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J.H. Barnes

J.H. Barnes

Federal (USV)

Lieutenant Colonel

Joseph Henry Barnes

(1833 - 1906)

Home State: Massachusetts

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 29th Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

A 28 year old printer in East Boston, he raised a militia company in April 1861 - the Greenough Guards - and was commissioned for Federal service in Boston on 18 May 1861. He mustered as Captain, Company C, First Massachusetts Infantry (militia) on 22 May. They were at First Bull Run on 21 July 1861.

He was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry as it was formally organized on 13 December 1861 by Governor Andrew, and his Company became "K" of the new regiment.

On the Campaign

He commanded the regiment in Maryland in Colonel Ebenezer W. Peirce's absence; the Colonel lost an arm at White Oak Swamp in June and was on leave, recovering, into November 1862. Part of the famed Irish Brigade, the 29th was in the assault on the Sunken Road at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He and the regiment were transferred to the Ninth Army Corps in December 1862. At various times in 1864 he commanded the Brigade, and he mustered out on 9 October 1864 at the end of his term. He was honored by Brevet to Brigadier General of Volunteers for his actions in Command of the Brigade at Weldon Railroad near Petersburg, VA on 19 August 1864.

After the War

By 1880 and to at least 1900 he was the Deputy Collector of the Port of Boston. He was active in Veterans' affairs - a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the US (MOLLUS) and the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), and was for many years President of the regimental association.

References & notes

His service from Soldiers, Sailors and Marines,1 and Osborne's History of the Twenty-ninth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in the Late War of the Rebellion (1877). Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census of 1880 and 1900. His gravesite is on Findagrave, source also of his picture from a CDV sold on ebay in 2016, contributed by Donald Thompson.

He married Anna Delia Stickney (1834-1919) in August 1866 and they had 3 children.


07/25/1833; Hingham, MA


01/10/1906; in MA; burial in Hingham Cemetery, Hingham, MA


1   Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Adjutant General, Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, 8 Vols, Norwood (MA): Norwood Press, 1931-35, Vol. III, pg. 326  [AotW citation 26154]