William Harrison Barber was born on July 29, 1843, in Whitehall Pennsylvania, to Thomas Barber and his wife (name unknown). He had three siblings, Joseph, Matilda, and Hannah. He married (wife's name unknown) and they had four children: Thomas W., George, Robert, and Ann.
Barber was a private in Company K of the 47th Pennsylvania Regiment of Volunteers between July 26, 1862, and June 1, 1865.
Barber's son, Thomas W. Barber, married Mary R. Gibson and together had a son Howard G. Barber. After Thomas' death at an early age, Mary married William R. Stackhouse. William adopted Howard and raised him under the Stackhouse name. It was Howard G. [Barber] Stackhouse who saved the papers of his grandfather that make up this collection.