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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1838

Vol. I

(Born N. Y.)

William F. Barry

(Ap'd N. Y.)


William Farquhar Barry: Born Aug. 18, 1818, New York, NY.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, Sep. 1, 1834, to July 1, 1838, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., 4th Artillery, July 1, 1838.

Second Lieut., 4th Artillery, July 7, 1838.

Transferred to 2d Artillery, July 12, 1838.

Served: in garrison at Carlisle Barracks, Pa., 1838; on Northern Frontier, at Buffalo, N. Y., 1838‑39, during Canada Border Disturbances; at the Camp of Instruction near Trenton, N. J., 1839; on the Northern Frontier, at Buffalo, N. Y., 1839‑41, during Canada Border Disturbances; in garrison at Ft. Hamilton, N. Y., 1841, — Ft. La­fayette, N. Y., 1841, — Ft. Hamilton, N. Y., 1841‑42, — Ft. Adams, R. I., 1842,

(First Lieut., 2d Artillery, Aug. 17, 1842)

— Ft. Trumbull, Ct., 1842, — and Ft. Hamilton, N. Y., 1842‑46; on Recruiting service, 1846; in the War with Mexico, 1846‑47, at Tampico; on sick leave of absence, Mar. to Oct., 1847; in the War with Mexico, 1847‑48, as Acting Asst. Adjutant-General of Major-General Patterson's Division, Oct.‑Dec., 1847, and of 1st Brigade of Bvt. Maj.‑General  p704 Worth's division, Jan.‑Mar., 1848, — and as Aide-de‑Camp to Bvt. Maj.‑General Worth, May 6 to Sep. 15, 1848; in garrison at Ft. Monroe, Va., 1848‑49, — Ft. McHenry, Md., 1849‑51, — and Ft. Monroe, Va., 1851‑52; in Florida Hostilities against the Seminole Indians, 1852‑53,

(Captain, 2d Artillery, July 1, 1852)

1853; in garrison at Baton Rouge, La., 1853‑54; in conducting recruits to Baton Rouge, La., 1854‑55; in garrison at Baton Rouge, La., 1855; on frontier duty at Ft. Washita, I. T., 1855; in garrison at Baton Rouge, La., 1855‑56, — and Ft. Hamilton, N. Y., 1856‑57; on frontier duty at Ft. Snelling, Min., 1857, — Ft. Leavenworth, quelling Kansas Disturbances, 1857‑58, — and Ft. Kearny, Neb., 1858; as Member of the Board, 1858‑59, to Revise the System of Light Artillery Tactics, which was adopted for the service of the United States, Mar. 6, 1860; on frontier duty at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., 1859‑61; and in garrison at Washington Arsenal, D. C., 1861.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑66: in Defense of Ft. Pickens, Fla., Apr. 19 to July 4, 1861; in the Manassas

(Major, 5th Artillery, May 14, 1861)

Campaign, as Chief of Artillery of the Army commanded by Brig.‑General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.McDowell, July, 1861, being engaged in the Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861; as Chief of Artillery of the Army of the Potomac, July 27, 1861, to Aug. 27, 1862, organizing its artillery and that of other armies,

(Brig.‑General, U. S. Volunteers, Aug. 20, 1861)

and in the defenses of Washington, D. C., July 22, 1861, to Mar. 14, 1862; in the Virginia Peninsular Campaign (Army of the Potomac), Mar. 14 to Aug. 27, 1862, being engaged in the Siege of Yorktown, Apr. 5-May 4, 1862, — Battle of Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862, — Skirmish of Mechanicsville, May 24, 1862, — Battle of Charles City Cross Roads, June 29, 1862, — Battle of Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862, — and Skirmish at Harrison's Landing, July 2, 1862; as Chief of Artillery of the defenses of Washington, D. C., Sep. 20, 1862, to Mar. 1, 1864; as Member of the Commission to examine the plan and sufficiency of the defenses of Washington city, Oct. 29 to Dec. 24, 1862, — of Board for the Armament of Fortifications, Jan., 1863, — of Board to devise a system of Wrought-iron Gun-carriages, Sep. to Oct., 1863, — of Board for re-arranging

(Lieut.‑Col., 1st Artillery, Aug. 1, 1863)

the Armament of the Defenses of Washington, D. C., Dec., 1863, — and of Board to consider the practicability of revetting forts with iron, Dec., 1863; assigned to the command of the Defense of Pittsburg, Pa., and Wheeling, Va., against a threatened cavalry raid, May, 1863; as Chief of Artillery on the Staff of Major-General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Sherman, commanding Military Division of the Mississippi, Mar. 15, 1864, to Jan. 15, 1866; in the Invasion of Georgia, May 5 to Sep. 5, 1864, being engaged in the Action

