by John W. Quist

      Thomas F. Carpenter was born on a farm in Berkshire Township, Delaware County, Ohio on September 19, 1836. (1) 

      His farmer father, Robert N. Carpenter, was born in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania in April 1784.  In about 1807, he came to Ohio with his parents, Judge Benjamin (1750-1823) and Mary (“Polly”) (Ferrier) (1752-1836) Carpenter.  His father had bought land in Berkshire Township from Moses Byxbe in 1806. (2)  His father was a veteran of the Revolutionary War, enlisting in the 10th Pennsylvania Regiment.  He was commissioned an Ensign in 1776, and a Second Lieutenant and a Lieutenant in 1777. (3)  He participated in the Battle of Wyoming in Pennsylvania on July 3, 1778 and was an eyewitness of the massacre of American soldiers there. (4)  He was present at the surrender of General Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia in October 1781. (5)  Carpenter family members were ardent adherents of the Methodist Episcopal Church. (6)

      Robert served as a Corporal in Captain Henry Slack’s Company during the War of 1812, (7) including the Battle of Fort Stephenson, (8) located in Ohio on the Sandusky River, on August 2, 1813, in which the Americans were victorious. (9)  He married (date unknown) Eleanor (“Nellie”) Lewis of Trenton Township, Delaware County, who was born in Ohio in 1807. (10)  They had three children:  Lucy Eleanor (born in 1832), Mary Ann (1834), and Thomas F. (1836). (11)  Eleanor died on May 18, 1839. (12)  On September 19, 1839, Robert married Philena Walker, born on February 14, 1814. (13)  Robert died on May 27, 1851. (14)  Philena died on May 10, 1877. (15)  All three persons were buried in the Galena Cemetery, Delaware County. (16)

      On September 26, 1861 at Delaware, Delaware County, Ohio, Thomas F. Carpenter enlisted as a Private for three years’ service in Delaware County’s Company D, 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment (20th O.V.I.). (17)

      The regiment was organized at Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio from August 19 through September 21,1861 and mustered in for three years’ service on October 21, 1861.  It was moved to Camp King near Covington, KY and mustered in on October 21.  It was then stationed at Covington and Newport, KY until February 11, 1862 to defend Cincinnati against a threatened attack by Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith.  Following its first major engagement in the Battle of Fort Donelson, TN (February 14-16), in which the Union forces were victorious, the 20th was involved in the following actions:  Battle of Shiloh, TN (April 6-7), siege of Corinth, MS (April 29-May 30), guard duty at Pittsburg Landing, TN until June, and at Bolivar, TN until September. (18)  On August 30, during his time near Bolivar, Thomas was “grazed on the neck.” (19)  The 20th O.V.I. then participated in General U.S. Grant’s Central Mississippi Campaign (November 2-January 10, 1863), Memphis, TN (January 26), Lake Providence, LA (February 22 until April), the Battle of Port Gibson, MS (April 25-May 1, 1863), Battle of Raymond, MS (May 12), Battle of Jackson, MS (May 14), Battle of Champion Hill, MS (May 16), MS siege and assault (May 18-July 4), duty at Vicksburg (July-February 1864).  On January 1, 1864, the regiment “veteranized,” (i.e., reenlisted). (20) 

      While the regiment was involved in the Meridian, MS Campaign (February 3-March 2), Thomas was detailed to guard duty at the regiment’s camp at Vicksburg. (21)   During the months of March and April, the men were on furlough.  When they returned to duty, they moved to Clifton, TN and then marched to Ackworth, GA (April 29-June 9).  Beginning on June 9, they were involved in the long Atlanta, GA Campaign, including actions at Marietta, GA and Kennesaw Mountain, GA (June 10-July 2), and the Battle of Atlanta (July 22). (22)  During the battle, Thomas was in the color guard.  While leading the regiment in action, he “had his clothing shot through and was knocked over by grape shot striking [his] gun.” (23)  The 20th O.V.I. was next involved in the Battle of Jonesboro, GA (August 31-September 2) and operations against General John Bell Hood in northern GA and southern AL (September 29-November 3). (24)  During General Sherman’s “March to the Sea” (November 15-December 10), Thomas was detailed as a forager for the artillery brigade of the 17th Army Corps. (25)  As the war was winding down, the regiment participated in the Siege of Savannah, GA (December 10-21), Carolinas Campaign (January-April 1865), and surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston and his armies near Durham, NC (April 26).  They then moved to Washington, D.C., via Richmond, VA (April 29-May 20), participated in the Grand Review of the Armies (May 24), and were moved to Louisville, KY. (26)  Thomas was discharged at Camp Chase at Columbus, Ohio on July 25, 1865. (27)  Years later (the date is not clear on the document), he applied for a U.S. government pension as an “invalid” veteran of the Civil War. ­­(28)

      On September 6, 1866, Thomas F. Carpenter married Mary Louisa Grist (29) who was born in Berkshire Township in 1848. (30)  She went by her middle name, Louisa, in order to not be confused with her mother.  Her father was George Grist (1814-1882).  In Pennsylvania, the family name was Griste.  George was a farmer (31) and one of the original stockholders in the Framers’ Bank of Sunbury, which was organized in 1872. (32)  Her mother was Mary Ann (Carpenter) Grist (1814-1860).  (33)  They were married on April 25, 1838 (34) and had eleven children, only two of whom survived to adulthood:  Mary Louisa (born in 1848 and Edwin (c.1852). (35)  Both of Mary Louisa’s parents were buried in Sunbury Memorial Park. (36)

