A One-Name Study
for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname
Notes for Henry Alanson BARNUM
From Civil War Curiosities
, by Webb Garrison; 1994: Henry A. Barnum (no relation to the famous showman) [N.B.: 2nd cousin, once removed] enlisted in the Twelfth New York Regiment as a private. Before the end of his first day, May 13, 1861, he was elected captain of his company. He led his men at Blackburn's Ford, Bull Run, and Malvern Hill before being seriously wounded. Captured and imprisoned in Richmond, his name was soon recorded on the death list. Burial services were held and when word reached relatives they arranged for a funeral oration in his honor. Soon afterward, they learned with astonishment that he had been made colonel of the 149th New York Regiment. Having buried another man in his name, authorities in charge of the Confederate prison released Barnum in June 1863.
From Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography
, edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 & edited Stanley L. Klos, 1999 Estoric.com: Barnum, Henry A., soldier, born in Jamesville, Onondaga County, N. V., 24 September 1833. He was educated in Syracuse, and in 1856 became a tutor in the Syracuse institute. He then studied law and was admitted to the bar. He enlisted as a private in the 12th New York volunteers in April 1861, was elected captain of Company "I", and went to the front with his regiment, which was the first under fire at Blackburn's Ford in the fighting preliminary to the battle of Bull Run. He was promoted to major in October 1861, and, after being for a short time on General Wadsworth's staff, rejoined his regiment and served through the peninsular campaign. When on General Butterfield's staff at Malvern Hill, he received a wound from which he has never fully recovered, and was left for dead on the field. A body, supposed to be his was buried, and a funeral oration was delivered at his home. He was taken to Libby prison, where he remained till 18 July 1862. He was on leave till the following December when he was commissioned colonel, and led his regiment at Gettysburg and at Lookout Mountain, where he was wounded again, and where his regiment captured eleven battle-flags. He was again wounded in the Atlanta campaign, commanded a brigade on Sherman's march to the sea, and was the first, officer to enter Savannah. He was breveted Major-General on 13 March, 1865. On 9 January 1866, he resigned, having declined a colonelcy in the regular army, and became inspector of prisons in New York. He was deputy tax commissioner from 1869 till 1872, and was for five years harbor-master of New York. In 1885 he was elected as a republican to the state assembly.
Henry Alanson Barnum was a teacher, lawyer and militia officer before the Civil War. He enlisted in the Regular Army at Syracuse, New York in 1861, as a Captain in the 12th New York Infantry and served with that unit at the battles of Blackburn's Ford, First Bull Run and Malvern Hill. He was wounded in action and captured by the Confederates during the latter battle, and later named his second son after the location. He was exchanged soon after, and in September of 1862 he became Colonel of the 149th New York State Volunteer Infantry. He fought with the 149th at Gettysburg and Lookout Mountain, and was wounded again during both those battles. On 23 Nov 1863 at Chattanooga, Tennessee, "although suffering severely from wounds, he led his regiment, inciting his men to greater action by word and example until again severely wounded." As a result of that action, he was nominated for the Medal of Honor, which was finally presented to him in July 1889. As Brigadier General of Volunteers, he Commanded the 3rd Brigade/2nd Division/ XX Army Corps during General Sherman's famous March to the Sea. At Savannah, in May 1865, he was breveted Major General. Following the War, he was New York Inspector of Prisons.
On July 1, 1862 at the battle of Malvern Hill, Barnum was wounded by a musket ball which passed through his left lower abdomen. Like most abdominal wounds occurring during the war, his was considered fatal. However, under the care of his personal physician, Dr. March, General Barnum survived. When infection set in, two years later, Dr. March took action to prevent it from spreading. He passed an oakum cord through the bullet wound to keep it open so the infection could drain. Over the years, General Barnum kept the cord in place himself, while gradually reducing its size to a finer thread. He continued his war service - with the cord still in place - and was wounded twice more in battles at Peach Tree Creek and Kenesaw Mountain. A photograph of him displaying the cord was taken in August 1865. His left hip bone was taken at autopsy in 1892 and showed a formation at the top of the bone as a result of the earlier infection.