(Bvt. Maj.‑General, U. S. Volunteers, Sep. 1, 1864,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Campaign of Atlanta)

of Tunnel Hill, May 5, 1864, and Rocky-Faced Ridge, May 6‑9, 1864, — Battle of Resaca, May 14‑15, 1864, — Skirmishes of Adairsville, May 17, 1864, and Cassville, May 19, 1864, — Actions of New Hope Church, May 25‑31, 1864, — Battle of Kenesaw Mountain, June 27, 1864, — Skirmish of Peach Tree Creek, July 20, 1864, — Battle of Atlanta, July 22, — Siege of Atlanta, July 22-Sep. 2, 1864, — Battle of Jonesborough,

(Bvt. Colonel, Sep. 1, 1864,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Capture of Atlanta)

Aug. 31, 1864, — and Battle of Lovejoy's Station, Sep. 1‑2, 1864; in North Georgia and Alabama Campaign, Sep.‑Nov., 1864, being  p705 engaged in the Skirmishes of Snake Creek Gap, Oct. 10, Ship's Gap, Oct. 12, and Rome, Oct. 30, 1864; and in the Carolina Campaign, Feb.‑Apr., 1865, being engaged in the Skirmishes of Duck Creek, Feb. 2, Salkehatchie, Feb. 6, Edisto, Feb. 12, Congaree Creek, Feb. 15, and Chesterfield C. H., Mar. 2, 1865, — Battle of Averysborough, Mar. 16,

(Bvt. Brig.‑General, U. S. Army, Mar. 13, 1865,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Campaign terminating with the Surrender of the Insurgent Army under General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.J. E. Johnston)

(Bvt. Maj.‑General, U. S. Army, Mar. 13, 1865,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services in the Field during the Rebellion)

1865, — and Battle of Bentonville, Mar. 20‑21, 1865; in waiting orders,

(Colonel, 2d Artillery, Dec. 11, 1865)

Jan. 8 to June 15, 1866.

Mustered out of Volunteer Service, Jan. 15, 1866.

Served: in command of Northern Frontier, pending Fenian Raids into Canada, June 15, 1866, to Sep. 27, 1867, — of Artillery School for Practice, at Ft. Monroe, Va., Nov. 28, 1867, to Nov. 22, 1876, and Feb. 5 to Mar. 1, 1877, — of troops in the District of Columbia, Nov. 23, 1876, to Feb. 5, 1877, — of regiment, headquarters at Ft. McHenry, Md., Mar. 1, 1877, to July 10, 1879, — and of U. S. Troops at Baltimore, Md., during Railroad Disturbances, July 22 to Aug. 3, 1877.

Civil History. — Author (jointly with General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.J. G. Barnard) of "Reports of the Engineer and Artillery Operations of the Army of the Potomac, from its organization to the close of the Peninsular Campaign," 1863.

Died, July 18, 1879, at Ft. McHenry, Md.: Aged 60.

Buried, Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, NY.

Biographical Sketch.

Bvt. Major-General William F. Barry was born, Aug. 18, 1818, in the City of New York. Upon his graduation at the Military Academy, July 1, 1838, he was promoted to the Artillery, soon after assisted in organizing Major Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Ringgold's battery of Light Artillery, and then joined his own regiment, suppressing disturbances on the Canada frontier, where he was attached to Duncan's Battery, which subsequently was so conspicuous at Palo Alto.

In the War against Mexico, Barry accompanied his regiment to Tampico, where he was taken sick, and consequently did not return to the field till after the departure of Scott's army from Vera Cruz, where he became Adjutant-General of Patterson's division, and, on reaching the City of Mexico, was made Aide-de‑Camp to General Worth, in which capacity he served till the termination of hostilities.

From the end of the War with Mexico till the beginning of the Rebellion, Barry, besides performing ordinary garrison duty, was, in 1852‑53, engaged against the Seminole Indians in Florida; in 1857‑58, in quelling Kansas disturbances, when he volunteered to make a winter march of over a thousand miles to join the Utah expedition with his battery; and, in 1858‑59, was a most efficient member of the Board to Revise the System of Light Artillery Tactics, adopted May 6, 1860 for the service of the United States.

