James was born in 1820, in Ohio, to John and Margaret Carmer. I have been unable to find his exact birth date, so far, and the only place of birth is listed as Ohio.
James married Lavina Harris on the 30th of January, 1853, in Bartholomew County, Indiana. They raised their 9 children; Charles Clyde, James, Jr., Clarence Eugene, Lizzie, William S., Alfaretta, Curtis, Samuel and John Carmer, in Bartholomew County.
In 1860, in the census of Azalia, Bartholomew County, Indiana, the family is listed as follows: James, 40, Lavina, 23, Samuel, 5, John, 3, and Alfaretta is 1 years old. James occupation is Cooper.
Private James C. Carmer was a veteran of the Civil War. He enlisted on the 24th of February, 1862, into Company A, Indiana 53rd Infantry Regiment. He mustered out on July 21, 1865 in Gainsville, Kentucky.
In the 1880 census of Elizabethtown, Bartholomew County, Indiana, James and family were living at 17 First Street, Elizabethtown, Indiana. He was 60 years old and Lavinia is 44. The children in the household at the time are William S., 16, Lizzie is 14, Clarence, 9, James C. Jr., 7 and Charles is 5. James is working as a Cooper still.
A cooper was a person who made buckets, barrels and all kinds of containers. They worked with metal and wood.
James died on February 21, 1890, at the age of 70, in Bartholomew County, Indiana. He was buried in the Sandcreek Cemetery, in Azalia, Indiana. The inscription on his stone is: G.A.R. Co. 53rd Ind. Inf.
His Obituary was found in the Republic, Columbus, Indiana. (source below)
To the Member of James Moffit Post, No. 223. G.A.R.
Comrades:-One by one, as the years roll on, the members of the Grand Army, fulfilling the demands of nature, drop by the wayside and are known no more among their fellows.
To our organization death comes with a peculiar sadness, for we realize that the chair made vacant can not be filled again, and that the time will come, in the not distant future, when the "assembly" will not be sounded and the roll of the Grand Army will be called in vain.
Comrade James C. Carmer, after a short illness, died at Elizabethtown, Ind., Feb. 21, 1890, in the 70th year of his age. He was one of the charter members of the post. He enlisted in company A, 53d Indiana volunteers, Feb. 1, 1862, and was mustered out of service July 21, 1865, having faithfully served his country 3 years and 5 months and over.
Of late years he was totally disabled from the performance of any manual labor, as the result of disease contracted in the army. Comrade Carmer showed his devotion to his country in the hour of her peril. He deserves to be kindly remembered by those who are living to enjoy the fruits of the victories gained in the great struggle for National unity.
He leaves a wife and five children to mourn the loss of a good husband and kind father. To these afflicted ones the post extends its sympathy and its well wishes.
John B. Anderson,
Alex. W. Dean,
D. A. Thompson,
Elizabethtown, Ind., March 7, 1890.
This is the family of my son-in-law.
1860 Census; Azalia, Bartholomew, Indiana; Roll: M653_244; Page: 450; Family History Library Film: 803244; Ancestry.com
National Park Service. U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com.
1880 Census; Elizabethtown, Bartholomew, Indiana; Roll: 266; Page: 215B; Enumeration District: 013; Ancestry.com.
Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, ca. 1879-ca. 1903; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1845, 22 rolls); Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, Record Group 92; National Archives, Washington, D.C.; Ancestry.com.
Obituary: The Republic, Columbus, Indiana; Saturday, March 8, 1890; Page 4