Wednesday, May 06, 2015


I was researching some of my collateral lines the other night in preparation for my post
in the last Civil War Blogpost Challenge.  Since my Mom's family was still in Ireland and
Germany at the time  that made it a bit easier.  I was down to the last line on Dad's side, the
 Barrows family, when I discovered that two of my Barrows cousins had fought at Gettysburg.
One survived, the other didn't. In this post, I'll discuss my 2nd cousin 4x removed William H.

William was born on 2Jul 1832 in Plymouth, Ma to Ansel Barrows and Fanny Dunham.( He
is my cousin through both the Barrows and Dunham families ). The Barrows family is spread
throughout the Plymouth area, with many of them having lived in the nearby towns of
Carver and Plympton. At some point, William moved down to Brooklyn New York where
he worked as a bookkeeper, which is what his marriage record says about his occupation and
place of residence. Yet he married Almira Cobb back in Carver, Ma, on 24Nov 1858. It's one of
those things you sometimes wonder about when you find them: was Almira a childhood
sweetheart of William's and had he gone off to New York to earn enough money for them
to start a new life together? Or was she someone he had met on a visit home to Caver?
It's one of those questions for which I'll never know the answer.

The newlyweds took up residence back in Brooklyn, but they returned to Carver for the birth
of their son Eliot Thomas Barrows on 16Apr 1860. Perhaps they stayed put this time, because
when William enlisted as a private in Company F of the  Massachusetts 32nd Infantry Regiment on 20 February 1862, Carver was his place of residence. While the 32nd was present at the Second Battle of Bull Run and at Antietam, it didn't see much action until the Battle of Fredericksburg, where a number of officers were lost in battle. This was probably why William was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in Jan 1863.

The 32nd Infantry arrived ay Gettysburg on the evening of 1Jul 1863 and went into battle the next day. It saw action in the areas of the battlefield known as The Wheatfield and the Stony Hill, suffering heavy casualties. Among those killed was William H. Barrows.

I know a little of what happened to his widow and son afterward. Almira Barrows filed for a
widow's pension on 29Aug 1863. Their son Eliot went on to have a successful career in New
York on the New York Produce Exchange and raised a family in Plainfield, New Jersey, where
he died in 1945.

A few years ago I was visiting Lakenham Cemetery in Carver, Ma., which has a number of my
Dunham and Barrows relatives among those burtied there. One of the pictures I took was
of this family monument at the entrance of the cemetery. I had forgotten all about it until the
other night when I found William's record. 

While William Barrows was fighting and dying at Gettysburg, another member of the Barrows
family, Asa Barrows, was fighting not too far away, as part of the fabled 20th Maine. I'll tell
his story in the next post.

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