Chautauqua County Historical Society - Member Activities - Chautauqua County - New York - USA
Fred Barger - 1865 Cartes de Visite
Frederick Barger enrolled into the 49th Infantry Regiment in Westfield, NY at the age of 19. He mustered in as Sergeant of Company G of the 49th in August of 1861. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant in April of 1862, and First Lieutenant in September that same year. He was wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg, VA on December 13, 1862 having been hit by shrapnel. His right forearm was amputated in a field hospital. His diary of 1862, neatly written with his right hand, switched over to his left hand some ten days after the amputation. The diary is in the possession of the Chautauqua County Historical Society at McClurg Museum in Westfield, NY. The entire diary is available on the CCHS website. Major Barger (brevetted) served in NY City after his wound, and experienced first-hand the draft riots of 1863. His recently discovered account, which has been edited based on his typewritten account using his left-handed notes and corrections interpreted and added, is an incredible first-hand recollection of the actual riots. Barger was assigned as an Inspector to (also wounded at Fredericksburg) General Nugent, Colonel of the 69th Regiment NY Volunteers. His exciting account of the draft riots follows. After his service in New York City, Major Barger was encouraged to apply as Postmaster of his hometown of Westfield, NY. The honorable Reuben Eaton Fenton (later Governor and Senator) asked that he meet him in Washington, where he was personally taken to meet with President Abraham Lincoln. In Barger's personal account of the meeting, printed in the History of the Forty-Ninth NY Volunteers by Frederick Bidwell, he recalls Lincoln talking him out of resigning his position in the army. Lincoln instead encouraged Barger to accept a disability discharge from the army "on account of wounds received in action," and commissioned Barger as Postmaster of Westfield. Barger considered this commission "among his most cherished possessions." (p. 136-7, History of the Forty-Ninth New York Volunteers, Frederick David Bidwell) Attached are several CDV's of Barger, as well as the reverses. There is also a picture of Fred Barger, and two of his close friends from Company G of the 49th NY - Nehemiah Sperry and Sherman Williams. The picture dates from 1914. Also, there is a picture of Barger's Certificate, proclaiming him as a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, signed by General Philip P. Sheridan (David Brown Collection). The medals that correspond to this document can be found at the McClurg Museum, and were donated by Professor Peter Rogerson of the University of Buffalo. -submitted by David S. Brown, PhD
Fred Charles Barger - 1888 Military Order of the Loyal Legion - First Lieutenant
Member Page submitted by Dr. David Brown.