From the home page of the 149th New York State Volunteer Infantry web site (http://www.149th-nysv.org/) comes the following: This officer entered the US service on May 13, 1861, as Captain of Company "I", 12th NY Infantry, at the age of 27; and afterwards in October 1861 was promoted to Major of that regiment. He served with distinction with that command, including the Peninsula Campaign under [General George Barnum] McClellan, until July 1, 1862, when he was dangerously wounded by a gunshot through the left ilium (a part of the pelvis), at Malvern Hill, VA. At the time the wound was supposed to be mortal; his body was abandoned and fell into the hands of the enemy, but afterwards he returned to the Union lines, so far recovered from his injury as to accept a commission as Colonel in the 149th Regiment, dated October 4, 1862, rank September 17, 1862, and was mustered into service with the regiment at Syracuse, NY.
Not being able to assume immediate command, he joined the regiment in the field on the eve of its departure from Fairfax Station, VA, January 18, 1863. The occasion of taking command was auspicious and seemed very opportune, as the feelings of the officers and men were greatly depressed, and by reason of his knowledge and experience, some relief was expected from their deprivations and sufferings, but unfortunately he was soon compelled to submit to further surgical operations, and on the 1st of April obtained leave of absence and went to Albany, NY, for treatment under Dr. March.
He next joined the regiment at Edward's Ferry, MD, when it was on its way to Gettysburg, but was still too ill to render active service more than part of the time, and at Ellis' Ford, VA, August 6, 1863, was compelled a second time to leave the regiment and go to Washington for treatment.
He again joined the regiment at Wauhatchie, November 10, 1863, and received a flesh wound in the right forearm while leading the charge of his regiment on Lookout Mountain, TN, November 24, 1863.
On the 23rd of December following, in pursuance of an order of General Thomas, in special recognition of the gallantry of the regiment in recent engagements, he was detailed as its Colonel to convey the flags captured by it and other regiments to the War Department at Washington, and also received a leave of absence for twenty days, to take effect after the performance of such duty. For this service no recognition was given at the time, but later Col. Barnum received the Medal of Honor from the War Department. While absent in the performance of this duty, Col. Barnum received further surgical treatment and, being disabled for field duty, was placed on recruiting service for the regiment. He again joined his command at Kenesaw Mountain, GA, about June 26, 1964, and a few days later was wounded in the right side by a fragment of a shell at Peach Tree Creek, GA, July 20, 1864.
On the 10th of September, following by the death of Col. Ireland at Atlanta, the command of the 3rd Brigade devolved upon Col. Barnum, and he continued in the performance of this duty to the close of the war.
At Savannah, GA, Col. Barnum had the proud honor of leading his brigade, first of Sherman's command, into the captured city, and under General Geary had charge of its western portion during the occupancy by General Sherman. Soon after the capture of Savannah, Col. Barnum received the brevet rank of Brigadier General of US Volunteers, and afterwards at Washington D.C. the full rank of that grade to date May 31, 1865, and soon afterwards the brevet rank of Major General of US Volunteers to date from March 13, 1865.
His resignation from the service occurred Jan. 9, 1866.
After the war General Barnum was frequently honored in public and private life, and among other tokens of public favor are the following: served as Inspector of New York State Prisons; was a Member of the State Legislature; was New York Harbor Master; was Director of the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association of New York; was Department Commander of the GAR for the State of New York.
A Brilliant War Record, Creator: n/a, Date: Circa 1880, Publication: The Knapsack, Source: National Archives.
While our people can never forget the great results of our Civil War, nor the names of a few of its heroes made glorious for all time, they are likely to lose sight of the many splendid examples of heroism, of grand manhood, which the War developed among the Volunteers. It is our purpose, from time to time, to remind our readers of conspicuous examples of citizen soldiership, and with this number we present at brief summary of the brilliant war record of
Brevet Major-General Henry A. Barnum.
Immediately upon the receipt of the news of the firing upon Sumter, General Barnum, then a Lieutenant of Company "D", 51st Regiment, of the National Guard of our State, located at Syracuse, took active part with other officers of the Regiment in offering its services, through the Governor, for the defense of the assaulted flag.
Immediately, also, on the passage of the law authorizing the formation of thirty-eight regiments of Volunteers, Lieut. Barnum was among the first to move in raising a Volunteer Infantry regiment, which was numbered the 12th, though it was the first Volunteer regiment ready for muster in this State. Abandoning his profession of the law, and bidding adieu to a devoted young wife and a first born son of three weeks age, he enlisted as a private in Co. 1, of the 12th Regiment, on the 22d of April, 1861, nine days after the echoes of the first rebel gun had vibrated upon the northern air. Under the provisions of the law, he was elected Captain of his Company, proceeded with the regiment to the rendezvous at Elmira, April 30, 1861, was mustered into the United States service as Captain Co. 1, 12th N. Y. Volunteer Infantry, May 13th, 1861, and with his command encamped on Capitol Hill, Washington, the night of June 1, 1861, that being the first regiment to leave the Elmira rendezvous for the defense of the imperiled Capitol.
