Biography of Alfred Barnes
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





ALFRED BARNES. - The call for volunteers in the Union Army during the Civil war received a quick response from Alfred Barnes, who responded to the first call for troops, volunteering in a company from Kane county, Ill., for three months' service, but the quota of men for this call being already filled, they volunteered for three years and were mustered in at Dixon, May 24, 1861, as Company H, 13th Ill. V. I. They were first sent into Missouri and after aiding in the building of Ft. Wyman, named after the colonel of their regiment, young Barnes saw service in various skirmishes up to the time of the battle of Chickasaw Bayou, Miss. There he was captured by the rebels and confined in the prison at Vicksburg and later held as a prisoner of war at Jackson until paroled and sent to New Orleans, La. In April, 1863, he boarded the steamer Fulton bound for New York City and, on his arrival in the North, made his way immediately to Illinois, remaining at home recuperating for a time. Nothing daunted, however, he again reported for duty, rejoining his regiment at the front in time to participate in the battle of Lookout Mountain and later Missionary Ridge and Ringold, Georgia. After passing the winter at Woodville, Ala., Mr. Barnes with others was guarding Madison Station, Ala., when he was again taken captive by the enemy. This unfortunate circumstance happened May 17, 1864, just seven days prior to the expiration of his term of enlistment. He was again held a prisoner, this time at Cahaba, Ala., and was afterward transferred with three hundred others to Meridian, Miss., where they suffered extremely from cold through an entire winter in an open stockade. In the spring the prisoners were returned to Cahaba and in March, 1865, when the Alabama River rose so that it was impossible to longer keep all of the men there, arrangements were made with those in charge of exchange of prisoners and they were sent to Black River, Miss., where they were kept inside of the Union lines and properly fed. Although guarded by the Union soldiers they were prisoners of war until the cessation of hostilities. He was afterwards mustered out at Springfield, Ill., June 7, 1865. With the close of the war he exchanged the uniform of a soldier for the garb of a tiller of the soil and farmed in Illinois for two years when he moved to Gentry county, Mo., and was identified with the interests of that section for fifteen years, during which time he improved and operated a farm. In December, 1882, Mr. Barnes came to Humboldt county, locating at Downs Prairie, north of Arcata. Appreciating the possibilities of this section, he turned them to the best possible advantage and was soon the owner of three hundred and sixty acres of land, devoted to general farming, stock raising and dairying. Here he continued to reside until 1903, when he rented his property and moved into Eureka, where he has since lived retired. In 1913 he disposed of his ranch. He is one of the prominent citizens of this well favored locality and has many friends among those who, like himself, are public spirited and enterprising.

Mr. Barnes was born in the town of Alexandra, Jefferson county, N. Y., April 28, 1838, while his father, Ira Barnes, was a native of Steuben county, same state. The latter followed general farm pursuits near Alexandra until 1846 when he removed with his family to Illinois, locating near Aurora, Kane county. He witnessed the remarkable growth and development of that state and himself contributed in a large degree to the prosperity and progress of Kane county. He was married to Eliza Carnegie, a native of New York. She was the daughter of Andrew Carnegie, whose father also bore the name of Andrew and came from Scotland. Mr. and Mrs. Ira Barnes passed their last days in Illinois. They were the parents of seven children, of whom Bertha became Mrs. Westover and died while a resident of Illinois; Maria is Mrs. Randall of Aurora; Andrew passed away while a resident of Kansas; Crowell makes his home in Aurora; Mary, Mrs. Sherwin, spent her entire life in Illinois; while Ethelbert died at the old homestead in Kane county, December, 1914. Alfred was a lad of seven years when his parents moved to Illinois and he received his education in the public schools, after which he assisted in the farm work until the outbreak of the Civil war.

The marriage of Alfred Barnes and Miss Charlotte M. Willey was solemnized in Kane county, Ill., November 4, 1867. Mrs. Barnes is a native of that county and a daughter of Sardis Willey, born in New York state. To them have been born six sons, of whom Frank is a merchant at Silver Lake, Wash.; Harry resides at Turlock, Cal.; Fred died in Missouri; Ralph died while living in Los Angeles; Earl is Deputy Game Warden at Eureka and Verne is a farmer near Arcata. Mr. Barnes was made a Mason in Aurora, Ill., and is now a member of Arcata Lodge No. 106, F. & A. M. He is also prominent in Colonel Whipple Post No. 49, G. A. R., and in politics is a Progressive Republican.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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