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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Carr

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 561-563 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

This name is illustrious in the military annals of the state of New York, made so by the life and distinguished services of Brevet Major General Joseph B. Carr, a rank and title conferred "for gallant and meritorious services during the war." He was of the second generation of his family in the United States; his parents being natives of Ireland. They came to this country in 1824.

(II) Joseph Bradford, son of William and Ann Carr, was born in the city of Albany, New York, August 16, 1828, died at Troy, February 24, 1895. He grew up in Albany and Troy, in which latter city he was in the tobacco business from 1842 until 1861. He early displayed his love of a military life. On arriving at the age of twenty-one he joined the Troy Guards. He served in the ranks one year, when he was commissioned second lieutenant. He rose rapidly through successive ranks until he was colonel of the Twenty-fourth Regiment New York State Militia, assuming command July 10, 1859, continuing until the firing upon Fort Sumter, when he at once offered his services to his country. April 15, 1861, the Second Regiment New York Volunteers was organized in Troy; on May 10, he was elected colonel; four days later the regiment was mustered into the United States service for a term of two years. On May 24 the regiment camped near Hampton, being the first regiment to encamp on the "sacred soil of Virginia." Their first battle was "Big Bethel," where they were forced to retreat; they were at Newport News until May 10, 1862, when Colonel Carr removed his command to Portsmouth, where he was assigned to the command of a provisional brigade, consisting of the Second and Tenth New York regiments and Howard's light battery. June 10, he was ordered with the Second regiment to report to General McClellan at Fair Oaks. He proceeded to the extreme front, where he was assigned to General Frank Patterson's brigade, Hooker's division, Third Army Corps of the Army of the Potomac. Owing to absence of its regular commander, Colonel Carr was temporarily assigned to the Third Brigade, familiarly known as the Jersey Brigade, which he led throughout the battle of the Orchards, June 25, and through the historical "Seven Days" fighting. On General Patterson's return Colonel Carr resumed command of his regiment at Harrison's Landing. On July 2, by order of General Hooker, he superseded General Patterson's; remaining at the head of the brigade until promoted by President Lincoln upon the personal recommendation of General Hooker "for gallant and meritorious services in the field" to be a Brigadier-General of Volunteers, commission dating from September 7, 1862. His courage and coolness under fire was illustrated at the battle of Bristoe Station; with a murderous storm of shot and shell that burst upon his men, General Carr moved about, cheering them on and encouraging them by his own daring. His horse was shot under him; he coolly mounted an orderly's horse and successfully charged the enemy. He gained on that day the title of "Hero of Bristoe," which ever afterward clung to him. He took part in the battle of Bull Run, August 30 and 31, and at Chantilly, September 3, when the gallant Kearney fell. In these battles he fully sustained his reputation for courageous, daring conduct. September 17, he was transferred to the First Brigade, composed of troops from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. December 13 and 14, participated in the bloody fight at Fredericksburg, where he lost heavily in officers and men. January 12, 1863, he commanded an expedition to Rappahannock Bridge. March 30, he was officially notified by the Secretary of War that the Senate having failed to act upon his nomination, he had ceased to be an officer of the army. General Hooker, then in command of the Army of the Potomac, proceeded at once to Washington, and on the following day telegraphed General Carr that President Lincoln had reappointed him, to date from March 3, 1863. At Chancellorsville, May 3, after the death of General Berry, he succeeded to the command of Hooker's old division, the white-patched heroes. He sustained the reputation he had made on other hard-fought fields, and was made the subject of special, laudatory mention in the official report by Major General Sickles, the Corps commander. July 1, 1863, Major General Humphreys assumed command of the division and General Carr returned to his brigade. June 15 he moved with the Army of the Potomac to Gettysburg, where on July 2 and 3 he participated in that memorable battle. During that fight he was mounted upon a valuable horse, presented him by friends in Troy, until the noble animal fell, pierced by five bullets, in the fall injuring the general's leg. Exhausted and lame as he was, General Carr refused to retire, but mounted another horse, and continued directing the movements of his brigade. He lost heavily in this battle — nearly two-thirds of his force — while