From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Barnes, William

(born: 1856) 

William Barnes was a career serviceman born in Carter County, KY. He was referred to as a "noble soldier" in a 1903 newspaper biography. Barnes enlisted in the U.S. Army 24th Infantry in Indianapolis, IN on March 5, 1878, according to the Register of Enlistments. He had been working as a blast fireman prior to his enlistment.

Barnes earned the rank of corporal and fought in the Victoria Campaign. He received an honorable discharge in 1883, then re-enlisted. During his second term of enlistment, he served in the 10th Regiment of the Cavalry and fought in the Geronimo Campaign. Barnes was promoted to sergeant in 1892 and served in Cuba from 1899 to 1900. He was 1st Sergeant of Troop F of the 10th Cavalry. In 1901, he served in the Philippines on the Island of Samar.

First Sergeant William Barnes received the marksman certificate in 1886 and in 1887, and each year after from 1890-1893. After 28 years of service, 1st Sergeant William Barnes retired from the U.S. Army on August 9, 1906 at the age of 47 years 3 months, having last served with the 10th Cavalry [source: U.S. Register of Enlistments]. For more information see "First Sergeant William Barnes. The life story of a typical fighter," Colored American Magazine, vol. 6, February 1903, pp. 295-297.

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Read about Carter County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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NKAA Source: The Colored American magazine (periodical)

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“Barnes, William,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-05-15 15:57:23