Captain Jesse Sharpe Barnes of Company F, 4th North Carolina Infantry. Jesse Barnes was born June 18, 1838 in Edgecombe County, North Carolina to Elias and Mahala Emma Sharpe Barnes. At age 18 he enlisted in Company F on May 16, 1861 and was later promoted to Captain. His brother, William Sharpe Barnes, also went to war with Jesse in Co. F.
In the Army of Northern Virginia, they fought throughout the battles of Yorktown and Williamsburg, VA in March 1862. On May 31, 1862 the 4th NC would see their fiercest battle yet at Seven Pines, VA. Here the 4th NC was ordered to attack an artillery battery supported by infantry. The men advanced over muddy ground while under heavy artillery and musketry fire, though Capt. Barnes lead his company into the attack without question. He was well respected by his troops, who would fallow Barnes into any fight. The regiment was the first of their brigade to reach the enemy and managed to overrun the Union position, but not without loss. Capt. Barnes was killed in the attempt, along with many of his men. The 4th NC lost about 54% of its strength at Seven Pines.
Capt. Jesse Barnes’ brother, William, would live through the war, later being promoted to first lieutenant. William Barnes would return home, marry, and move to California, where William was employed as a teacher. William Barnes had 4 children and lived to be 81 years old, but he never forgot his brother Jesse and the men of Company F for the rest of his life.
Photo of Lt. William Barnes: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2011647956/
Another photo of Capt. Jesse Barnes: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010650225/