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May11, 2011

Vol. 111, No. 12

A Southern family's path to Princeton

In response to: Princeton in the Confederacy's service

Published on May11, 2011

In “Princeton in the Confederacy’s service,” W. Barksdale Maynard ’88 mentions Dr. Joseph Jones 1853. His brother, my great grandfather, Col. Charles Colcock Jones Jr. 1852, was, at the age of 29, the mayor of Savannah in 1860–61. During the Civil War he was appointed lieutenant colonel of artillery and assigned as chief of artillery for the military district of Georgia, a position he held in the siege of Savannah in December 1864.

His family’s three plantations in Liberty County, Ga., were put out of commission by “Kilpatrick’s men” on Sherman’s march to the sea. Following the war, there was no way for a lawyer to make a living in Savannah. A few months later he went to New York, where for 12 years he had a law practice among the people he had been fighting a few months before. During those years he earned enough money to return to Georgia, where his family’s property had been laid waste. He lived the rest of his life in Augusta. This is another example of the surprising relationships between North and South, even immediately after the war.

The relationships he had during Princeton and Harvard Law School apparently continued. After a generation, the Princeton tradition continued also. His grandson, my father, Charles Colcock Jones Carpenter, was from Georgia in the Class of ’21, and my brother, Charles Colcock Jones Carpenter Jr., from Alabama, graduated exactly 100 years after Col. Charles Colcock Jones Jr. I graduated 102 years after Dr. Joseph Jones. To many people, Princeton still seems to be the “Southern” Ivy League university.

Douglas M. Carpenter ’55
Birmingham, Ala.

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