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J.R. Barnett, Jr.

J.R. Barnett, Jr.

Federal (USV)


James Reuben Barnett, Jr.

(1838 - 1862)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 35th New York Infantry

Before Antietam

He was a partner in a mercantile business with his father when, at age 22, he enrolled 13 May 1861 in Elmira and mustered as First Lieutenant, Company H, 35th New York Infantry on 11 June 1861. He was promoted to Captain on 21 September to date from 3 August 1861.

On the Campaign

He was mortally wounded by gunshot to the forehead in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862:

We formed and tried to stop the panic, but they would not rally, but were breaking our lines, when Gen. Patrick ordered us to form at right angles with the enemy, and when the broken troops got passed, to wheel out and face the enemy. But we were too late. They came round on our flank, and at the same time poured a murderous volley through the length ways of the battalion, and we were ordered to draw off slowly by the flank, when Capt. Barnett says, "boys, go slow, and for God's sake don't break."

He had hardly spoken when a Minnie ball struck him over the left eye and he fell. He told Sergeant Frink the night before that he should not come out of the battle alive, and wished him to take his sword, (one that we presented him last winter) and send it to his friends. This we did, and tried to carry him from the field, but were so closely pressed we were obliged to leave him. Four hours afterwards we again got possession of the field and found he was yet alive. He was brought off the field and lived till the next day [sic, 19 September].

References & notes

Service information from the Adjutant General,1 who says he was killed outright on 17 September. The quote above from a letter by George Davis of Company H printed in the Madison (NY) Observer of 9 October 1862, transcribed online by blogger "Wounded Knee". Personal details from a memorial sketch in the Fourth Annual Report of the Bureau of Military Statistics, State of New York (Vol. 4, 1867). His gravesite is on Findagrave. Another Facebook memorial is the source of his picture, from a Brady photograph. His body was returned home; he is not buried in Antietam National Cemetery.


08/29/1838; Peterboro, NY


09/19/1862; Sharpsburg, MD; burial in Peterboro Cemetery, Peterboro, NY


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, For the Year 1900, Ser. No. 22, pg. 293  [AotW citation 21885]