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Fred Carter’s roots run deep in Gloucester

Fred Carter doesn’t live in Gloucester anymore, but his roots here are deep and he remains active in local community affairs. He recently talked about his family’s rich history in Gloucester and about some of his childhood memories. He now resides in Williamsburg.

Carter’s great-grandfather Gabriel Carter and his two brothers, James and Andrew, were enslaved on Shelly Plantation, an estate on Carter Creek owned by the Page family. The Pages were apparently “pretty good folks” who treated their servants well, said Carter.

Nevertheless, when the Civil War broke out, James and Andrew fled to Fort Monroe in Hampton and became contraband soldiers for the Union Army, serving in Hampton, Yorktown and Florida, said Carter.

Gabriel, on the other hand, according to Civil War records and accounts he wrote himself, was sent to Gloucester Point to join the Confederate Army, eventually serving as a cook and laundryman for the Richmond Howitzers. He was well regarded ...

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