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CPT Joseph Ryland Barnett

CPT Joseph Ryland Barnett

Madison County, Kentucky, USA
Death 27 Dec 1902 (aged 73)
Lafayette County, Missouri, USA
Burial Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri, USA
Memorial ID 7374575 · View Source
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Husband of Clarice Hewitt Grant. Son of Jospeh and Elizabeth Ferguson Ryland Barnett.

Lexington Intelligencer, January 03, 1903


Biography of one of the County's Best Citizens


A Man of Similarity of Purpose and Fidelity to Duty

Died, at his residence in this city, on the evening of the 27th of December, 1902, after a painful illness, Capt. Joseph R. Barnett, in the 74th year of his age. He was a man esteemed very highly by all who knew him for his integrity of character and for the uprightness of his life as a neighbor and fellow citizen. His influence and example will long be felt in the community in which he lived and moved for so many years.

Joseph Ryland Barnett was born in Madison county, in the state of Kentucky, on the 7th day of July, 1829. He was the third son of Joseph and Elizabeth F. Barnett (nee Ryland) that reached their maturity. He continued to live with his parents in "old Madison" until the year 1839, when he came to Lafayette county, Missouri, which was to be his home for so many years, and in whose dear old Machpelah cemetery his body is to rest till called to judgment in the first resurrection. He brought with him from his native state those noble traits of character that distinguished him all through life, namely sincerity of purpose and fidelity to duty. In the year 1850 in company with his eldest brother, Lieut. Robert I. Barnett (one of those dashing young men and officers that went with Gen. A.W. Doniphan to the Mexican wars - in 1846 from western Missouri) and other young men he crossed the plains to California and remained there until 1857, when he returned to the states by way of the Isthmus of Panama on a splendid steamer that was lost on the Pacific Ocean on her next voyage after the one when he was a passenger. He was deeply impressed by this accident. After his return from California he went to live again with his mother, then a widow, and who had moved with her family from Kentucky and had located on a farm four miles east of Lexington, now owned by Dr. George W. Bates, and remained with her farming until the late civil war between the states broke out, when at the call of duty, as he saw it, he enlisted in the cause of the South and joined Shelby's brigade. He was among the first to answer the sound of the trumpet of war and among the last to return home again after the strife had ended. He was in the battle of Lexington in September, 1861, and when Gen. Price returned south he with some others remained to gather up recruits and any who might be inclined to shirk duty, when he was taken prisoner by the 1st regiment Kansas volunteer infantry commanded by Col. George W. Deitzier and was taken to Leavenworth, Kansas. He was paroled in April, 1862, and returned to Lafayette county, where he was again arrested as a military prisoner and was kept as such in St. Louis and at Alton, Ill., until March 28th, 1863, when he was sent to Camp Chase to be exchanged. After being exchanged he went immediately to Richmond, Virginia, arriving there on the 4th day of April, 1863, and reported for duty. On April 17th he was ordered to rejoin his command on the west of the Mississippi river, which order he promptly obeyed, reaching Little Rock, Arkansas, on the 22nd of May, 1863, and soon rejoined Shelby's brigade and was captain and acting adjutant of Gordon's regiment volunteer Missouri cavalry. And on Shelby's raid into Missouri, made in the fall of 1863, Captain Barnett was severely wounded in the skirmish fought at the town (now city) of Marshall and was again taken prisoner and was paroled, and before he was well he was compelled to go south, with his company before he was relieved of his parole or was exchanged. But like the conscientious man he was and true soldier he did not break his parole. In February, 1865, he addressed a letter to his commanding General Shelby giving his history as a paroled prisoner and of his having been compelled to go with them south not withstanding his parole, and saying to Gen. Shelby: "I cannot conscientiously enter the confederate service until I know something further in regard to my case." This letter was referred by Gen. Shelby to Major Gen. McGruker and on the back thereof there is this endorsement: "Cav. Hdqrs. D.A., Washington, March 10, 1855 - Barnett's position as a paroled prisoner must be respected, but he should report at the very earliest moment his status to Dept. Hdqrs. By order Major Gen'l C.J.F. Fagan. H. Ewing, Ad. At the close of the war he was finally paroled at Shreveport, Louisiana, June 20th, 1865. I have mentioned this incident to show with what strict regard he held his word of honor even in the midst of circumstances that would have led a less conscientious man to disregard it. This but exemplifies his true manhood. What he did and said as a soldier and as a citizen was said and done from sense of duty and due regard for the biggest principles of what he believed to be right.

After the war he returned to his home in Lafayette county and again took up his chosen avocation of farming, which he continued to follow successfully up to within a year of his death, when age and feeble health rendered him unfit for so active a calling. While Capt. Barnett remained in California he was engaged part of his time in freighting to the mines of pack mules, and many a thrilling experience he had to relate of these early and stirring times in that land of gold and excitement. Both "his experience as a freighter and later on as a soldier taught him to be sure that he was right or to believe he was right before acting. Having resumed farming and gathering up what was left him of earthly goods and chattels by the ravages of war, Capt. Barnett saw that it was best for man not to live alone, so on the 7th day of March, 1871, he was united in marriage to Miss Clarise Grant, who now survives him, and with whom he spent the last and happiest years of his long life. They had no children and their chief joy was in making each other happy and in helping to make others happy around them. Capt. Barnett came from an old Presbyterian family and died in full fellowship with that communion. And the testimony borne by one of his pastors to his fidelity to his church and to his religious duties and church obligations was such as to give comfort and great consolation to his friends and relatives. While standing beside the open coffin and looking upon his cold form a friend and neighbor of his said: "There lies the best friend and neighbor I ever had. I loved him as a brother." The death of such a man is a loss to any community. The encouraging and sustaining, yes and restraining influence of such a man is seen and felt in the lives and conduct of those who know and esteemed him. The scripture saith blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; yea, saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them." That such is the blessedness of our departed friend and brother we most devoutly believe. "May he that tempers the wind to the shorn lamb shield, protect, comfort and bless the widow in her loneliness, and guide and direct her and her bereaved sisters, kindred and friends in the way that leads to glory and to God is the sincere prayer of one who knew him well and loved him."


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  • Created by: Mary Moffatt
  • Added: 22 Apr 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7374575
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for CPT Joseph Ryland Barnett (7 Jul 1829–27 Dec 1902), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7374575, citing Machpelah Cemetery, Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Mary Moffatt (contributor 46564779) .