Rank and organization: Boatswain's Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1816 Massachusetts.
Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 59, 22 June 1865.
served on board the U.S.S. New Ironsides during action in several attacks
on Fort Fisher, 24 and 25 December 1864; and on 13, 14, and 15 January
1865. The ship steamed in and took the lead in the ironclad division close
in shore and immediately opened its starboard battery in a barrage of well_directed
fire to cause several fires and explosions and dismount several guns during
the first 2 days of fighting. Taken under fire as she steamed into position
on 13 January, the New Ironsides fought all day and took on ammunition
at night despite severe weather conditions. When the enemy came out of
his bombproofs to defend the fort against the storming party, the ship's
battery disabled nearly every gun on the fort facing the shore before the
cease-fire orders were given by the flagship. Barnum was commended for
highly meritorious conduct during this period.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)