Samuel B. Barber

Samuel B. Barber was born 1840 in Essex County, New York

In 1850 there was a 12-year-old Samuel Barber, born in New York, living with the William Morrison family in Essex, Essex County, New York. Samuel eventually left New York and moved westward, and probably settled in Ionia County, Michigan by the time the war had broken out.

Samuel stood 5’6” with gray eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was 21 years old and working as a farmer possibly living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861, with his relatives (?) Martin and Andrew Barber, both of whom were from Lowell, Kent County, just across the Ionia County line. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.)

He reenlisted on December 23, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Boston, Ionia County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864, possibly in Michigan, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was transferred to Company A, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.

On June 16, 1864, Samuel was shot while in the line of duty near Petersburg, Virginia. According to the testimony of Captain Daniel Converse, then commanding Company A, Fifth Michigan, Sam “was shot through the right arm above the elbow by a musket ball” cutting “the cords of his arms.” He reportedly entered Satterlee hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 25, 1864, with a wounded arm, and subsequently gangrene set in, causing a considerable loss of tissue. Nevertheless, he was returned to duty on January 29, 1865, and mustered out July 5, 1865, near Jeffersonville, Indiana.

After the war Samuel returned to Michigan, and eventually settled back in Ionia County.

He was married to New York native Mary J. (b. 1846) and they had at least one child, a son Edgar O. (b. 1868). Samuel was living in Boston, Ionia County in 1866 when he applied for a pension (no. 65703), drawing $4.00 per month in 1866.

By 1870 Samuel was working as a farm laborer and he and his wife and child were living with the Wealthy Hueson or Hughson family in Boston, Ionia County. (One suspects that this may have been Mary’s family since there was also a 26-year-old farm laborer named Edgar Hueson living on the same farm, and he may have been Mary’s older brother.)

Samuel was probably living in South Boston, Ionia County, when he was killed accidentally on November 30, 1873. He was buried in South Boston cemetery.

Curiously, in 1880, there was one Samuel Barber, age 12, listed as the “adopted son” of the Benjamin Nusbaum family in Berlin (Saranac), Ionia County.