Barry's Battery was ordered, at the beginning of 1861, to Washington, where it remained till after the inauguration of President Lincoln; went to Fort Pickens, where artillerists only could serve the heavy guns; and again returned to Washington, just in time to join the forces marching to Bull Run. On reporting to General McDowell, July 19th, Barry, who  p706 had been commissioned a Major in the new Fifth Artillery, was appointed Chief of the Artillery which he commanded in the battle of the 21st. After the retreat from Bull Run was made, July 27th, Chief of Artillery of the Army of the Potomac, and, August 25th, became Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers. After organizing the largest amount of field and siege artillery attainable, Barry took the field, March 9, 1862, and, during the Peninsular Campaign of Virginia which followed, was engaged in all the operations of the Army of the Potomac, including the withdrawal to Acquia Creek. Being relieved, August 26th, at his own request, he was appointed Inspector-General of Artillery of the Armies of the United States. In addition to this onerous duty he was assigned, as Chief of Artillery of the Defenses of Washington, to the command of the depots and camps of instruction of the field artillery, and detailed on boards to examine the plan and sufficiency of the defenses of the capital; for the armament of fortifications; to devise a system of wrought-iron gun-carriages; for re-arranging the armament of the defenses of Washington City; and to consider the practicability of revetting forts with iron. In the midst of the exacting requirements of these various boards, he was directed to take command of Pittsburg, Pa., and Wheeling, Va., threatened by a rebel cavalry raid.

Barry, as Chief of Artillery of the Division of the Mississippi, accompanied General Sherman in the invasion of Georgia, and in the campaigns subsequent to the capture of Atlanta till after the Battle of Bentonville, March 20‑21, 1865, and was engaged in their various operations, as fully detailed in his foregoing military history. For his distinguished services in the Rebellion he was brevetted Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, and Colonel, Brig.‑General, and Major-General, U. S. Army.

After a few months' rest from his arduous labors, Barry was placed, June 15, 1865, in command of the Northern Frontier, pending Fenian raids into Canada; and January 15, 1866, was mustered out of the volunteer service, having become Colonel of the Second Artillery, Dec. 11, 1865.

In November, 1867, he was assigned to the command of the Artillery School for Practice at Ft. Monroe, Va., of which for ten years he was the very efficient head. His health was now much impaired, yet he devoted himself to his regimental and other official duties till he died, July 18, 1879, at Ft. McHenry, Md., where he was in command.

General Barry was one of the most genial of men, possessed inexhaustible buoyancy of spirit, overflowed with merry humor and rollicking fun, carried sunshine into the gloomiest recesses of society, and by his kindness and affection cheered every inmate of his happy home. As a soldier he was ever prompt in the performance of every duty, quick in his perceptions of the necessities of his command, and had an organizing faculty which was allied to genius. This latter endowment was specially prominent in the various situations he filled as an artillerist. From its creation he was identified with the Light Artillery of our present army, and materially aided in the simplification of the tactics for the movement of field batteries. When made Chief of Artillery, he had literally to create, with the aid of the Ordnance Department, in the briefest time and with the scantiest plant for its execution, our necessary field and siege artillery. The ore for the guns was mostly in the mines, the lumber for carriages still growing in the forests, the leather for harnesses yet covering the animals roving in green pastures, and the artillerists just emerging from a mob of militia. Even with such imperfect preparations, by prodigious energy, the 30 guns on hand were increased to 520, the 400 horses to 11,000, and 650 men were swollen to a small army of 12,500 drilled artillerists.

The position which General Barry occupied from beginning to the  p707 end of the ear, says his artillerist peer, Gen. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.H. J. Hunt, "was such as in modern armies is considered the full equivalent, and more, of the command of an army corps in the field; but he never received the appointment of Major-General, given as a matter of course to corps commanders of infantry and cavalry, and also to many of their division commanders. His services, and those of his arm as well, were fully entitled, under the usages of the service, to such recognition. That it was not bestowed can only be explained on the hypothesis that no amount or value of artillery service could entitle its representative to that grade; for General Barry was the recognized head of all the artillery of all the armies, and served with distinguished ability in the field as Chief of Artillery of the Eastern armies in the first and of the Western armies in the last campaigns of the war. . . . The slur, which was widely commented upon at the time, for it was too obvious to be ignored, attaches not to General Barry, but to the arm of service to which, fortunately for the country, but unfortunately for his own professional and personal interests, he belonged."

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