The regiment was first under fire at Blackburn’s Ford, July 18, 1861, in the fighting preliminary to the first battle of Bull Run. Receiving a fearful fire of artillery and musketry, while forming the line of battle on thickly wooded ground, the regiment broke and flew to the rear, an unauthorized order to retreat having been given by one of the officers. Captain Barnum, however, was especially complimented in the report of General Tyler, for holding his company intact on the line until orders were sent to him to withdraw, and the regiment was re-formed at the rear on his unbroken command. In the Sunday battle following, and during two years service, the regiment made a splendid record.
In October, 1861, Captain Barnum was promoted to be Major of his regiment, and in the advance on Manassas in the Spring of 1862, his regiment being on duty garrisoning the forts in front of Washington, he was on his own request assigned, by orders of the War Department, to duty on the staff of the lamented General Wadsworth, and proceeded with that officer to the front.
On General Wadsworth being made Military Governor of Washington, he invited Major Barnum to continue service on his staff, but a month later, when his regiment was ordered to the Peninsula under General [George Barnum] McClellan, he was, also at his own request, relieved and permitted to join his regiment, which he reached just as they were embarking at Alexandria.
Serving through the campaign and the seven days’ fights with conspicuous gallantry, at Malvern Hill he was detailed to the staff of General Butterfield, his Brigade Commander, most of whose staff officers were either killed or disabled.
General Butterfield, under General Fitz John Porter, had command of the left wing of our army, and Major Barnum, all that gallantly fought day, was almost constantly under fire, carrying and bringing orders, and placing regiments, brigades, and batteries in positions. Late in the evening, having conducted each of the regiments of his brigade except his own into the fight, to strengthen the line at different points, he was directed to place the 12th N.Y., on the line of battle. His request to remain with it was granted by General Butterfield, and soon after becoming engaged, the regiment was ordered to cease firing, as the supposed enemy was displaying our flag. Major Barnum personally went to the front and about midway between the lines, while trying to determine if the force in front were friends or foes, he was shot through the body with a musket ball. He walked back to his command and gave the order to renew the firing, but becoming too weak to stand by great loss of blood, he was borne from the field. Surgeons pronounced the wound fatal, and on the retreat of the army that night, his comrades left him on the field in an unconscious state, and supposing him dead, he was so named in the official reports of the battle. The newspapers announced his death, giving his dying words, his funeral oration was eloquently pronounced by Hon. Robert McCarthy, at his home in Syracuse, and on the banks of the James River, at Harrison’s Landing, under the friendly shade of a broad spreading oak, a trellised-fenced grave bore on its rough headboard the words
Maj. Henry A. Barnum, 12th N.Y. Vols, killed July 1, 1862, at Malvern Hill. This burial incident occurred in this wise: Gen. Griffin, a warm friend of the Major, on receiving orders to retreat from the battle field late in the evening, sent an ambulance with a detail of men to bring away Major Barnum, dead or alive. The surgeons pointed out an unconscious wounded Major lying on the ground at the field Hospital, as Major B. and the detail brought away the officer, still alive. In the night march to Harrison’s Landing he died, and the sergeant in charge reported to Gen. Griffin, who ordered the remains to be buried in the grave marked.
The Major was not dead. Another had been buried in his stead. The day following the battle and retreat he recovered consciousness, was taken prisoner, laid at the battle-field hospital eight days, and was then transferred in an old express wagon to Libby Prison in the City of Richmond, eighteen miles distant.
Emaciated and utterly helpless, his death hourly expected, he was, by the rebel authorities, duly exchanged, and on the 18th July, was sent in an ambulance seventeen miles to Aiken’s Landing on the James and placed on board of the hospital transport steamer Louisiana. Thence carried to Fortress Monroe, and by the hospital ship Enterpe brought by sea to New York. From New York, at his request, instead of being placed in hospital, he was sent to his home at Syracuse, arriving there July 25th, 1862.
In October, Dr. Alden March, of Albany, operated on the wound and removed fourteen fragments of the left ilium, the ball having crashed through the center of that bone. Dec. 31 he left Syracuse, and on Jan. 19, 1863, still very feeble from his unhealed wound, he took command of the 149th N.Y. Vol. Infantry at Fairfax Station, Virginia, having been commissioned Colonel of the new regiment. This regiment belonged to the Third Brigade, 2d division, 12th Army Corps.
