Barnes, William H.

ACTION: Chaffin's Farm (Fort Harrison), VA.

DATE: 29 September 1864.

NAME: Barnes, William H.

RANK/UNIT: Private, Co. C, 38th U.S. Colored Troops.

CITATION: "Among the first to enter the enemy's works, although wounded."

MEDAL PRESENTED: 6 April 1865.

BIOGRAPHICAL DATA: Born: St. Marys County, MD. 1830 or 1831.

ENTERED SERVICE: Ridge, MD. 11 February 1864.


OTHER: William Barnes was a 33-year-old farmer when he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He stood 5'11" tall. Barnes was promoted to Sergeant in January 1865, but never left the service alive. He died of tuberculosis at Indianola, Texas on Christmas Eve 1866.

Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1978, Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1979, p. 25
Bearss,Edwin C., "Black Medals of Honor Received a New Market Heights, 29 September 1864." National park Service Memo in Richmond NBP files, 2 April 1979.


An order from Gen. Benjamin Butler, dated 11 October 1864, had this to say:

Private William H. Barnes, Company C, Thirty-eighth U.S. Colored Troops, among the very first to enter the rebel works, although himself previously wounded, has a medal for his gallantry.

(Official Records, #89, p168.)

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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