BIOGRAPHY INDEX HOME PAGE MENU / SEARCH

Col. Scott Carter



Col. Scott Carter, attorney, Vevay, was born in Culpepper County, Va., April 19, 1820. His father, Thomas, was born in Lancaster County, Va., about 1790; his mother, Ann (Gordon) Carter, in Hagerstown, Md., about 1796. They were married in Frederickstown, Md., in 1814, and raised two children; Elizabeth S., born in November, 1815, and Scott, subject of this sketch. The family moved to Maysville, Ky., December, 1821, and to Switzerland County, in 1834. His father was a blacksmith, and worked at Harper's Ferry during the war of 1812, tempering main springs for the armory. In Kentucky and Indiana he followed farming, and died in October, 1846, the mother in December, 1856, a member of the Episcopal Church. In 1841 Col. Carter commenced the study of law under Joseph C. Eggleston, the father of the talented author, Edward Eggleston. He attended two courses of lectures at Transylvania University, was admitted to the bar in 1844, and began practice in Vevay, where he has resided ever since. In 1846 he was elected captain of a company, which was organized at New Albany, and was assigned to J.H. Lane's Third Indiana Regiment for service in the war against Mexico. They reached the Rio Grande River via New Orleans, and participated in the battle of Buena Vista. On his return home, in 1847, he resumed the practice of law, which he continued without interruption until the outbreak of the Civil War. He took active part in raising the First Regiment, Indiana Cavalry, and was appointed lieutenant-colonel by Gov. Morton and Gov. Baker, being colonel of the regiment. Col. Baker was ordered West with a detachment of six companies, and the remaining six companies were ordered to Washington under command of Lieut.-Col. Carter. There he was made colonel of the regiment which was known as the Third Indiana Cavalry, and sent with his regiment into lower Maryland, where they remained until May, 1862, when he was ordered back to Washington for the defense of the capital. At the time of Stonewall Jackson's raid into the Shenandoah Valley, he was ordered to Manassas and Ashby's Gap, and in part of the same campaign acted with Gen. Shield's division in the Shenandoah Valley. He was afterward ordered to Fredericksburg, and served there under Gens. King and Burnside. About the time of the second battle of Bull Run, the regiment was ordered to Washington and to Edward's Ferry on the Upper Potomac, after Gen. McClellan assumed command of the army. The regiment was engaged in several skirmishes before the general engagement at Antietam, in which it bore a very active part. Col. Carter's command was in the advance at Fillemont, Union, Upperville, Barber's Cross Roads, and at Amosville. They were principally engaged in outpost duty up to and including the battle of Fredericksburg. Col. Carter remained in active service with his command until after the battle of Chancellorsville, when his health having become seriously impaired, he resigned his commission, and returned home in 1863. For over three years he suffered serious inconvenience from the effect upon his constitution of the exposures incident to his military life. In 1868 he was elected judge of the court of common pleas for the counties of Jefferson, Switzerland, Ohio and Dearborn. He was re-elected in 1872, and in March, 1873, was legislated out of office, the common pleas court being abolished by the State Legislature. He also served as judge by appointment of Gov. Willard, and as United States Commissioner. Judge Carter was originally a Whig, but when that party passed out of existence, he allied himself with the Democrats, and has voted and acted with them ever since. His initial vote was cast for Henry Clay in 1844. He was a Whig elector in 1852, when Gen. Scott was a presidential candidate. He has done effective work in speaking for the candidate of his choice, but for the last few years, has retired from active, political life. He is a man of strong convictions, and outspoken in his views upon all subjects. He is a member of the Roman Catholic Church. February 19, 1848, he married Miss Susan M. Chalfant, a lady of Virginian descent, and their union has been blessed by three children: Elizabeth, Fenwick and John P. In personal appearance Judge Carter is very striking. His head is massive, the forehead broad and high, and crowned by a luxuriant growth of snow-white hair, while his long, flowing beard and tall, well-proportioned figure, makes him at once dignified and imposing. His bearing is soldierly, and in conversation he is pleasant and genial. His is popular in a surprising degree for a man of his force of character, and somewhat radical opinions.