At Brook’s Station, near Fredericksburg, a fearful abscess in the wound prostrated him, and he was sent to Washington for treatment.
As soon as able to travel, he obtained sick leave and went to Albany, where Dr. March again operated on the wound. He rejoined his command in time for the glorious battle of Gettysburg, was transferred with Hooker’s forces to Tennessee, commanded his regiment in the front line at the battle of Lookout Mountain, receiving, above the clouds, a ball through his sword arm, the same bullet cutting the visor of his cap. His command took five of the eleven captured flags in the battles of Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, and vicinity, and Gen. Thomas, in a highly complimentary order, detailed his to convey all the captured flags to Washington, with permission to display them at the great Sanitary fair at Cincinnati, at Syracuse, and before the Legislature of the State of New York.
On this journey another abscess developed in his still unhealed body wound, and at New York Dr. Lewis A. Sayre operated upon it, and passed and oakum rope entirely through the body, following the track of the ball. Ever since he has worn a seton through the body, the same being now a perforated rubber tube. This is considered one of the remarkable wounds of the war, and is described, with portrait, in the Surgical and Medical History of the war, published by the government.
Col. Barnum had constant opportunity for garrison or other detail service at the rear, but preferred the highest duty of the soldier with his command at the front. He rejoined his troops, made the campaign of Atlanta, being again wounded by a fragment of a shell in the right breast, at the battle of Peach Tree Creek, before Atlanta, July 20th, 1864.
At Atlanta, Sept. 10, 1864, he succeeded to the command of the brigade with which he had served since he took command of his regiment in Jan., 1863, the brigade being now the Third of the 2d Div., 20th Army Corps, the 11th and 12th Army Corps having been consolidated and called the 20th.
With Sherman he made the march to the sea and the campaign of the Carolinas, and commanded his brigade in the great review at he close of the war, at Washington.
Nichol’s Story of the Great March
, pages 96 and 97, says: "An incident connected with our occupation of the city (Savannah) illustrates the watchfulness and daring of our officers and soldiers. Colonel Barnum, of New York, commanding a brigade in the 20th Corps, a brave soldier who bears scars and unhealed wounds from many a battle-field, was in command in the immediate front upon our extreme left, and near midnight crept out beyond the picket lines, which were only three hundred yards from the rebel works.
"Not hearing the voices of the enemy, and not seeing their forms passing before their camp fires, he suspected that they find evacuated their lines, notwithstanding that he could hear the boom of their guns, which echoed through the dark forest away off to the right. He selected ten of his best men, and cautiously scaled the parapets of the outside rebel line, passing rapidly and silently from these to the fortifications from whose bastions frowned the black muzzles of ponderous 64-pounders. Although their campfires still burned brightly, no rebels were to be seen. Sending for reinforcements, he marched from earthwork to earthwork, and finally entered the city just as the early morning light appeared in the eastern horizon; while the forms of the retreating enemy could be seen flying into the gray mist across the marshes on the other side of the river.
“The hero of this dashing exploit is one of the best soldiers in the army -- a bold fighter, a rigid disciplinarian, the most generous of hosts, and one of the best of fellows generally.”
All this was done by Colonel Barnum and his men before reveille had aroused any of the rest of Sherman’s army.
He placed guards over all the captured property, including the cotton subsequently sold by the government for over fifteen millions of dollars, and which the more desperate citizens had attempted to burn, established patrols in every street, dispersed the rabble, compelled ill citizens to retire to their houses, and when other troops entered the city it was as quiet as a peaceful Sunday, save the marching of his patrols. For this splendid achievement he was breveted Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
On the muster out of his Veteran Brigade in May, 1865, he was placed in command of a provisional Brigade at Washington, and soon after ordered on duty under Gen. Hooker at New York.
Later he succeeded Gen. Sickles in command of the District of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, with Headquarters in Boston.
While heading this command, he was, in November, 1865, elected inspector of prisons of this State. He was also offered the colonelcy of one of the new regiments of the regular army. Preferring military service at the front in time of war, and peaceful pursuits in time of peace, he resigned his commission and entered upon the discharge of the duties of the office to which the people of his state had elected him. The acceptance of his resignation dates Jan. 6, 1866, and his continuous military service being over four years and eight months.
Before the disbandment of the armies, he was commissioned full Brigadier-General of Volunteers, and Breveted and Major-General “for distinguished an gallant conduct during the war.”
