"I take this as a personal affront. An insult to everything I stand for as a southerner, and a gentlemen. They violated a direct order, they deserted their unit, because of men like them not doing their duty, Atlanta burned! Whether it's tomorrow, or five years from tomorrow those arrogant sons of bitches will hang!" -Barnsby swearing vengeance on Ray and Thomas McCall.
Barnsby, a native of Virginia, fought in the American Civil War, commanding troops at the rank of Colonel. He became infamous for his 'unique' harshness and violent action towards his subordinates (his troop was documented as having the highest percentage of desertion in any regiment in the Confederate Army). Due to his frequent arguments with his superiors, he was denied a promotion to the rank of General.
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
In August 1864, Barnsby was leading his troop against Union Forces at the Chattahoochee River. Ray McCall asked permission to leave his unit and head into the trenches. Barnsby granted his request and promised that if he could get through, he would hit them with everything he had. Despite Ray's success, Barnsby sent Sergeant O'Donnell as a messenger, telling Ray and Thomas they were given orders to retreat to Jonesboro to reinforce supply lines. Fearing for their family the McCalls rebelled and told the Sergeant to inform Barnsby they were taking leave to defend their homestead. Days later, Barnsby and his men came to the McCall's estate shortly after they had left, and found dozens of deceased Union soldiers. O'Donnell and his men collected piles of their rifles and he mentioned they should give the McCalls medals, right after they hung them. Barnsby swore that the McCalls would pay for their desertion. After the war, Barnsby refused to lay down his arms and he raised an army of Southern soldiers who were not ready to admit defeat including many from his troop such as Sergeant O'Donnell. He led his men west through Arkansas and Oklahoma, where they robbed banks and trains and hijacked supply convoys. Hounded by the U.S. Army, they were driven south to Mexico, crossing back and forth across the border; continuing to fight a war that had ended years before.
In 1866, Barnsby came into contact with the Mexican warlord Juan "Juarez" Mendoza who wanted to purchase rifles from him. Shortly before the exchange however, Barnsby captured by the Pinkertons and held inside a saloon in Raytown, Arizona. He was apparently badly beaten while being interrogated which is why his head was bandaged obscuring his face. It was because of this that Ray and Thomas McCall did not recognize him when they liberated him from his imprisonment under orders of Juarez. After his rescue, Barnsby went to an abandoned gold mine to meet with Mendoza, who said he did not want a war with the Pinkertons, and that they needed to renegotiate. The Colonel revealed that he was the McCall brothers' commanding officer, to which Juarez retorted that the war was over and they were his men now. Barnsby inquired if he did, or did not wish to renegotiate.
Ray and Thomas went to the gold mine, supposedly to meet with Mendoza, but were instead captured by Barnsby. He interrogated them as to why Juarez needed the rifles, and O'Donnell beat Thomas. Barnsby said since there were three of them, if he beat one of them to death it really was not a problem for him. O'Donnell nearly struck Thomas again, but William told them it was payment to the Apache for the medallion, which supposedly was the key to finding the legendary Gold of Juarez, and that Mendoz was using the worthless rifles to swindle the Apache.
After this Barnsby ordered O'Donnell to hang all three of them. The McCalls escaped their imprisonment, and Barnsby decided to follow them to the medallion. He believed the riches it promised would help him resurrect the 'cause of the Confederacy'. For several days he and his forces followed the McCalls. Juarez came across Barnsby, and traded Seeing Farther, the Apache Chief Running River's son to him in exchange for horses. Barnsby and his men then attacked the village decimating it. After the battle had died down, Barnsby approached Running River and the McCall brothers in person, and demanded that Running River handed over the medallion, revealing they had captured Seeing Farther.
Running River claimed he was Apache and would die with honor, but the Colonel said his village was gone, his people were dead and asked if he were ready to sacrifice his last male heir. He instructed him to meet him at the ghost settlement before sundown the next day to make the exchange or else his son would die. The next day the McCall brothers tormed the settlement with Running River's assistance and killed off Barnsby's troops there, including O'Donnell. However, Barnsby shot Seeing Farther, mortally wounding him. The McCalls chased Barnsby and captured him, handing him over to Running River. The McCall brothers left, and Running River cut the ropes bounding Barnsby, setting him free without a word why. Barnsby reunited with the remainder of his troops, and tracked the McCalls to Mexico, where he found them in an underground temple. Barnsby watched as William counted down to three and reached for his bible, and Ray shot him. In torment Ray dropped to his knees grasping his head, still clinging his gun. William’s bible landed in front of Jeremy Barnsby, who said that he was never one to be superstitious but maybe the gold was cursed.
Ray asked how it was he was still breathing, the Colonel said Running River cut his binds and set him free without a word why. He claimed it must’ve been God’s will, using the treasure he’d restore the Confederacy and the South would rise again. Thomas said he’d lost his mind. Barnsby retreated and told his troops to kill them. Thomas instructed Marisa to run to the top of the spiral stairs. A trap was somehow triggered and the room began filling with sand at an alarming rate. Barnsby and a few of his men captured Marisa as she tried to flee, and the McCall brothers fought their way to Barnsby, killing the last of his soldiers. Barnsby proposed a showdown between himself and one of them. He confronted the McCall in a duel he did not survive, much to his surprise, and his body was lost to the sands.
Barnsby was a tall man who had a hooked nose, and kept his dark hair fairly long. He also sported a horseshoe mustache. Barnsby wore a long grey Confederate frock coat, with polished military boots. He also was decorated with two medals, and carried a saber on his belt. He carried a Ranger as his preferred sidearm.
Barnsby was highly militaristic man filled with zeal, and held an intense hatred for the Northerners after the death of his family at the hands of the Union. He was considered a highly charismatic leader to some, as O'Donnell and other soldiers unwilling to surrender fell in line under his command. Barnsby most likely became emotionally unhinged after his loss. He made it his personal mission to hunt down and kill every deserter who fled his command, whom he held responsible for Atlanta's destruction and thus his family's demise. He was also extremely racist against black people (referring to them as darkies that belong in bondage) and to a lesser extent, Native Americans.
- Barnsby's early life parallels that of Tom Manson, both were Confederate soldiers who lost their families during the war, an event which altered their personalities.
- Colonel Barnsby was voiced by John Cygan, who would later provide the voice of Silas Greaves, the protagonist of Call of Juarez: Gunslinger.
- Jeremy is an English name (derived from the Hebrew Jeremiah). It means "The Lord loosens", or "God will uplift". It is ironic because Barnsby's final words are "God will protect the righteous".