John Robert Carter was born November 18, 1890 in Petersburg, Indiana. In 1913, he enlisted in the United States Army at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. Carter was a member of the African-American Company C of the 25th Infantry. In 1918, the 25th was transferred to Arizona where its companies were divided among camps in Yuma, Ajo, and Nogales. After a brief stay in Yuma, Carter and Company C moved on to Camp Stephen D. Little in Nogales from 1919 to 1920. Carter is identified on Company C muster rolls taken periodically at Camp Harry J. Jones in Douglas, Arizona and Fort Huachuca, Arizona from 1922 until his retirement in 1943. Carter died in January, 1949.
Collection consists of the personal and professional papers of John Robert Carter. The Correspondence folder consists of postcards written from relatives and friends to Carter from 1916-1926.
Military Records and newspaper clipping consist of muster rolls, a copy of the general orders for the 25th Infantry, and a single newspaper article on the military execution of thirteen African American soldiers in the early 1940s. The muster rolls are photocopies of the rosters of Company C of the 25th Infantry from approximately 1914-1928 and 1931-1940. The copy of general orders is a 1920 facsimile of the document officially forming the 25th Infantry in 1869. This was Carter's personal copy and bearing his signature. The newspaper clipping describes the hanging of thirteen African-American soldiers of the 24th Infantry for mutiny at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas,who were guarded by Company C during their trial.
The Military Photographs are almost entirely of African-American soldiers, both in uniform and off duty. The Non-Military Photographs are mostly of African-American civilians, including many women. Some of the photographs have notes written on the back. Photographs and Postcards of Nogales, Arizona and Mexico are mostly of buildings, but some include people. Postcards from Hawaii and the Philippines are on a variety of subjects.
The Sandbur is a 1924 yearbook of Carter's Company C was posted at various times. This book includes rosters, descriptions of activities at the Camp, and many photographs. Scenes Taken in the Philippines, China, Japan, and On the Pacific is a photograph book published in 1912. Captions describe each photograph and Carter pasted a list of Hawaiian terms and their English equivalents inside the back cover.