(c. 1823 - ?)
Home State: New York
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 61st New York Infantry
Probably from Ireland and known as Barney, he enlisted at age 38 in Company A, 61st NY Infantry on 7 February 1862, at New York City.
On the Campaign
He was wounded in the foot action on 17 September 1862. Sergeant Fuller later remembered:
When we started to take the place of the Irish brigade [advancing to the Sunken Road], I noticed that Barney appeared to be holding up his pants, but I made no inquiry as to the reason for his so doing. When we took our first position in advance of where the Irishmen had fought, and began firing, Barney had to use both hands, and his predicament was at once revealed. He had held up his pants by a strap around his waist without suspenders. This strap had given out, and that accounted for his holding up performance. When he began loading and filing he had to 'let go' and leave the pants to follow the law of gravitation. Soon his ankles were swathed with these low down breeches, and he was effectually teddered. I was here and there, doing my duty as a sergeant. I had not noticed Barney's predicament till he called to me in a tone of urgency and said, 'Charley, cut the damned things off!'
I took in the situation in an instant, and in less time than I can write it, jerked out my large knife, opened it, grabbed the waistband, made a pass or two, and one leg was free, I said, 'You can kick the other leg out.'
He made a few passes, and from the top of his stockings up his legs were bare. A good breeze was blowing sufficient to take away the smoke from our guns, and sufficient to flap his unconfined shirt tail. I remember calling Ike Plumb's attention to it and having a good laugh over it.
Barney continued his fighting, and was with the men in the grand charge that captured the rebels in the sunken road. He was also in his place in the second attack we made. While the firing was at the hottest I heard a man cry out, and I looked just in time to see Barney throw his gun, and start of on his hands and one leg - the other leg held up. The last I ever saw of him he was pawing off in that fashion ...
The rest of the War
He was discharged for disability on 10 November 1862 at Fort McHenry, MD.
1 State of New York, Adjutant-General, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York [year]: Registers of the [units], 43 Volumes, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893-1905, Issue 25 (for 1900) [AotW citation 7667]
2 Fuller, Charles Augustus, Personal Recollections of the War of 1861... in the Sixty-first Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry, Sherburne (NY): News Job Printing House, 1906, pp. 53 - 73 [AotW citation 7670]