William Taylor Sullivan Barry

Compliments:  Find-a-grave

William Taylor Sullivan Barry was born in Columbus, Mississippi, on December 10,1821, the son of Richard and Mary (Fearn) Barry. Major Richard Barry, his father, was a wealthy plantation owner and slaveholder. The younger Barry graduated from Yale University in 1841- Returning to Columbus, he practiced law and engaged in planting in Sunflower and Oktibbeha counties. Barry "had neither the taste nor patience for the dry and ponderous details of (the law)" and, as an original secessionist, soon plunged into politics. Barry, a Democrat, was elected to the state legislature in 1850 and 1852 and to the U.S. Congress in 1853. Elected again to the state legislature in 1854, Barry served as speaker of the state house in 1855. One contemporary remembered that "he was all orator.... No one was more effective in a canvass, but he abhorred the labors and responsibilities of office." Barry was a member of the Mississippi delegation that bolted the Charleston Democratic Convention in 1860 over slavery. He later presided over the Mississippi Secession Convention.

Elected to the Confederate Congress in 1861, Barry advocated extremist measures such as reopening the African slave trade. Barry resigned from Congress in 1862 to enter the army. Commissioned colonel on January 27,1862, to recruit and organize the 35th Mississippi Infantry, he led his regiment in the Corinth and Vicksburg campaigns. At the Battle of Corinth the 35th took part in the tragic assault on Battery Robinette. In the siege of Vicksburg the 35th manned the right center of the Confederate lines, just South of the 3rd Louisiana Redan. Captured and paroled at Vicksburg, Barry broke parole and led his regiment through the Atlanta campaign of 1864. As senior colonel he often led Sears's brigade during this campaign. Barry was seriously wounded in the shoulder at Altoona in October, 1864. His brigade was transferred to Mobile in 1865 and was captured in the Union attack on Fort Blakely on April 9, 1865. Confined in a New Orleans prison, he was finally exchanged on May 1, 1865.

After the war Colonel Barry practiced law in Columbus. Despondent over the war and the effects of his old shoulder wound, Barry withdrew into seclusion. He did publicly urge ex-slaves to vote for the Democratic party. He died on January 29,1868, and is buried in Friendship Cemetery, Columbus.

Barry is called general in CV and SHSR Although often in brigade command, it does not appear that he was ever promoted to brigadier. He is termed colonel in the OR as late as April 5,1865, and he signed his May 9,1865, parole as colonel, 35th Mississippi.

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Reference:  More Generals in Gray.  Bruce S. Allardice.  A companion volume to Generals in Gray.  Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge. LA.