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The Carr Family and the Civil War: Job's Story

Written by Jennifer Shumate

Originally published in the Eureka Times, 2010 Fall issue

Updated for blog publication in 2020 by Holly Stewart, Program Manager

This is the first in a five part series about the Carr family's military service during the American Civil War.

Read about Rebecca Carr's story here. Read about Anthony Carr's story here. Read about Howard Carr's story here.

Learn about Tacoma's Civil War veterans here.

The Carr Family Goes to War

Job Carr, his wife, and two sons all served in the army taking up the cause of the North during the Civil War. Even though the family was Quaker, a religion that is opposed to war and violence, they detested slavery more. Being deeply patriotic, the family enlisted to fight to preserve the Union and to end slavery.

Job Carr's Military Service

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Job Carr in his Union Army uniform, source: Carr Family Collection

Job Carr strongly believed that slavery was immoral and a just cause for taking up arms. He enlisted in September of 1861, five months after the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter. He joined the 36th Indiana Infantry Regiment, Company I as a private. The regiment was organized in Richmond, Indiana where the Carr family lived. After training, he became part of General Buell's Army of the Ohio serving in General Nelson's division.

His first big engagement was most likely at the Battle of Shiloh (Hebrew for place of peace) in April 1862. The Battle of Shiloh was one of the bloodiest and most vicious battles of the war. The 36th Indiana was the first to arrive on the battlefield in support of Grant's retreating armies in the early evening of April 6, 1862. They arrived just in time to keep the left flank of General Grant's terrified and demoralized army from collapsing.

The next day, April 7, the 36th Indiana pushed forward as the left flank of the now strongly reinforced Union Army. After heavy fighting, the 36th Indiana ran out of ammunition and had to fall back briefly to obtain more. The Union Army pushed forward forcing the Confederates to retreat to Corinth, Mississippi. Although technically a Union victory, both sides suffered huge casualties, with the number of men killed, wounded or missing on both sides totaling nearly 24,000. Being one of the first large-scale conflicts of the Civil War, it shocked the armies, leaders, and citizens of both sides into the realization of what this war would really mean. Today, a monument stands on the battlefield at Shiloh dedicated to the 36th Indiana Regiment.

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Job Carr in his GAR uniform, source: Carr Family Collection

Job Carr was wounded in the arm either at the Battle of Shiloh or shortly after at Corinth. He rejoined his regiment at the Battle of Stone's River but was wounded again at Chickamauga, in September 1863. After two months, he was sent to Nashville and then back to Indianapolis, where he received his discharge. His wife Rebecca took him home to recuperate.

"When the toxin of war sounded in 1861, Job Carr enlisted in Company I of the 36th Indiana Volunteers. At that time, he lacked but three years of being half a century old. He was injured... and received a discharge. He was thus a retired veteran soldier of the rebellion at the age of fifty years when the country had need of younger hands, but not braver hearts than Job Carr."

~ Eulogy for Job Carr by Mulford Barton, 1887.

Learn more about Rebecca's service in our next Eureka! History Blog post.

About the Author

Jennifer Shumate volunteered at Job Carr Cabin Museum beginning in 2010 after graduating from Brigham Young University Idaho with a degree in Social Studies Education. She hoped to apply her degree as a social studies teacher at the secondary level or work as a museum educator. Jennifer was an alumni of Spanaway Lake High School.