Private Jacob H. Barnes was a member of Company C, 5th Infantry Regiment, North Carolina State Troops, Confederate Army. He was present or accounted for until captured at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 1-3, 1863. Confined at Fort Delaware, Delaware, he died there on Pea Patch Island, August 24, 1863 of “rubeola” now known as measles.
I have previously written about Jacob H. Barnes at the blog I write with my sister, called Genealogy Sisters. I started thinking about him recently, when I read an interesting newspaper article in USA Today of the plans to plant a tree for every soldier, from both the Union and Confederate sides, killed during the Civil War – estimated at about 620,000. From a tree-lover’s point of view, I’m thrilled. I’m also happy from the point of view of a family researcher.
The initiative is called Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership. Click on the title in italics, and it will tell more about the tree planting. My husband and I have traveled on Route 15 through the Virginia and Maryland hills into Pennsylvania and visited Gettysburg. Most likely this was the route that Jacob H. Barnes took from North Carolina.
I’ve always wondered what his middle initial stands for. Most records he signed as “J. H. Barnes”or “Jacob H. Barnes” and that has helped differentiate his name from others. Two of his grandsons had the same middle initial – George Herbert Barnes and Ernest Howard Barnes. Jacob’s maternal grandfather was named Hardy Williamson. Possibly it represents one of these three names.
A few years ago my husband and I started researching about his great-great-grandfather, Jacob H. Barnes, and in doing so we learned not only about another branch of the family tree, but also about a riveting period of our country’s history. When realizing that the U. S. National Archives had some Prisoner of War records from Confederate soldiers, we sent for Form 86 Military Service Records, filled it out, and one month later received the packet in the mail.
Jacob, a young farmer from North Carolina, received the “Badge of Honor” for gallantry at the Battle of Gettysburg. Standing at 6’1″ he would have been considered a tall man for the times. The records state that he had dark eyes, hair, and complexion. I’m always hopeful that a photograph of the Confederate 5th NC Infantry Regiment will be found, from right before the Gettysburg Battle, and will include his picture. At his death while a POW at Fort Delaware he left behind in Johnston County, North Carolina, his young widow, Nancy Ann Musgrave Barnes, and three children: Emma, Alice, and Thomas.
Click on the images to enlarge them.
“To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.” ~ Chinese Proverb