Barney, Joshua

Barney, Joshua bärˈnē [key], 1759–1818, American naval officer and privateer, b. Baltimore. He entered the navy early in the American Revolution, engaged in many feats of daring, and was captured by the British three times; his most famous exploit was the capture (1782) of the General Monk in Delaware Bay. From 1796 to 1802 he served with distinction in the French navy. In the War of 1812 he engaged in large-scale privateering. In July, 1814, he was given the task of checking the British advance up Chesapeake Bay. For several weeks he slowed the drive on Washington, and when the British did disembark, he rushed with some 400 sailors to Bladensburg, where Gen. William Winder was in command. In the battle on Aug. 24, the American lines quickly broke; Barney and his men stayed behind to cover the retreat. Their gallant defense was soon broken, and Barney was wounded and captured.

See biographies by W. F. Adams (1912), R. D. Paine (1924), and H. Footner (1940).

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