Military Collage

1LT Thomas Clay Carter

 

T. C. Carter
Thomas C. Carter

Thomas C. Carter, Jr. was born in Meridian, Mississippi on February 16, 1889.  He was the last of nine children born to his parents, Thomas C. Carter and Azaline Carter.  His father was a Cotton Broker in Meridian and one of the organizers of the Meridian Board of Trade and Cotton Exchange.  This organization was instrumental in the location of the offices of the U.S. Weather Bureau in the New (1898) Federal Building in the city.  The Board of Trade was also essential to the care of the citizens and the reconstruction of the city after the 1906 Cyclone (see Cyclone on this website).

Carter grew up with his family in Meridian at 1013 26th Avenue.  He was a graduate of Meridian High School after which he attended Marion Military Institute, a state supported military college. at Marion, Alabama.  While there he was a member of the Thomas Jefferson Literary Society, the Kit-Kat Klub, and the Hospitality Committee.  He was the Editor of the school annual the "Assembly."  He was Vice-Speaker of the Commons and a member of the Mississippi Club and Chicken Club.  He played football and served as Team Captain of the Baseball team.  Here, at MMI, he also served as a cadet second Lieutenant of Company B.

In 1908 he continued his education at the University of Virginia where he is listed in the Grand Catalog of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity as a new member.

He later returned to MMI as a faculty member and athletic director.  On June 15, 1917 Carter registered for the draft indicating that he was employed as the manager of a mining operation for Muscovite Mica Company in Linville, Alabama.  He is also known to have worked with his brother in Tupelo, Mississippi as a cotton broker.  It was in Tupelo, Lee County, Mississippi where he first registered for the draft.

 

T. C. Carter Draft Registration page one T. C. Carter Draft Registration page two

 

After having volunteered for active service, Carter arrived in LeHarve, France on May 16, 1917 having survived a harrowing experience as his troop ship was attacked by a German submarine pack during the crossing of the English Channel.  Carter was assigned to the 320th Machine Gun Battalion of the 82nd Division, American Expeditionary Force.

Carter served gallantly through out the war rising through his daring and bravery to become the acting Commander of the unit.  On October 13, 1918 Carter was killed while reconnoitering the enemy's lines.  He is celebrated as one of Meridian's heroes who gave his all in the pursuit of freedom for all mankind.

On December 5, 1918, nearly a month after the end of the war, an article appeared in the Meridian Star indicating that Captain T. C. Carter, Sr. (CSA) had recently received word that his son, 1LT T. C Carter, Jr. had been kill on the battlefield in France.

According to Lauderdale County researcher and writer, Hewitt Clarke, Carter's girlfriend, Annie White Hall, wrote the Carter family from Washington saying:  " May I tell you the he [Carter] was the finest man I have ever known, and I am so proud that he was my friend, and my very best friend."

 

T. C. Carter Marker
1LT Thomas C. Carter, Jr. is buried in Arlington National Cemetery:  Section South Site, Lot 4000.  His memorial marker is shown above.

 

 

Additional Reading and Resources:

War Stories from Mississippi by Hewitt Clarke -- This under-appreciated book does an excellent job of reporting on the many battles, POW camps, spies and treasons suffered by Lauderdale County and Mississippi veterans.  You can learn more about this book and Hewitt Clarke's other fine Lauderdale County books at his website:

You may also like to visit:

The Marion Military Institute Blog Archive

The Arlington National Cemetery Website