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Past Tense Family's food spared by Union soldier

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Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 1:58 pm | Updated: 2:01 pm, Tue Jun 12, 2012.

During the Civil War, the Carpenter family owned land on both sides of Mount Vernon Road from Jett Ferry Road to beyond Tilly Mill Road. The home place was located on the north side of Mount Vernon Road, where the BB&T Bank is located today in Williamsburg of Dunwoody Shopping Center.

George M. Carpenter married Susan Eison on April 14, 1853 and they had five children. In 1864, when the Union Troops passed through Dunwoody, there were four children in the family; Arkansas, age 10, Lucy, age 9, Amanda, age 6, and John, age 2. Laura was born after the war in 1868.

George Carpenter enlisted with the 9th Artillery Batallion Volunteer Brigade in the Spring of 1862. Men from several Georgia counties came together to form the Battalion. Their service took them from Georgia to Tennessee and in 1864 to Chaffins’ Bluff, Va. He was at Appomattox on April 9, 1865 when Lee surrendered to Grant and the war ended. Then he walked back to his home in the community known as Providence, which is Dunwoody today.

The same year that George was in Virginia, Susan was at the home with their children, preparing for the possibility that Union soldiers would likely be on her farm. She prepared by hiding their valuables. A pocket watch was hidden in a hollow log, food was buried in the ground, and rather than leave the family cow to be stolen-it was slaughtered. Susan was cooking the beef in a large pot outside the home when the soldiers approached. She began pulling it out of the pot and carrying it in her apron, with the meat dripping at her feet. When the Union officer in charge saw her four children, he told her to put the meat back in the pot, the soldiers would not steal the family’s food.

All the hidden items were recovered after the Federals moved on through Dunwoody, except for a bag of salt which disintegrated into the ground where it was buried.

George and Susan Carpenter are buried in the Ebenezer Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery. Descendants of the Carpenter family have passed along the story of George and Susan. Their great, great grandchildren, Ken Anderson, Jane Autry, and Carolyn Parker still live nearby and they have shared the story with their children and grandchildren. The pocket watch is safe in the hands of the family, as well as photographs of George Carpenter.

© 2015 Dunwoody Crier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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