Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BARNES, James, soldier, born about 1809; died in Springfield, Massachusetts, 12 February 1869. He was graduated at West Point in 1829, standing fifth in his class. Among his classmates were Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston, O. McKnight Mitchell, Thomas Swords, and a dozen others distinguished in afterlife. He remained in the army seven years, advancing to the rank of first lieutenant of the 4th artillery, when he resigned and became a railroad engineer and superintendent on the Western railroad of Massachusetts from 1836 to 1848, and chief engineer of the Seaboard and Roanoke railroad from 1848 to 1852. He also constructed, either wholly or in part, the Rome and Watertown, the Sackett's Harbor and Ellisburg, the Buffalo, Coming, and New York, the Terre Haute, Alton, and St. Louis, and the Potsdam and Watertown railroads, between 1848 and 1857. During the civil war he was colonel of the 18th Massachusetts volunteers from 26 July 1861, to 29 November. 1862, participating in most of the battles of the Army of the Potomac during that period. He was promoted to be Brigadier-General of volunteers 29 November 1862, and was at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the skirmishes of Aldie and Upperville, and the battle of Gettysburg, where he commanded a division and was severely wounded. Subsequently he was on court-martial duty or in command of posts until the close of the war, and was brevetted Major-General of volunteers 13 March 1865. He was mustered out of the service 15 January 1866. His health was permanently impaired by wounds and exposure, and, though he interested himself somewhat in railroad affairs, he was never able to engage regularly in any business.
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