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University Archives: Ross Carter Papers

Collection Information

Ross Cater, ca. 1946

Ross Carter, ca. 1946

Title: Ross Carter Papers

MSS. COLL.: #036

Dates: 1938 - 1995 (bulk dates 1947-1952)

Extent: 1 Hollinger box (.4 linear feet)

Synopsis: This collection contains information about the last days of Ross S. Carter, his indelible impact on his friends and family, and the prize that was established in his memory at Lincoln Memorial University.

Provenance: Provenance information not available.

Processing:  This collection was processed by University Archivist Travis Souther in February 2018

Biographical Note:

Ross Samuel Carter (9 January 1919 - 18 April 1947) was born the third son of James David (1861 - 1942) and Lelia Viola (nee Fraley) Carter (1887 - 1969) in Duffield, Virginia.  Ross Carter attended school at Lincoln Memorial University for three years graduating in 1941 with a bachelors degree in History.  During his education, he worked his way through school milking cows and even sleeping in the no longer extant Sieberling dairy barn.   After graduating from LMU in June 1941, Ross joined the paratroopers in 1942 to fight with Company C, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Infantry Division during the Second World War.  He saw action in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Netherlands, and Belgium.  Ross was wounded in the arm during the initial phases of the Battle of the Bulge on December 20, 1944 at Cheneux, Belgium, but had sufficiently recuperated enough that he rejoined his unit in February 1945.  For his heroism under fire, Ross Carter was decorated with the Silver Star.  Of the forty men who were originally with his unit, only Ross and two others remained with him at the end of the war.

Coming home from the conflict, Carter regaled his family and friends with the exploits of him and his friends.  Encouraged to write a book detailing his experiences, he began composing and organizing his stories in the summer of 1945, working entirely from memory.  ‚ÄčRoss later wrote:

"What I am writing is not military history but an eyewitness, participated in account and human story of men who fought the enemy to a standstill in many bloody battles all over Europe.  I missed only forty-some days of duty with the regiment in three years; and so "was there" when all of these incidents happened."

After the war, Ross reenlisted in the U.S. Army and later took part Task Force Frigid in Alaska in the winter of 1946.  During this time a mole on his back became infected and soon developed into cancer.  Entrusting his unpublished manuscript to his brother Boyd G. Carter (1908 - 1980), Ross Carter passed away in April 1947.  He is buried in the Carter Family Cemetery outside of Duffield, Virginia.

Boyd Carter edited his brother's memoirs and had them first published in 1951.  From a diary entry found on the body of a German officer describing the fighting of the 504th during Allied operations around Anzio, Italy, Boyd Carter chose the title: Those Devils in Baggy Pants.  The book sold over a million copies almost immediately and has since become one of the most well-known autobiographies of life on the front-lines during WWII.  As a result of the book's popularity, Boyd Carter created the Ross S. Carter Prize for Original Writing given to an LMU student. 

Series Notes:

The collection contains relatively few items from Ross Carter's time as a student at LMU.  A large percentage of the correspondence is from Marie J. Niehaus, one of Ross Carter's friends and the individual who was with him when he passed away.  The bulk of the collection centers on the Memorial Award that was established in Ross Carter's memory including correspondence regarding the award from multiple years, forms for monetary contributions to create the award, and actual literary submissions from potential winners.  The collection does not contain any of the manuscripts that Ross Carter wrote from 1945-1946 that would later become the basis for Those Devils in Baggy Pants.

Series: Clippings

Series: Ross Carter Correspondence

Series: Marie J. Niehaus Correspondence

Series: Ross Carter Memorial Award Correspondence

Series: Ross Carter Memorial Award Prize Contribution Sheets

Series: Ross Carter Memorial Award 1952 Prize Entries

Series: Publications

Series: Tributes

Location: F.4.4

Access Notes

The Archives and Special Collections of Lincoln Memorial University are located in the Carnegie-Vincent Library, on the 1st Floor.  Please schedule an appointment to view archival materials.  To schedule an appointment please contact the University Archivist.

matthew.souther@lmunet.edu

Sensitive Materials Policy

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which Lincoln Memorial University assumes no responsibility.