There being a single vacancy in the legal number of Brigadier-Generals, at the time he was commissioned as such, his preferment over so many distinguished and meritorious officers in all the armies, was a compliment from the Government of the highest order.
General Barnum comes of fighting stock. Seven great uncles served in the revolutionary war, (one uncle lost his life in the Seminole war), and his only two brothers served with him in our war of the rebellion; one being wounded at Gettysburg, and the elder dying in 1863, of disease contracted in the service.
The following are extracts from some of the very many testimonials from his superior officers:
Headquarters Department of the CUMBERLAND, CHATTANOOGA, TENN. SPECIAL FIELD ORDER, 311.
Colonel H. A. Barnum, commanding the 149th New York Volunteers, is hereby selected for gallant conduct in the battle of Chattanooga, to take to Washington D.C., and deliver to the Adjutant General the flags captured by the Army of the Cumberland from the revels in that battle. By command of GEORGE H. THOMAS, Major-General.
Headquarters 24 DIVISION, 12TH ARMY CORPS, WAUHATCHIE, TENN.
It is with the utmost pleasure that I bear testimony in favor of Colonel H. A. Barnum; he came out originally in the service with two years’ troops, and served in my old brigade as Major. He distinguished himself before Yorktown, upon the occasion of a sortie made by the enemy; commanding the outposts with the reserves, less than one-half of the enemies’ number, he repulsed them and drove them back with loss.
At Gaines’ Mill, he behaved with great gallantry. At Malvern Hill, most of my staff being killed or wounded, he acted as an aide-de-camp; his conduct was beyond praise; he received a wound, supposed to be mortal at the time, while leading his regiment to the attack; he was left for dead on the field; his regiment was mustered out last spring; he immediately re-entered service, raising the 149th New York Volunteers; he has justly earned and is entitled to promotion.
DANIEL BUTTERFIELD, Major-General US Volunteers
Headquarters 2d DIVISION, 20th ARMY CORPS.
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:
I cannot too strongly commend to your consideration, Brevet Brigadier-General H. A. Barnum, commanding the 3d Brigade of this Division, for long a very eminent services in the field during the present war, form the first to its close. I recommend him for the appointment of Brigadier General. I think at this time when the disbandment of our armies is rendered almost certain, by reason of the termination of the war, the country could well afford to do honor to one such as he, to whom all accord the highest honors. Hoping that you will grant this favor, I have the honor to be, etc.,
JOHN W. GEARY, Brevet-Major-General
Headquarters 20th CORPS, ARMY of GEORGIA.
I hereby concur in the above. In my opinion there is no brigade in the army in which those minutiae; the attention to which go to make up the soldier, have been so much regarded as in the brigade commanded by General Barnum; this regard to the detail, together with the higher qualities of bravery and coolness in action, distinguished General Barnum above all other officers whom I have ever met in the army.
JOS. A. MOWER, Major-General US Volunteers
Headquarters, ARMY of GEORGIA.
I fully concur in the above recommendation. Brevet Brigadier-General Barnum has served with me three years, and has shown himself a thorough soldier in every position.
He is deserving of any reward that he Government can consistently bestow upon him.
H. W. SLOCUM, Major-General Volunteers
Headquarters MILITARY DIVISION of the MISSISSIPPI.
I have remarked Brevet Brigadier-General Barnum often, and noticed the care he has bestowed upon his command. I will gladly indorse this paper, and leave it with the others already, and to be submitted.
WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, Major-General Commanding.
Headquarters ARMY UNITED STATES.
Upon the high testimonials to his worth as a soldier, and the indorsements [sic] thereon, I respectfully recommend that Brevet Brigadier-General H. A. Barnum, Volunteer service be appointed a full Brigadier-General.
US Grant, Lieutenant-General
Headquarters Department of the East, New York.
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:
I have the honor to recommend that Brigadier-General H. A. Barnum be breveted a Major-General of Volunteers. In know of no officer whose record has been more marked and brilliant; his person has been riddled in his encounters with the enemy -- having been severely wounded in the battles of Malvern Hill, Lookout Mountain, and Peach Tree Creek. For his great gallantry at Lookout Mountain, he was selected by the commander of the Army of the Cumberland, to convey the trophies of the field to Washington. Especially do I commend his promotion to your favorable consideration.
Joseph Hooker, Major-General Commanding.
War Department, Washington, D.C.
Brevet Major-General H. A. Barnum, US Volunteers, you are hereby informed that the President of the United States, has appointed you for distinguished and gallant conduct during the war, a Major-General of Volunteers by brevet, in the service of the United States, to rank as such from the 13th day of March, 1865.
Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War.
The 1866 Directory for the City of Elmira, NY shows: Inspectors of State Prisons - James K. Bates, David P. Forrest, Henry A. Barnum.
The New York Times
, January 30, 1892. Gen. Henry Barnum Dead. The Result of a Cold Caught at the Old Guard Ball. Honorable Record of His Long Military Career—His Service in the War of the Rebellion—Civil Offices He Filled Later.
Gen. Henry Barnum died at his home, 163 West Forty-fourth Street, yesterday morning, of pneumonia. He had been ill since Thursday of last week, when he caught cold at the Old Guard ball. Thursday night, hopes were entertained that the General would recover, but soon after midnight his condition changed for the worse.
Gen. Barnum was born in Jamesville, Onondaga County, Sept. 24, 1833. He received his education in Syracuse, and while yet a young man was a tutor in the Syracuse Institute. He left off teaching to study the law. Admitted to the bar, he began to practice in Syracuse, and was succeeding well in the profession when the call to arms came in 1861. At the time, Mr. Barnum was a Lieutenant of Company "D" of the State Militia. Immediately he took active part with other officers of the regiment in offering the services of the regiment to the United States Government. Lieut. Barnum, on the passage of the law authorizing the formation of thirty-eight regiments of volunteers, was active was active in organizing the Twelfth Infantry Regiment, which was the first volunteer regiment ready for muster in the state.
From that time on, a military career, honorable and varied with almost all the hazards and fortunes of war, was begun. Bidding adieu to a young wife, and leaving a son scarcely three weeks old, he enlisted as a private in the Twelfth Regiment, April 22, 1861. He was almost immediately chosen Captain of Company "I". On the night of June 1, his regiment was encamped on Capitol Hill, Washington. A month and a half later he received his first compliment from Gen. Tyler for holding his company intact on the line when the regiment was under fire at Blackburn's Ford, preliminary to the first Bull Run engagement. Under a fearful fire the regiment had broken and fled to the rear. Company "I" stood firm till the order to retreat was given. For two years after the regiment made an excellent record.
In October, 1861, Capt. Barnum was promoted to be Major of the Regiment. He was then placed on garrison duty, and later went on the staff of Gen. Wadsworth, when that officer made the advance on Manassas in the Spring of 1862. He returned with Gen. Wadsworth to Washington when the latter was made Military Governor of the city. A month later, at his own request, he was relieved and went to the front with his regiment, taking part in the Peninsula campaign.
At Malvern Hill he was detailed to the staff of Gen. Butterfield. Gen. Butterfield had the left wing of the army, and in the battle Major Barnum was constantly under fire, carrying dispatches and orders. Late in the evening he had been directed to place the Twelfth, his own regiment, in line of battle. He asked permission to remain with it, and his request was granted. Personally going to the front, his regiment was ordered to cease firing, as the supposed enemy was showing a Union flag. While trying to determine if the company in front were friends or foes, he received a bullet in his body. He gave the order to renew firing, but became too weak to stand from loss of blood. Surgeons said that his wound was fatal. Upon the retreat being sounded, he was lying unconscious, and his comrades, believing him to be dead, left. A body was buried soon after supposed to be his. In the official reports of the battle he was named as dead. His little home in Syracuse was thrown into mourning, and a funeral oration was pronounced in that city.
But the Major was not dead. He had recovered consciousness, and had been taken prisoner. He lay in the battle-field hospital eight days, and then in an old express wagon was taken to Richmond and put in Libby Prison. Owing to his wounded and helpless condition, he was exchanged shortly, and in an ambulance was sent to Aikon's Landing, on the James, and placed on the hospital transport steamer Louisiana
and taken to Fort Monroe, and then by the hospital ship Enterpe
brought to this city. He arrived home on July 25, 1862. In October of that year the wound was operated on by Dr. Alden March of Albany, and fourteen pieces of the ilium
Anxious to go again to the front, on Dec. 31 he left his home, and in three weeks was commanding as Colonel the One Hundred and Forty-ninth New-York Volunteer Infantry at Fairfax Station, VA. This regiment belonged to the Third Brigade of the Twelfth Army Corps. But Barnum's wound continued to trouble him. An abscess formed, and he was prostrated for a time. He again visited Albany, when Dr. March again performed an operation.
