Samuel S. Carroll

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Samuel Sprigg Carroll
Samuel S Carroll.jpg
Samuel S. Carroll
Nickname(s) "Red"
Born (1832-09-21)September 21, 1832
Takoma Park, Maryland
Died January 28, 1893(1893-01-28) (aged 60)
near Takoma Park, Maryland
Place of burial Oak Hill Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Union
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1856–1869
Rank Union army brig gen rank insignia.jpg Brigadier General
Union army maj gen rank insignia.jpgBrevet Major General
Commands held 8th Ohio Infantry
Gibraltar Brigade
Battles/wars American Civil War

Samuel Sprigg "Red" Carroll (September 21, 1832 – January 28, 1893) was a career officer in the United States Army who rose to the rank of brigadier general during the American Civil War. The Maryland native was most known for his service as the commander of the famed "Gibraltar Brigade," an infantry brigade in the Army of the Potomac that played a key role during the defense of Cemetery Hill during the Battle of Gettysburg, as well as in repulsing a portion of Pickett's Charge.

Early life[edit]

Samuel S. Carroll was born near what is now Takoma Park, Maryland. He was a descendant of Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was educated in the local schools, and received an appointment to the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. He graduated 44th of 49 cadets in the Class of 1856 and was brevetted as a second lieutenant in the infantry. He was assigned to frontier duty at a variety of posts in the Old West before returning to West Point as the post's quartermaster.

He was married to Miss Helen Bennett in St. Louis Missouri on September 3, 1856. Helen was the eldest child of William Bennett, a prominent merchant originally born in Maryland, and his wife Catherine DuBois. They had three known children: Catherine "Katy" Carroll born about 1858 in Kansas, Helen Hancock Carroll born 8 October 1864 in New York and a son Samuel Sprigg Carroll Jr. born around 1875 in Maryland.

Civil War[edit]

Carroll was promoted to the rank of captain in the 10th U.S. Infantry shortly after the Civil War erupted. In December 1861, he was appointed as colonel of the 8th Ohio Infantry, a three-years' regiment that exclusively saw duty in the Eastern Theater. During the 1862 Valley Campaign, Carroll commanded the 4th Brigade in James Shields' division. Carroll commanded the vanguard of the Union army at the Battle of Cross Keys. He was commended for his performance at the Battle of Cedar Mountain. Transferred with this brigade to the Northern Virginia area, he was severely wounded in the chest in a fight near the Rapidan River. He recovered in time to resume his field command in III Corps before the Battle of Fredericksburg.

In 1863, Carroll commanded the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division of the II Corps at the Battle of Chancellorsville. During the second day at Gettysburg, his 8th Ohio was involved in skirmishing along the Emmitsburg Road, while the other three regiments of the Gibraltar Brigade, 14th Indiana, Col. John Coons (191) 4th Ohio, Lieut. Col. Leonard W. Carpenter (299)and 7th West Virginia, Lieut. Col. Jonathan H. Lockwood (counter-attacked oncoming Confederates from North Carolina and the Louisiana Tigers from Jubal Early's division on the slopes of Cemetery Hill, driving them back in the growing darkness. Carroll later led his depleted brigade in some small engagements during the Mine Run Campaign.

Carroll was promoted to brigadier general on May 12, 1864. He was twice wounded during the Overland Campaign, once at the Wilderness and again at Spotsylvania Court House. His left arm was amputated. After his recovery, he commanded the Department of West Virginia briefly and later led a division in the Army of the Shenandoah.

Post War career[edit]

When the war ended, Carroll stayed in the postbellum Regular Army, serving in the inspector general's department. Partially invalided by his war-time injuries, he retired from the army in 1869 with the brevet rank of major general. In August 1886, his wife divorced him.

Death and legacy[edit]

In late January 1893, Carroll contracted pneumonia and died six days later at the age of 60 at his country residence, "Belleview," near Takoma Park, Maryland. His death was hastened by his never having fully recovered from his wounds. His funeral was held in St. John's Church in Washington, D.C.. He was buried with full military honors in Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown, Washington, D.C..

The main street in Takoma Park is named Carroll Avenue in his memory.

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