Sergeant John Pickens Barlow
Company A (the “Caldwell Rough and Ready Boys”), 22nd Regiment N.C. Troops (12th Regiment N.C. Volunteers
This ambrotype of John Pickens Barlow of Caldwell County was made in the photography studio of Esley Hunt of Raleigh, as attested by the presence of distinct chair finials visible behind Barlow’s shoulders. At some time Barlow (or a family member) had a jeweler cut out the center of the image and mount it in a locket, which is the form in which it survives today.
Barlow farmed with his parents and six younger siblings in the Kings Creek District of Caldwell County. He enlisted for twelve months in his home county’s first company, the “Caldwell Rough and Ready Boys,” which organized at Lenoir on April 30, 1861. The “Boys” were subsequently designated Company A, 22nd Regiment N.C. Troops.
No muster rolls for Company A are extant for the period September 1861-June 1864. However, Barlow’s entry in the North Carolina Roll of Honor, probably made after the Battle of Gettysburg, records his promotion to sergeant on June 6, 1862, and states that he had participated in eight battles.
He was wounded in three of them. The first was at Seven Pines, May 31, 1862, where the 22nd North Carolina, in its first battle, suffered nearly 160 casualties, including forty-seven men killed or mortally wounded in action. At Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862, Barlow suffered a gunshot wound to the neck severe enough for him to be hospitalized for two weeks and then granted a forty-day furlough.
Barlow returned to duty in time to participate in the invasion of Pennsylvania, and was wounded and captured at Gettysburg. He was exchanged just ten weeks later, on September 13, possibly because Federal surgeons judged his Gettysburg wound severe enough to render him unfit for further duty.
That proved not to be the case however, and Barlow returned to duty no later than April 30, 1864. Company A muster rolls for July-October 1864 report him as present, and his name appears on a clothing receipt roll dated December 5, 1864. Barlow was one of 111 members of the 22nd North Carolina who surrendered at Appomattox Court House, April 9, 1865.
Barlow (April 4, 1838-June 5, 1924) preferred to be called by his middle name, and almost all references to him are to “Pickens Barlow.” He is buried at Kings Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, Lenoir, Caldwell County.
Image: Caldwell Heritage Museum.
1860 U. S. Census, Kings Creek District, Caldwell County, North Carolina, population schedule, page 106, dwelling 822, family 751, Joseph Barlow household; Manarin et. al., North Carolina Troops 7:12, 14; Mast, “North Carolina Casualties”; service record files of Pickens Barlow, 22nd Regiment N.C. Troops, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers from the State of North Carolina (M270), RG109, NA; http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=59188469