not one of his staff, orderlies or headquarters horses escaped injury. After the battle the division general and officers of the brigade assembled at headquarters and complimented him upon his gallantry. Major-General U. A. Humphreys, in his official report of the battle, spoke of him and said: "I wish particularly to commend to notice the cool courage, determination and skillful handling of their troops of the two brigade commanders, Brigadier-General Joseph B. Carr and Colonel William R. Brewster, and to ask attention to the officers mentioned by them, as distinguished by their conduct." After Gettysburg he was at the battle of Wapping, and in temporary camp at Warrenton, Virginia. October 5 he was assigned to the head of the Third Division, Third Corps, advanced to Warrenton junction, and participated in the battles at Brandy Station and Kelly's Ford. In November he was one of the principal actors in the battles of Locust Grove, Robinson's Tavern, and Mine Run. In April, 1864, on the reorganization of the army, he was assigned to the command of the Fourth Division, Second Corps (Hancock's), retaining command until ordered by General Grant to report to General Butler, commanding the Army of the James, who placed him in command of the exterior line of defense on the Peninsula, headquarters at Yorktown. Early in July, 1864, he was ordered by General Butler to evacuate Yorktown and report to him at the front for assignment. Obeying his order, he was sent to Major-General E. O. C. Ord, who placed him in command of the First and Third Division of the Eighteenth Corps. August 4, he was given command of the First Division of the same corps and occupied the right of the line in front of Petersburg. He retained this command until October 1, when he was placed in command of the defense of the James river, headquarters at Wilson's Landing. Here he remained seven months, during which he built two important forts and strengthened the defenses. May 20, 1865, he was transferred to City Point, where he remained until the close of the war. June 1, 1865, he was brevetted major-general, "for gallant and meritorious services during the war," to rank as such from March 13, 1865. On being relieved of command, he returned to Troy, where he was mustered out of the service. January 25, 1867, he was appointed by the Governor of New York, major-general of the Third Division New York State Militia, where he rendered valuable service during railroad riots of 1877, at Albany, dispersing the mob and restoring peace and order without the sacrifice of life or property. He remained in this command until his death at Troy in 1895. He was given an imposing military funeral on February 27 from St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, Troy. The body lay in state and was viewed by thousands, officers of the army, governors, statesmen, representatives of every department of the service, and a vast concourse of his fellow citizens attended. He had won distinction by real work and gallant performance amid the danger of bloody contests, and all "delighted to do him honor." After retiring from official duty as Secretary of State, General Carr entered the manufacturing field as the senior partner of J. B. Carr & Company, operating the extensive chain manufacturing works established in 1866, located between Troy and Lansingburg. He continued at the head of the concern until his death. He became a factor in the development of other business enterprises of Troy. He was a director of the Mutual National Bank; second vice-president and director of the Troy City Railway Company. He was reared in the Catholic church and never departed from that faith. He was a Republican and received the unanimous nomination of his party in convention at Saratoga, September 3, 1879, for Secretary of State. He was elected by a large majority; re-elected in 1881, and again in 1883. In 1885 he was the Republican candidate for Lieutenant-Governor of the state, but was defeated at the polls. He was highly esteemed at home and abroad, many organizations bestowing honorary membership upon him. He was a companion of the Loyal Legion, and a Comrade of Post Williard Grand Army of the Republic; member of the Second Regiment Association, Third Army Corps Association; the Old Guard of New York; the Ninth Regiment Troy Citizens' Corps, Burgess Corps of Albany; vice-president Renssalaer County Soldiers and Sailors Monument Association; trustee of New York State Gettysburg Monument Association; the Troy and Ionic Clubs of Troy.

He married Mary Gould, born in Canada in 1837, who survives him. Children:

  1. Mary, resided with her mother;
  2. William Gould (see forward).

(III) William Gould, only son of Major-General Joseph B. and Mary (Gould) Carr, was born in Troy, where he was educated. He was interested in the J. B. Carr & Company Chain Works at Troy, and is now in business in New York. He married Hattie Anne French, born in Bradford, New York, daughter of Iras Cressey and Hester Maria (Gowey) French. Children:

  1. Joseph B., born 1893;
  2. Marjorie, 1895; both born in Lansingburgh.

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