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SGT William H Barnes
Cenotaph

Photo added by David N. Lotz

SGT William H Barnes

Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He was a farmer before the war and enlisted in the Union Army on February 11, 1864. He joined Company C of the 38th United States Colored Infantry Regiment as a private. His enlistment papers gave his age as 23 which means he would have been born in 1840 or 1841, but other sources give his birth as 1845. His regiment was among a division of black troops at the Battle of Chaffin's Farm on September 29, 1864.Confederate Brigadier General John Gregg's Texas Brigade threw up two lines of defense and a withering gunfire that killed, wounded, or captured half of the black troops. Barnes was wounded, but he was one of the first to enter the enemy's works and was awarded the Medal of Honor six months later and promoted to sergeant another three months later. After the war he remained in the army and traveled to Texas with his regiment. Unfortunately, he contracted tuberculosis and died in an army hospital at Indianola, Calhoun County, Texas, now a ghost town. A marker in his memory was placed in San Antonio National Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas.

Bio by: Tom Todd


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 27 Oct 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18172
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for SGT William H Barnes (1845–24 Dec 1866), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18172, citing San Antonio National Cemetery, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .