Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - James Carr

James Edwin Carr

Representing: Union

G.A.R Post

  • James Blair Steedman Post #24 Bellingham, Whatcom Co. WA

Unit History

  • 1st Michigan Light Artillery B

See full unit history

James  Carr
Full Unit History

11/1861 Grand Rapids, MI
Mustered In 11/26/1861 Grand Rapids, MI
Mustered Out:  6/14/1865 Detroit, MI


Regimental History


Company/Battery “B” of the 1st Michigan Light Artillery* was a three year artillery unit. Commanded by Captain William H. Ross. During the American Civil War (ACW) it served in the western combat theater.

The battery left the state of Michigan 12/17/1861. It received its armament only after arriving in the field.

Company/Battery “B” first faced the enemy at Shiloh/Pittsburg Landing, TN (4/6/ - 7/1862). There, it made a gallant stand, but was overwhelmed by Rebel infantry. Four (4) cannon, almost all officers and fifty (50) enlisted men were captured. Only one section (2 cannon) escaped.

After a prisoner exchange, captured officers and men, again, commanded by Captain Ross, left Detroit, MI 12/25/1862 bound for Columbus, KY. In 1/1863 the company/battery was joined by the men who had escaped capture and, again, the unit was furnished with guns, horses and equipment.

12/23/1863 Pulaski, MS. Forty-eight (48) members of the batter re-enlisted. Thirty (30) day furloughs followed.

In 4/1864, the company/battery commenced marching through Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. During this period the unit was in contact with the enemy, but sustained no significant losses. The same was true during the Battle for Atlanta, GA. 

In mid- 11/1864 the “March To The Sea” was begun with Union Gen. W.T. Sherman. During the battle of Griswoldville, GA (11/22/1864) company/battery “B” suffered seven (7) wounded. It entered the City of Savannah on 12/21/1864.

During the early months of 1865 the company/battery trekked northward through the Carolinas with Sherman. After engaging the Rebels at a number of locations, it arrived in Raleigh, NC on 4/14/1865. The shooting war having ended, the unit then proceeded to Washington City where it participated in the (5/24) Grand Review.

Leaving is guns in Washington, D.C. company/battery “B” officers and men proceeded to Detroit, MI. There, on 6/14/1865, they were paid off and sent home.

Officers killed or mortally wounded: 1; Officers died of disease, accidents, etc.:0  ; Enlisted men killed or mortally wounded: 1; Enlisted men died of disease, accidents, etc.  35.


Soldier History

Residence: Inf. Not Avail.   Age: ca. 18 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 12/20/1862 Detroit, MI   Rank: Pvt.
Mustered In: 12/20/1862 Detroit, MI
Mustered Out: 6/14/1865 Detroit, MI
Highest Rank: Pvt.
Rank At Discharge: Pvt.


Family History


James Edwin Carr was born sometime during the month of 7/1847.  His place of birth was within the state of New York.

The parents of James are not named in available documentation. Another unknown is whether or not he had brothers and/or sisters.

In 1861 James, at the age of eighteen enlisted in the U.S. Army for three years. . His unit of service was Company/Battery “B” of the 1st Michigan Light Artillery. Private Carr re-enlisted in 1864 and served until The War’s end.

James married Pluma Chamberlain on 10/28/1865 in Waverly Van Buren County, MI. Ms. Chamberlain had been born 2/1860 in New York.

During their years together James and Pluma produced four children. They were: Marvin E. Carr (b. 9/4/1868 Waverly Van Buren County, MI), Olive Carr (b. 7/28/1875 – d. 9/16/1875 Almena, Van Buren County, MI), Floyd E. Carr (b. ca. 1877 MI).and Ethell M.”Minnie” or Minnie E. Carr. (b. 4/1879 MI).

In 1891, while in Kansas, James applied for and was granted a U.S. Government disability pension based on his days of Civil War soldiering. Without accessing the old soldier’s pension records stored in the National Archives, the size of his monthly stipend remains shrouded in history.

1900. At the dawn of the twentieth century, the U.S. Census found the Carrs farming in Emporia Lyon County, KS. Under the Carr roof at that time were James, Pluma and Floyd. Daughter, Minnie, was still enumerated as part of the family, but was then residing/attending a school for the deaf in Flint Genesee County, MI.

A decade later, in 1910 the Carrs were no longer in Kansas, but in Bellingham Whatcom County, WA. Why when and why the family moved to this part of the Pacific Northwest are unknowns.  In 1910 James listed his occupation as “butler” while Pluma claimed to be a “machine woman.” Daughter, Minnie, was a “chocolate dipper.” The census of ’28 would again find James and Pluma in Bellingham.

Pluma Chamberlain Carr died in Bellingham, WA on 8/16/28. She was/is buried in Whatcom County’s Woodlawn Cemetery.

Following Pluma’s passing, James remarried. The second Mrs. James Carr was the widowed Jennie (no nee) Mellquestt. Jennie had been born ca. 1855 in Texas. James and Jennie did not produce children.

James died on 6/24/1937 in Bellingham Whatcom County, WA. ** He, like Pluma, was/is buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery.

And Jennie? She died 11/10/1941 in Bellingham. She, too, was/is buried at Woodlawn.
* During the ACW Infantry and cavalry regiments composted of ten to 12 companies, generally served as a cohesive whole. Such was not the case with artillery units. Companies (Batteries) most often served independently where needed with the regiment seldom, if ever coming together as a complete entity. Such was the case for Company/Battery B (4 – 6 cannon). As such herein we are focusing only on company/battery “B”.

** According to James’ newspaper obituary, he had resided in Bellingham for thirty-five years. The same piece noted his occupation as having been “carpenter.”

 Posted: 12/7/2023


Buried at Woodlawn Cemetery AKA Paradise Ferndale Whatcom Co.

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