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J. Barnes

J. Barnes

Federal (USV)


James Barnes

(1801 - 1869)

Home State: Massachusetts

Education: US Military Academy, West Point, NY, Class of 1829;Class Rank: 5th of 46

Command Billet: Brigade Commander

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Corps


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

He graduated from West Point in 1829 (Robert E. Lee graduated second in that year) and remained at the Academy as instructor of tactics and French. After brief service in the field he resigned in 1836.

He was then a civil engineer on railroads until shortly after the outbreak of War, in July 1861, when he was appointed Colonel of the 18th Massachusetts Infantry. He first saw action on the Peninsula Campaign, where, as senior Colonel, he was put in command of the Brigade in July 1862.

On the Campaign

He was in command of the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division/Fifth (V) Corps.

The Fifth Corps was largely in reserve at Antietam, but his Brigade fought in the action at Shepherdstown Ford on the 20th.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Brigadier General in November 1862 and was at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. He commanded a Division at Gettysburg, where he was wounded in the leg. He then was in command of the POW camp at Point Lookout, Maryland for the remainder of the War.

After the War

He was a member of the US Commission on building the Union Pacific Railroad.

References & notes

A critical Biographical Sketch excerpted from The Generals of Gettysburg: The Leaders of America's Greatest Battle by Larry Tagg .

More on the Web

A fine collection of Photos and Drawings (prisoner art) from Point Lookout, MD at the Library of Congress. Included is a good portrait engraving of the General.
See more pictures of him at Generals and Brevets.


12/28/1801; Boston, MA


2/12/1869; Springfield, MA