Enlisted November 26, 1861 in the 17th South Carolina Volunteers Company E. The Indian Land Tigers as a Surgeon during the Civil War. Detailed as a Hospital Steward. Paroled on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. He was the son of Joel Simmons Barnett and Jane Selina Hanna Watson. He married Lucinda Dorcus Potts.