Quaker Cemetery – Capt. Benjamin Carter
As I stated, once a month, I plan to make a post concerning the “residents” of Quaker Cemetery. It is a fascinating location with so much Camden history…I don’t think even the residents realize it is such a gem. When you come to Bloomsbury, it is a great place to visit. So, let’s talk about Captain Benjamin Carter.
Captain Carter lived from 1758 until 1830. A revolutionary war veteran, he lived in Camden for fifty years. He enlisted in 1776 and was considered a gallant soldier of the Revolution. He participated in the Battle of Camden, Brandywine and Germantown. He also spent the winter at Valley Forge.
A great story is told of him concerning the Battle of Camden. According to Judge O’Neall “This old soldier (Captain Carter) said that he commanded a company on the extreme left of Gates line, at the Battle of Gum Swamp (Battle of Camden) and at the first fire all of his men fled. Left alone he went to the Captain next to him, whose men had also abandoned him, and asked what was to be done. He received no satisfactory answer. Whereupon he said to his neighbor: ‘I’ll be d—d if I am here to be shot down.’ He jumped on his pony, which he had fastened in the bushes, left the field, and said: “I suppose I was the first man out of reach of danger.’”
Despite this tongue-in-cheek story told by him of the disaster at the Battle of Camden, Captain Carter was a popular man in Camden. He kept an open hospitable parlor and dining-room for his neighbors where wist and loo (card games) parties were sometimes conducted. While some gambling may have occurred, there was never excess characterized in these meetings nor evil attributed.
Captain Carter was an old bachelor. He was a kind man, with a warmth of heart and yet could be rough and brusque at times as a bachelor could be. Captain Carter passed away on January 20, 1830. His best friend was Benjamin Bynum who died six years after him on July 9, 1836. They are buried side by side with headstones that are duplicates of each other.
Sunday afternoons are a great time to visit the cemetery. It is located about 3 miles from Bloomsbury…a very easy drive.