Russell Kelso Carter was born November 18, 1849 in Baltimore, Maryland. He was brought up in a strong Christian environment. He struggled with a personal decision for Christ until he was fifteen. At that time he attended a prayer meeting at his military academy and committed his life to God and the Presbyterian Church, which his parents attended. He went to meetings and grew sporadically over the next few years. He graduated from the Pennsylvania Military Academy (now Widener University) in Chester, in 1867, and became instructor there in 1869. He was commissioned as a Captain in the Pennsylvania State Line and appointed adjutant to the Military Academy by Governor Geary. He is often referred to as Capt. Carter in his writings.
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