Crossroads Black History: Sgt. William H. Barnes

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[CG :2 lineStories of Lives Lost in HurricanesIndianola, TX]

[CG :2 lineGary RalstonCalhoun Co. Historical Commission]
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STORIES OF MANY LIVES LOST DURING THE TWO HURRICANES THAT DEALT THE TOWN OF INDIANOLA TWO STRONG BLOWS IN THE LATE 1800’S

BUT THE STORY OF SGT. WILLIAM H. BARNES IN INDIANOLA BEGINS 21 YEARS BEFORE THAT SECOND HURRICANE IN 1886 WHICH WIPED OUT THE TOWN.

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SGT BARNES….A MEMBER OF THE 38TH REGIMENT OF THE UNITED STATES COLORED TROOPS …..FOUGHT IN THE CIVIL WAR
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NOT EVEN A PICTURE OF SGT. BARNES HAS YET TO BE FOUND…

BUT THE FRAGMENTS OF SGT. BARNES STORY THAT RALSTON HAS BEEN ABLE TO PIECE TOGETHER ARE WORTH TELLING…..

BARNES BORN IN MARYLAND…JOINED THE UNION ARMY IN 1864….ONE DAY LATER…HE WAS SENT INTO SERVICE IN VIRGINIA.
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BULLET WOUNDS FROM FIGHTING IN THE BLOODY BATTLE AGAINST THE CONFEDERATE FORECES AT THE BATTLE OF NEW MARKET HEIGHTS IN VIRGINIA.
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…HIS BRAVERY….FIGHTING WHILE WOUNDED…. ALONG WITH 14 OTHER BLACK SOLDIERS EARNED HIM AND 14 OTHER BLACK SOLDIERS THE MEDAL OF HONOR IN 1865.. DURING THE CEREMONY, MEDALS WERE HANDED OUT IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER….MAKING BARNES THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN TO PHYSICALLY RECEIVE HIS MEDAL OF HONOR FIRST.

HE THEN CAME TO TEXAS IN THE SUMMER OF 1865 TO HELP WITH RECONSTRUCTION
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THE NEXT RECORD OF BARNES….SHOWS HE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL IN INDIANOLA …
HE
DIED FROM TUBERCULOSIS ….IN 18-66 ON CHRISTMAS EVE….
AND WAS LAID TO REST IN INDIANOLA.

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A HISTORICAL MARKER HONORING BARNES STANDS IN INDIANOLA CEMETARY…..TO HELP MAKE SURE BARNES’ STORY LIVES ON…. IN INDIANOLA….I’M JASMINE HAYNES WITH YOUR HOMETOWN NEWS….

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