      Thomas and Mary Louisa had one child:  Carrie.  She was born on June 7, 1868, (37) but died 8 months and 2 days later on February 16, 1869. (38)

      Mary Louisa (Grist) Carpenter died on October 17, 1869 and was buried in Sunbury Memorial Park. (39)

      On August 28, 1882, the Lawrence A. Myers Post Number 252 of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was organized in Sunbury.  Thomas, at an unknown date, was mustered into the Post. (40)

      On October 17, 1887, Thomas F. Carpenter died.  “The quiet of our little village was disturbed not a little Saturday evening by the announcement that Squire T. F. Carpenter was dead.  For some weeks he had been confined to his room.  Though many thought he never would leave his bed, his death was a shock to all.” (41)  He was living with his widowed sister, Mary Ann Farrier. (42)  “On Monday [the 19th] he was buried [at Sunbury Memorial Park] by the L(awrence) A. Myers [G.A.R.] Post, of Sunbury, of which he was an active member.  The Post of Galena joined with them to show honor to the dead.  Comrades V.T. Hills, J.F. Curren, and Geo. Pierce, of Delaware, and S.P. Thrall, who were in the same company [Co. D, 20th O.V.I.], were also present.” (43) 

      “Squire Carpenter was a man of few words, of strong convictions, of a determined mind.  A constant reader, he was well posted on all current topics.  A true patriot he loved to see the old flag for which he fought, honored everywhere.  As a neighbor, he had few equals, generous, obliging, courteous, as a friend, true as steel, though wracked with pain he was always the same affable, kind and genial gentleman.  He will be missed not only by his relatives, friends and those who daily saw him around the corners, but by the community at large.” (44)


Compiled by John W. Quist
Delaware, Ohio, August 26, 2011



“Thomas F. Carpenter.” Carpenter/Fairchild, (online)

Blair, Williams T. The Michael Shoemaker Book (Schumacher), “The William Carpenter Family,”     International Textbook Press, Scranton, Pa, 1924, pages 41-50

“Carpenter, Benjamin.” The Official Roster of the Soldiers of the American Revolution who Lived in the State of Ohio, Volume Two, State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution of Ohio, n.d., page 390

Footnote 2, page 46

Footnote 3

Footnote 2, page 48

“Corp. Robert Carpenter.” Roster of Ohio Soldiers in the War of 1812, The Adjutant General of Ohio, 1916, page 116

“Robert N. Carpenter.” Carpenter/Fairchild,

“Battle of Fort Stephenson.” (online)

10  “Thomas F. Carpenter.” History of Delaware County and Ohio. O.L. Baskin & Co., Chicago, 1880,  page 680

11  “Thomas F. Carpenter.” 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Berkshire Township, Delaware County, Ohio; Sisters’ birthdates from various sources:
         Lucy Eleanor – Ohio, County Marriages, 1790-1950, (online)
         Mary Ann – Ohio Death and Burials, 1854-1997,

“Eleanor Carpenter.” Galena Cemetery records, (online)

 13  “Robert Carpenter.” Ohio, County Marriages, 1790-1950,

14  “Robert Carpenter.” Galena Cemetery records

 15  “Philena Carpenter.” Galena Cemetery records

16  Galena Cemetery records

17  “Thomas Carpenter.” American Civil War Soldiers,

18  “20th O.V.I.”


19  “Carpenter, Thomas F.” The Military History of Ohio. H.H. Hardesty, Publisher; New

York, 1886 (with special section for Delaware County); page 304


20  Footnote 18


21  Footnote 19

22  Footnote 18

Footnote 19 

Footnote 18

Footnote 19

26  Footnote 18

Footnote 19

28  “Thomas F. Carpenter.” Civil war Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. Ancestry. com

29  “Thomas F. Carpenter.” Ohio, County Marriages, 1790-1950

30  “Mary Louisa Carpenter.” Sunbury Memorial Park (Cemetery) records, Cemetery/ DelCo_cem

 31  “George Grist.” History of Delaware County and Ohio. O.L. Baskin & Co., Chicago,

 1880, page 683

 32  “George Grist.” History of Delaware County and Ohio. O.L. Baskin & Co., Chicago,

 1880, page 445

 33  Footnote 31; death date from Sunbury Memorial Park records


34  “George Grist.” Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958


35  Footnote 31; birthdate for Edwin from 1860 U.S. census for Berkshire Township, Delaware


 36  Sunbury Memorial Park (Cemetery) records


“Carpenter.” Ohio Births and Christenings, 1821-1962,

 38  “Carrie Carpenter.” Sunbury Memorial Park (Cemetery) records


39  “Mary Louisa Carpenter.” Sunbury Memorial Park (Cemetery) records

40  The Military History of Ohio. H.H. Hardesty, Publisher; New York, 1886 (with special

section for Delaware County); page 326

 41  “Berkshire Locals.” Delaware Semi-Weekly Gazette, Delaware, Ohio, Friday, October 21,


 42  Footnote 10

Footnote 41


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