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Confederate (CSA)


John Gibbes Barnwell

(1831 - 1888)

Home State: South Carolina

Command Billet: Ordnance Officer

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: Army of Northern Virginia


see his Battle Report

Before Sharpsburg

A 29 year old lawyer and planter on his fathers large plantation in St. Helena Parish, Beaufort District, SC, he was appointed First Lieutenant in the Confederate States Army Corps of Artillery on 16 March 1861. He was on recruiting and training duty, then assigned to Colonel Pendleton, Chief Ordnance Officer on 31 July 1861. He was promoted to Captain of Artillery to date from 16 April 1862.

On the Campaign

He was General Pendleton's Ordnance Officer, and afterward reported the deployment and status of the command's guns and equipment on the Campaign.

The rest of the War

By 5 January 1863 he was promoted to Major of Artillery and he continued as Chief Ordnance Officer on General Pendleton's staff for the rest of the war. He was paroled at Appomattox Court House, VA on 9 April 1865 as Chief Ordnance Officer of the Army of Northern Virginia.

After the War

He was Librarian of the University of South Carolina at his death at age 57 in 1888.

References & notes

His service from the Compiled Service Records of Confederate General and Staff Officers (NARA, microfilm M331), online from fold3. Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census for 1860. His later occupation from the Library Journal (February 1888). His gravesite is on Findagrave.

His parents were cousins. His father Robert Woodward Barnwell (1801-1882, Harvard 1821) was a wealthy planter, lawyer, US Congressman (1829-33), president of South Carolina College (1835-41), and both US (briefly, 1850) and CS Senator (1862-65).

John was named for his mother Eliza Barnwell's (1807-1891) father, Captain John Gibbes Barnwell (1778-1828).

Barnwell County (formed 1797) was probably named for his great-grandfather John Barnwell (1748-1800).

His cousin/uncle John Gibbes Barnwell II (1816-1905) was also a Major of Artillery, CSA, first commissioned Lieutenant the same date as our John, 16 March 1861. He served mostly in the Western Theater. He was an architect and militia artillery Captain in Beaufort before the war and a librarian after, at the U of Georgia, Athens. His son John Gibbes Barnwell III (1839-1919) was Captain, Co. H, First SC Infantry and on General Perrin's staff. These names can cause some research confusion.

More on the Web

See a picture of a Federal signal station atop what was his or his cousin's house in Beaufort, SC, taken in about 1862 after it was occupied by Federal troops; online from the Library of Congress.


06/16/1831; Beaufort, SC


09/19/1888; Beaufort, SC; burial in Saint Helena's Episcopal Churchyard, Beaufort, SC