Inventory

Ross Carter Biography

 

Series: Clippings

Obituary, [Newspaper not identified]: 1947 April 19

"Characters of Book Leave Pages at Author's Grave" [Newspaper not identified]: 1951

"4 Comrades Pay Tribute to Author of 'Those Devils in Baggy Pants'" Kingsport Times: 1952 July 7

 

Series: Ross Carter Correspondence

Correspondence: 1938

  • Mrs. J.D. Carter [Viola Lelia Fraley Carter] to Lincoln Memorial University: 1938 August 24

Correspondence: 1940 (3 Photocopies of typed letter)

  • Ross S. Carter to Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Carter [Viola Lelia Fraley Carter]: 1940

Correspondence: 1941

  • E.S. Fraley to C.P. Williams: 1941 May 3
  • C.P. Williams to E.S. Fraley: 1941 May 5

 

Series: Marie J. Niehaus Correspondence

Correspondence: 1947

  • Marie J. Niehaus to Robert L. Kincaid: 1947 February 27
  • T/Sgt. Frank L. Dietrich to Marie J. Niehaus (Ross Carter War Service Record): 1947 April 7
  • Marie J. Niehaus to Robert L. Kincaid: 1947 April 10
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Marie J. Niehaus: 1947 April 16
  • Mrs. J.D. Carter [Lelia Viola Fraley Carter] to Marie J. Niehaus: 1947 April 17 (Western Union Telegram)
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Marie J. Niehaus: 1947 April 22
  • T/Sgt. Frank L. Dietrich to Marie J. Niehaus: 1947 April 25
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Marie J. Niehaus: 1947 April 30
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Marie J. Niehaus: 1947 May 1
  • Marie J. Niehaus to Robert L. Kincaid: 1947 May 4
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Marie J. Niehaus: 1947 May 6
  • Marie J. Niehaus to Robert L. Kincaid: 1947 May 8
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Marie J. Niehaus: 1947 May 14
  • Marie J. Niehaus to Robert L. Kincaid: n.d.

 

Series: Ross Carter Memorial Award Correspondence

Correspondence: 1947

  • Robert L. Kincaid to Mrs. J.D. Carter [Viola Lelia Fraley Carter]: 1947 April 22
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1947 October 22,
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1947 October 27
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1947 October 29
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1947 November 3
  • T/Sgt. Frank L. Dietrich to Robert L. Kincaid: 1947 November 20
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Mr. and Mrs. Fred J. Carter: 1947 November 29
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Mrs. Viola L. Carter: 1947 November 29
  • Robert L. Kincaid to T/Sgt. Frank L. Dietrich: 1947 November 29
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Edgar S. Fraley: 1947 November 29
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Fred J. Fraley: 1947 November 29
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Mrs. Weymouth [Mary Carter] Palmer: 1947 November 29
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1947 December 1
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1947 December 1
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1947 December 7
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1947 December 11
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1947 December 11
  • PFC Charles L. Butler to Robert L. Kincaid: 1947 December 13
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1947 December 17
  • Viola L. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1947 December 17
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Charles L. Butler: 1947 December 17
  • Robert L. Kincaid to J.D. Carter [Lelia Viola Fraley Carter]: 1947 December 22
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Mrs. Weymouth Palmer: 1947 December 29
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Silas Shelburne Stamper: 1947 December 29
  • Viola L. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1947 December 31

Correspondence: 1948

  • Robert L. Kincaid to Wright S. Carter: 1948 January 2
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Viola L. Carter: 1948 January 2
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Sgt. Dorothy S. Siler: 1948 January 2
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Mrs. Weymouth [Mary Carter] Palmer: 1948 January 6
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Thompson Photographers: 1948 January 6
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Mrs. Fred J. Carter: 1948 January 28
  • Jeanne Barkley to Robert L. Kincaid: 1948 February 25
  • Shelburne Stamper to Robert L. Kincaid: n.d. [March 1948?]
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Shelburne Stamper: 1948  March 5
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Jeanne Barkley: 1948 March 10
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1948  March 10
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1948  March 23 
  • Jeanne Barkley to Robert L. Kincaid: 1948  March 24
  • Boyd Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1948 March 30
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Jeanne Barkley:1948 March 30
  • Viola Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1948 April 3
  • E.J. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1948 April 6
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Viola Carter: 1948 April 8
  • Robert L. Kincaid to E.J. Carter: 1948 April 9
  • Jeanne Barkley to Robert L. Kincaid: 1948 April 21
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Jeanne Barkley: 1948 April 27
  • T/Sgt. Frank L. Dietrich to Robert L. Kincaid: 1948 April 31
  • Robert L. Kincaid to T/Sgt. Frank L. Dietrich: 1948  May 4
  • Robert L. Kincaid to James C. Engle: 1948 May 27
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1948 June 19
  • Jeanne Barkley to Robert L. Kincaid: 1948 June 22
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Jeanne Barkley: 1948 June 23
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1948 June 29
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1948 July 1 
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1948 October 29
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1948 October 18
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1948 November 10

