides Lieut Finley in command of 19 men to keep the most in order. With his comrades about him there would have been helpfulness from every man, but Lieut Finley has taken care of the arrangement and rendered every service possible.

Capt Carpenter was married about 1879 or 1880 to Miss Curtie Steever, sister of Capt Steever of the 3d Cavalry, who is now on staff duty in Washington, but who had applied for permission to rejoin his regiment before Santiago. They have one son, Marshal Carpenter, a lad of 17 who will accompany his mother and father's remains to the resting place at Arlington.

--Article provided by Contributor C D Bird (49157592)


Captain 9th U.S. Infantry

Soldier, Scholar, Scientist

Family Members