Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BARRY, William Farquhar, soldier, born in New York City, 8 August 1818; died in Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland, 18 July 1879. He was graduated at West Point in 1838, and in that year assisted Major Ringgold to organize the first battery of light artillery formed in the United States army. After doing garrison duty at different stations, he went with the army to Mexico, remaining there from 1846 to 1848. He was in the battle of Tampico, and served in General Patterson's division, and also as aide-de-camp to General Worth. From 1849 to 1851 he was stationed at Fort McHenry, and was made a captain in the 2d artillery on 1 July 1852. He served in the war against the Seminoles in Florida in 1852-'3, and during the Kansas disturbances of 1857-'8 was stationed at Fort Leavenworth. During 1858 he was a member of the board to revise the system of light artillery practice, and the revision was adopted on 6 March 1860. On the breaking out of the civil war, he went into active service, assisting in the defense of Fort Pickens, Fla., as major of the 5th artillery. He was chief of artillery in the Army of the Potomac from 27 July 1861, to 27 August 1862, and organized its artillery. On 20 August 1861, he was appointed Brigadier-General of volunteers, took a leading part in the Virginia peninsular campaign until August 1862, being in the siege of Yorktown, at the battle of Gaines's Mill, the skirmish of Mechanicsville, the battle of Charles City Cross-Roads, the Malvern Hill contest, and at Harrison's Landing. From the end of that campaign until 1864 he was chief of artillery of the defenses of Washington, District of Columbia, having been appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the 1st artillery on 1 August 1863. He was assigned to the command at Pittsburghh, Pennsylvania, and Wheeling, W. Virginia, against a threatened cavalry raid in May 1863, and was next appointed chief of artillery on General Sherman's staff, commanding the military division of the Mississippi from March 1864, to June 1866. From May to September 1864, he was with the army in Georgia, and took part in the siege of Atlanta, and also in the northern Georgia, Alabama, and Carolina campaigns. On 1 September 1864, he was made brevet Major-General of volunteers, and colonel by brevet for gallant conduct at Rocky-Faced Ridge. On 13 March 1865, he was made brevet Brigadier-General, United States army, for his services in the campaign ending with the surrender of the army under General J. E. Johnston, and on the same day was made brevet Major-General for gallant conduct in the field. On 11 December 1865, he was appointed colonel in the 2d artillery, and was in command of the northern frontier pending the Fenian raids of 1866. On 15 January of that year he was mustered out of the volunteer service. He served on the northern frontier to September 1867, and then commanded the artillery school of practice at Fortress Monroe to 5 March 1877, when he was appointed to the command at Fort McHenry. During the labor riots of 1877 he rendered valuable service at Camden Station. He was the author, in conjunction with General 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" (New York, 1863).
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