Sep. 24, 1833 Jamesville Onondaga County New York, USA
Jan. 29, 1892 New York New York County (Manhattan) New York, USA
Civil War Union Brigadier General, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. A Syracuse, New York lawyer and militia officer before the Civil War, he entered the Union Army upon the outbreak of the conflict as a Captain in the 12th New York Volunteer Infantry. In the July 1861 First Bull Run Campaign, he fought with his unit in the July 18th action at Blackburn's Ford as it made an unsupported charge against Confederate positions and was repulse with heavy losses. He remained a member of the 12th New York, and was advance to Major of the regiment in October 1861. Through the Spring 1862 Peninsular Campaign he was present in the Battles of Hanover Court House and the Seven Days Battles. In the July 1, 1862 Battle of Malvern Hill, he led a charge that resulted in his severe wounding and, thought to have been killed, being left on the battlefield. After the battle was over the body of another officer was identified as his, and was buried under his name in Syracuse. However, Henry Barnum had actually been removed to the Malvern House, and was captured when the Union forces withdrew. After spending imprisonment in Richmond's Libby Prison, he was exchanged and detailed to raise another regiment, which became the 149th New York Volunteer Infantry. Commissioned Colonel of the unit in September 1862, his Malvern Hill wounds prevented him from spending much time with the 149th New York. He served in part of the Gettysburg Campaign, but when the regiment helped defend Culp's Hill during the third day the Battle (July 3, 1863), it was led by Lieutenant Colonel Charles B. Randall. Finally recovering enough (after two operations) to join his men in Tennessee in November 1863, he led them at the Battle of Lookout Mountain, where he was wounded in the arm. Despite this, he was conspicuously at the forefront of his men through the entire battle, and his actions that day would win him the Congressional Medal of Honor, which was presented to him on July 1889. The 149th New York particularly distinguished itself in the battle, capturing over half of all flags taken by Union forces. A month later, Colonel Barnum and his regiment was detailed by Major General George Thomas to travel to Washington, DC to present the War Department with the captured Confederate flags. In the subsequent battles for Atlanta in the Spring and Summer of 1864, Colonel Barnum fought at Kennesaw Mountain and at Peach Tree Creek, where a shell fragment causes his third wounding of the war. In September, when 3rd Brigade commander Colonel David Ireland of the 137th New York succumbed to disease, Henry Barnum was elevated to lead the unit. He participated in Major General William T. Sherman's "March to the Sea", and led the first Union troops into the evacuated city of Savannah, Georgia. He continued to lead the brigade through the final Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina and to the end of the war. Having received brevets of Brigadier and Major General, US Volunteers on March 13, 1865, he was promoted to full rank Brigadier General, US Volunteers on May 31, 1865. He continued to lead Union occupation forces until his resignation from the service in January 1866. He resumed his position of prominence in his native New York after the war, serving as Inspector of New York State Prisons, in the New York State Legislature and as Harbor Master of New York City. He was also involved in Veterans affairs, serving as head of the New York State GAR, and as director of the New York Gettysburg Battlefield Association. His Medal of Honor citation reads "Although suffering severely from wounds, he led his regiment, inciting the men to greater action by word and example until again severely wounded". He was one of six 149th New York Infantry soldiers to be awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery during the Civil War (the others being Sergeant William H.H. Crosier, Private Philip Goettel, Private Peter Kappesser, Sergeant John Kiggins, and 1st Sergeant Norman F. Potter). (bio by: Russ Dodge)
Photos may be scaled. Click on image for full size.
Dear General Barnum,You showed an outstanding amount of courage and dedication to serving this nation. Your sense of duty and integrity will forever serve to inspire those who are currently serving in our military. Thank you and RIP -
John Haseltine Added: Mar. 6, 2016