Correspondence: 1951

  • Viola L. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1951 May 15
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Fred J. Carter: 1951 May 16
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Mrs. Viola L. Carter-Duffield, Virginia: 1951  May 16
  • Boyd G. Carter to President Robert L. Kincaid: 1951 August 17
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Dr. Boyd G. Carter: 1951 August 21
  • Mrs. Viola L. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1951 October 4
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1951 October 10
  • James C. Engle to Robert L. Kincaid: 1951 October 10
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1951 October 10
  • Robert L. Kincaid to James C. Engle: 1951 October 11
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1951 October 15
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1951 October 15
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1951 November 1
  • President Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1951 November 5
  • Boyd G. Carter to President Robert L. Kincaid: 1951 November 9 
  • Ross S. Carter Memorial Award Award Announcement: ca. 1951

Correspondence: 1953

  • Robert L. Kincaid to Marie J. Niehaus: 1953 June 23 (LMU World War II Heroes - Alumni who were casualties)

Correspondence: 1956

  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1956 February 12
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1956 March 31
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1956 April 12
  • Robert L. Kincaid to William A. Mehrholz (82nd Airborne Division Assoc.): 1956 April 12
  • William A. Mehrholz to Robert L. Kincaid: 1956 April 17
  • Boyd Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1956 April 19
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1956 May 25
  • Robert L. Kincaid to William A. Mehrholz: 1956 May 26
  • Boyd Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1956 May 28
  • William A. Mehrholz (82nd Airborne Division Assoc.) to Robert L. Kincaid: 1956 May 31
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Mr. William A. Mehrholz: 1956 June 7
  • William A. Mehrholz to Robert L. Kincaid: 1956 October 23
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1956 October 25
  • Faye Davis to Mr. William A. Mehrholz: 1956 November 1 
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1956 November 5 
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1956 November 7
  • Boyd Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1956 November 19 
  • Faye Davis to Boyd G. Carter: 1956 November 21
  • William A. Mehrholz-Evanston, Illinois (82nd Airborne Division Assoc.) to Robert L. Kincaid: 1956 December 10
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Reverend Arie D. Bestebreurtje: 1956 December 17
  • Robert L. Kincaid to William A. Mehrholz: 1956 December 17

Correspondence: 1957

  • 1st Lt. Jack L. Cooper (504th Airborne Infantry Regiment) to Robert L. Kincaid: 1957 January 30
  • 1st Jack L. Cooper to Robert L. Kincaid: 1957 January 30 (copy of above)
  • [Faye Davis] to Lt. Jack L. Cooper: 1957 February 1 
  • Colonel Robert R. Linvill [] to Robert L. Kincaid: 1957 February 8
  • Commanding General 82nd Airborne Division (Fort Bragg, North Carolina) to Robert L. Kincaid: 1957  February 11(Western Union Telegram)
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Colonel Robert R. Linvill (504 Airborne Infantry Regiment-Fort Bragg, N.C.): 1957 February 15
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1957 February 26
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Sgt. Walter R. Cord (Public Information Officer-504th Airborne Infantry Regiment): 1957 March 6 
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1957 March 10
  • From: Faye Davis to Boyd G. Carter: 1957 March 13
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1957 March 31
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1957 April 4
  • William A. Mehrholz to Robert L. Kincaid: 1957 April 16
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Antonio Giannola: 1957 April 22 
  • Robert L. Kincaid to William A. Mehrholz: 1957 April 22 
  • Robert L. Kincaid to William A. Mehrholz: 1957 April 26
  • Faye Davis to Boyd G. Carter: 1957 May 4 
  • Robert L. Kincaid to Boyd G. Carter: 1957 July 24 
  • Boyd G. Carter to Robert L. Kincaid: 1957 August 5 

