The Battle of Franklin Trust recently uncovered new information about Tod Carter’s escape from imprisonment and how he made his way back to the Army of Tennessee.
Carter, son of Fountain Branch and Polly Carter of the Carter House legacy, enlisted in the 20th Tennessee Infantry in the spring of 1861. Throughout his service, he rose through the ranks and became a captain and eventually served as a quartermaster and aide-de-camp.
Carter was captured at Chattanooga in November 1863 and escaped as he was being moved from Johnson’s Island in northern Ohio to another POW camp in Maryland. He escaped near Massillon, Ohio. Less than a year later he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Franklin when he was shot down leading a desperate charge just southwest of his childhood home. Carter was brought to the house where he died two days later.
Under the pen name “Mint Julep,” Carter narrated his escape through letters written to “John Happy,” the nom de plume of Albert Roberts, editor of many Confederate newspapers. Carter detailed his escape of how he jumped from a moving train headed to Point Lookout on the night of Feb. 10, 1864, with the help of Capt. James Gubbins of the 5th Louisiana.
Carter did not head south but traveled first to Pittsburgh, backtracked to Columbus and onto Cincinnati and eventually moved through Memphis. Carter then angled into Mississippi and was detained at Oxford before he continued. Weeks later, after trekking across Alabama, he rejoined the Army of Tennessee at Dalton, Ga.
“The Battle of Franklin Trust has obtained significant information about Tod Carter’s tumultuous path back to the army,” said Eric A. Jacobson, CEO of BOFT. “We are happy to share this story and it will be part of our tours going forward. We are thrilled to get the details in Tod’s own words.”
After working with family descendants, The Battle of Franklin Trust acquired the bullet that killed Carter and the pass home he carried with him when he was wounded at the Battle of Franklin, which has been lost for more than two decades. Both items are on display at the Carter House.
For more information about The Carter House and the Battle of Franklin Trust, visit www.boft.org.