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Virgil Barnes and members of Company B, Second Kansas Regiment, from Jackson County, Kansas - Page

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This is a group photo of seven soldiers from Jackson County's national guard unit, Company B of the Second Kansas Regiment. The original print has a handwritten inscription at the top, "Whole Bunch 1917." The only person identified in the photo is Virgil Barnes, who is standing second from the right.

Company B mustered into national service in August 1917, following the U.S. entry into World War I. The unit soon became part of Company B in the 137th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army's 35th Division. After training for several months at Camp Doniphan in Oklahoma, the regiment deployed for France in April 1918. The 137th Infantry took part in the epic Meuse-Argonne battle in late September 1918. Barnes was gassed during the battle and was hospitalized for a time.

After the war, Virgil Barnes pursued a professional baseball career. A right-handed pitcher, he played seven complete seasons at the major league level, primarily for the New York Giants. He had 61 major league wins, with a career ERA of 3.66. His best year was 1924, when he had an ERA of 3.06 and a record of 16-10. Barnes made World Series appearances in 1923 and 1924, including the starting assignment in Game 7 of the 1924 World Series.

Virgil Barnes was born in Ontario, Kansas, in 1897 and was raised in the nearby town of Circleville. His older brother Jess also was a major league pitcher for several years. Two younger brothers, Charles and Clark, received tryouts with major league teams but did not make their rosters.

Date: 1917

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Item Number: 226473
Call Number: B Barnes, Virgil *2
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 226473

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