Correspondence: 1965

  • Boyd G. Carter to H. Lamarr Rice: 1965 August 17 

Correspondence, 1969

  • Boyd G. Carter to Herbert Y. Livesay: 1969 February 18
  • Herbert Y. Livesay to: Dr. Boyd G. Carter: 1969 February 24
  • Boyd G. Carter to Herbert Y. Livesay: 1969 March 24
  • Herbert Y. Livesay to Boyd G. Carter: 1969 April 2
  • Romel Tony Emiren (45th Infantry Division) to Lincoln Memorial University Library: 1969 May 15
  • Herbert Y. Livesay to Boyd G. Carter: 1969 July 3 
  • Boyd G. Carter to Herbert Y. Livesay: 1969 August 12
  • Herbert Y. Livesay to Boyd G. Carter: 1969 August 18
  • Boyd G. Carter to President Herbert Y. Livesay: 1969 August 27
  • Herbert Y. Livesay to Boyd G. Carter: 1969 September 2

Correspondence: 1970

  • Boyd G. Carter to Herbert Y. Livesay: 1970 May 16 
  • H.Y. Livesay to Boyd G. Carter: 1970 June 2
  • Boyd G. Carter to Herbert Y. Livesay: 1970 June 23
  • H.Y. Livesay to Boyd G. Carter: 1970 June 30

Correspondence: 1971

  • E.S. Fraley to Herbert Y. Livesay: 1971 March 12
  • Herbert Y. Livesay to E.S. Fraley: 1971 March 17
  • Boyd G. Carter to Stuart L. Watson (Vice President Development): 1971 June 18
  • Stuart L. Watson to Dan Serilla (Phoenix Chapter 82nd Airborne): 1971 June 25

Correspondence: 1972

  • Stuart L. Watson to Boyd G. Carter: 1972 February 7

Correspondence: 1973

  • Stuart L. Watson to Boyd G. Carter: 1973 May 25 

Correspondence: 1982

  • Georgia Baker (Director of Alumni Affairs) to Mrs. Boyd Carter: 1982 November 19 

Correspondence: 1995

  • Cynthia Cooke (Vice President for Alumni and Development) to Mrs. Pearl Carter: 1995 April 26

 

Series: Prize Contribution Sheets

Prize Contributions Sheets, 1947

Prize Contribution Sheets, 1948

 

Series: 1952 Prize Entries

Prize Entry: "The Decision," 1952

Prize Entry: "The End," 1952

Prize Entry: "Final Encounter," 1952

Prize Entry: "Goodbye, Chris," 1952

Prize Entry: "The Harvest," 1952

Prize Entry: "Hilltop," 1952

Prize Entry: "Light Comes After Darkness," 1952

Prize Entry: "Marriage Relation," 1952

Prize Entry: "Mercy of the Secret," 1952

Prize Entry: "A Morning in March," 1952

Prize Entry: "A Most Interesting Conversation," 1952

Prize Entry: "Past: Four Variations," 1952

Prize Entry: "Past Remembrances," 1952

Prize Entry: "Responsibility of Good Government," 1952

Prize Entry: "Short Short Story," 1952

Prize Entry: "Thou Shalt Not Kill," 1952

Prize Entry: "Three Poems," 1952

Prize Entry: "Where He Leads Me," 1952

Prize Entry: "Gillis Wilmouth Poetry," 1952

Prize Entry: "The Youth," 1952

 

Series: Publications

Paraglide, Spring 1956

Paraglide, Fall 1956

Paraglide, Spring 1957

 

Series: Tributes

Jean Barkley Tribute: 1991

Boyd G. Carter Poetry: "To Ross in Memoriam"

Ross S. Carter Poetry: "On What Obscure Battlefield---?"

Citation

[Identification of Item], Ross Carter Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Lincoln Memorial University, TN, USA.

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