These 38 letters were written by Albert Jenkins Barnard (1841-1916) of Buffalo, New York, who enlisted on 13 August 1862 to serve three years in the 116th New York Volunteers. He mustered in as Captain of Co. B and rose in rank to Lieutenant-Colonel of the Regiment in June 1863 but was discharged the following month—his discharge dated 29 July 1863.
Albert was the son of Albert Barnard (1815-1849) and Elizabeth Atwater Jenkins (1820-1875) of Buffalo, Erie county, New York. Albert’s younger and only brother, Lewis (“Lewie”) Jenkins Barnard (1843-1876) is frequently mentioned in these letters.
At the time of the 1855 New York State Census, 34 year-old Elizabeth Barnard—a widow—was boarding with her two sons, Albert and Lewis with the James Faxon family in Buffalo. Faxon was a printer.
In the 1880 US Census, Albert was enumerated in Buffalo and identified as a manufacture or nuts and bolts. In the 1891 publication of The Iron Age, Albert was identified as the junior partner in the firm of Plumb, Burdict & Barnard which manufactured nuts and bolts. His partners were Ralph Plumb and Orrin C. Burdict. Their shop was at 637 Clinton Street in Buffalo.