Returning to his command, he was present with it at Gettysburg. Upon being transferred with Hooker's command to Tennessee, he led his regiment in the front line at Lookout Mountain. Five of the eleven flags captured in that battle and at Chattanooga were taken by his regiment. A second wound was received at Lookout Mountain, a ball passing through the Colonel's sword arm and cutting the visor of his hat. Gen. Thomas in a complimentary order detailed him to take the flags to Washington, and to show then at the Sanitary Fair at Washington, and also at Syracuse and to the Legislature of New-York. Another abscess formed in the old wound while he was on the journey, and again, in this city, the hurt that would not heal was operated on by Dr. Lewis A. Sayre. Following the course of the bullet, Dr. Sayre passed an oakum rope entirely through the body. From that time the wounded man wore a seton through his body, a perforated rubber tube. Every day this wound had to be dressed. It has been classed in surgical books as one of the most noted wounds of the war.
But, in spite of the wound, Barnum returned once more to the battlefield. He persistently refused garrison duty or detail service. He wanted always to be at the front with his comrades. At the battle of Peach Tree Creek he was again wounded, a piece of a shell this time striking him in the right breast.
It was at Atlanta, in September, 1864, that he succeeded to the command of the brigade known then as the Twentieth Army Corps. The great march to the sea followed, and Gen. Barnum took part in it.
While in front of Savannah an incident occurred which showed his spirit. Not hearing the voices of the Confederates nor seeing any figures in front of their camp fires, he imagined that they had retreated. Selecting ten men, he scaled the parapets of the outside rebel line and made his way into their camp. There were no rebels there, though the camp fires were burning brightly. Procuring more men, Gen. Barnum hastened on and entered the city as day was dawning. Immediately he mounted a guard over the cotton, which was afterward sold by the Government for $15,000,000. The title of Brigadier General of Volunteers was given for this. Later he was breveted Major General for gallant conduct in the war.
When the muster out of his veteran brigade came, in May, 1865, he was given the command of a provisional brigade, and later succeeded Gen. Sickles in command of the district of Massachusetts, New-Hampshire, and Vermont. In the Fall of the same year he was elected Inspector of Prisons in this State. He resigned his commission to enter upon the duties of the position.
Gen. Barnum has been a familiar figure in this city as well as through the State. From 1869 to 1872 he was a Deputy Tax Commissioner, and also for five years was Harbormaster. In 1885 he was elected an Assemblyman from the Twenty-first District on the Republican ticket. He was appointed Port Warden in 1888, the appointment being confirmed on May 9 of that year. He has held the office since. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic and of several other veteran associations.
Eighteen months ago Gen. Barnum was awarded by Congress a handsome gold medal for his meritorious war service. The presentation was at a dinner in this city at which Gen. William T. Sherman presided and Chauncey M. Depew made the address. At the inauguration of President Harrison in 1889 Gen. Barnum was Marshal of the New-York delegation.
Capt. W. G. Barnum, a brother of the General, was with him when he died. His son. Lieut. M. K. Barnum, of the Army, had not yet arrived from the West.
It has been decided that Gen. Barnum will be buried with full military honors. The interment will take place in Syracuse.
The monument marking his grave at Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, NY, reads: Henry Alanson Barnum Sept. 24, 1833-January 29, 1892. Lievina King Barnum January 21, 1840 - September 21, 1863. Josephine Raynolds Barnum March 6, 1843 - February 7, 1876. (there are pictures on www.findagrave.com).
From the Middletown (NY) Daily Times, Thursday Evening, January 28, 1892: General Barnum Seriously Ill. New York, Jan. 28.--General Henry A. Barnum is critically ill with pneumonia, which resulted from the grip. His physician expects the crisis to be reached within twenty-four hours. Genral Barnum has been troubled since the war with an unhealed wound, which has to be drained daily.
From the Middletown (NY) Daily Times
, Friday, January 29, 1892: Latest. Special to the Times.--4 P.M. General Barnum Dead. He Passes Away This Morning. (Special to the Daily Times.) New York, Jan. 29.--Gen. Henry A. Barnum, a well known Republican and gallant soldier, died this morning of pneumonia.
