A Civil War Biography

Eugene Asa Carr

Carr was born 20 March 1830 in Concord, Erie County, New York. He entered the US Military Academy at West Point in 1846 and graduated 19th in the class of 1850. Assigned to the cavalry, after a stint at Carlisle barracks in Pennsylvania for training, he was posted to the frontier where he served at various posts, against various hostiles. In 1854 during a skirmish with Apaches in South Texas Carr was seriously wounded by an arrow but coolly continued to lead his troops.

When the Civil War began, Carr was a captain with the 4th US Cavalry stationed in Indian Territory. He joined Nathaniel Lyon's troops in Missouri and took part in the Battle of Wilson's Creek. Six days later, on 15 August 1861, he was appointed colonel of the 3rd Illinois Cavalry.

At the Battle of Pea Ridge on 7 March 1862, Carr commanded the 4th Division and although wounded three times, he refused to leave the field. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for this action. The citation, dated 16 January 1894, read, "Directed the deployment of his command and held his ground, under a brisk fire of shot and shell in which he was several times wounded." His actions also earned him a commission as a brigadier general of volunteers. He commanded the 14th Division/ XIII Corps during the Vicksburg campaign and was brevetted colonel in the regular army.

In December 1863 he was transferred to Arkansas where he commanded the 1st Cavalry Division/ VII Corps. Carr's final action during the war was during the siege of Mobile, Alabama. He was brevetted major general of volunteers on 11 March 1865 then brigadier and major general US army two days later on 13 March.

Following the war Carr reverted to the rank of major and spent two years on reconstruction duty first in Helena, Arkansas then in Raleigh, North Carolina. In the fall of 1869 Carr was assigned to the 5th US Cavalry on the frontier. He would see action in many of the campaigns against the Indians, including the Big Horn campaign against the Sioux in 1876. In 1879 Carr was promoted to colonel and assigned to the 6th Cavalry in Arizona then in Nevada. Perhaps the most famous and experienced Indian fighter, Carr's final Indian campaign took place in 1890 and culminated in the massacre at Wounded Knee in South Dakota. He was promoted to brigadier general effective July 1892 then retired in 1893 splitting his time between Washington DC and a ranch he owned in New Mexico with his son. Carr died on 2 December 1910 in Washington and was buried with full honors at West Point.

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