From the Middletown (NY) Daily Times, Saturday Evening, January 30, 1892: Death Calls Yet Again. Brave Old General Barnum Accompanies Him This Time. He carried an historic wound. It Was Inflicted at Malvern Hill, Where He Was Thought to Have Been Killed, and Guided the Doctors in Their Treatment of Garfield — A Career of Valor. New York, Jan. 30.— General Henry A. Barnum died at his home, 103 West Forty-fourth street, in the arms of his brother, Captain Willis S. Barnum, of Syracuse. General Barnum caught a cold at the Old Guard ball a week ago Thursday night, and his death, due to pneumonia, occurred while Drs. Shandy, Loomis and Carlton were consulting at his bedside. General Barnum was port warden of this
city and a distinguished veteran of the late war. He was born in Jamesville, Onondaga county, N. Y., Sept. 24, 1833. In early life he taught school to defray his expenses while studying law. When the war broke out young Barnum enlisted as a private in the Twelfth New York volunteers and was elected captain of Company I. His regiment was the first under fire at Blackburn's Ford, which was preliminary to the battle of Bull Run. At the battle of Malvern Hill, July 1, 1863, Captain Barnum was shot through the body and left for dead on the field. He was captured by the rebels and incarcerated in Libby prison, but was soon exchanged. He was shot through the sword arm at Lookout Mountain in the "Battle Above the Clouds," and was again wounded by the fragment of a shell at the battle of Atlanta. He made the march with Sherman to the sea. His brigade was the first that entered Savannah, and he was present at the surrender of Johnston's army. When the war was over he had attained the rank of brigadier and brevet major general. An Historic Wound. At Malvern Hill he was detailed, to the staff of General Butterfield. General Butterfield
had the left wing of the army, and in the battle Major Barnum was constantly under fire, carrying dispatches and orders. Late in the evening he had been directed to
place the Twelfth, his own regiment, in line of battle. He asked permission to remain with it, and his request was granted. Personally going to the front, his regiment was ordered to cease firing, as the supposed enemy was showing a Union flag. While trying to determine if the company in front were friends or foes, he received a bullet in his body. He gave the order to renew firing, but became too weak to stand from loss of blood. Surgeons said that his wound was fatal. Upon the retreat being sounded he was lying unconscious, and his comrades, believing him to be dead, left. A body was buried soon after supposed to be his. In the official reports of the battle he was named as dead. His little home in Syracuse was thrown into mourning, and a funeral oration was pronounced in that city. But the major was not dead. He had recovered consciousness and had been taken prisoner. He lay in the battlefield hospital eight days, and then in an old express wagon was taken to Richmond and put in Libby. Owing to his wounded and helpless condition he was exchanged shortly, and in an ambulance was sent to Aikon's Landing, on the James, and placed on the hospital transport steamer Louisiana and taken to Fort Monroe, and then by the hospital ship Euterp brought to this city. He arrived home on July 20,1863. In October of that year the wound was operated on by Dr. Alden March, of Albany, and fourteen pieces of the ilium were removed. His body wound received at Malvern Hill never healed, and he wore a rubber tube through the track of the ball. He is the only man known to have lived with such a wound. General Garfield's surgeons examined his open wound with reference to it's bearing upon that of the martyred president. A plaster mould was made of it, and is now among the surgical wonders of the war in Washington. Awarded a Medal by Congress. But in spite of the wound Barnum returned once more to the battlefield. He persistently refused garrison duty or detail service. He wanted always to be at the
front with his comrades. At the battle of Peach Tree Creek he was again wounded, a piece of a shell this time striking him in the right breast. It was at Atlanta, in September, 1804, that he succeeded to the command of the brigade known then as the Twentieth Army corps. The great march to the sea followed, and General Bamum took part in it. When the muster out of his veteran brigade came, in May, 1805, he was given the command of a provisional brigade, and later succeeded General Sickles in command of the district of Massachusetts, New Hampshire
and Vermont. In the fall of the same year he was elected inspector of prisons in
this state. He resigned his commission to enter upon the duties of the position.
Eighteen months ago General Barnum was awarded by congress a handsome gold
medal for his meritorious war service. The presentation was at a dinner in this city at which General William T. Sherman presided and Chauncey M. Depew made the
address. At the inauguration of President Harrison in 1889 General Barnum was marshal of the New York delegation. Captain W. G. Barnum, a brother of the general, was with him when he died. The general's son, Lieutenant Malvern Hill Barnum, of the army, had been sent for, but had not arrived from the west. Mrs. Barnum has been dead several years. It has been decided that the general shall be buried with full military honors. The interment will be at Syracuse.
From the Middletown (NY) Daily Times
, Wednesday Evening February 23, 1892: Buried with Military Honors. Syracuse, N. Y., Feb. 3.-- General Henry A. Barnum was buried in Oakwood Cemetery with military honors. All the local military companies and Grand Army posts, with the Twenty-fourth Separate company, of Oswego, accompanied the remains to the grave, over which three volleys were fired as a final tribute to the departed hero.
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