Henry (Harry) A. Barry (1841-1919) was born in Pennsylvania to William A. Barry (b. 1817) and Rachel Ann Barry (b. 1821). The family, including younger sisters Mary Ann and Emma M., lived in Jonestown, Pennsylvania. On August 13, 1862, Henry enlisted in Company E of the 127th Pennsylvania Infantry as a musician with the rank of private. His father was a surgeon in the Pennsylvania reserves and stationed an hour’s horseback ride from the author, which enabled them to visit each other’s camp on several occasions.
Barry's company fought in the first battle at Fredericksburg in December 1862, and in the second at Marye's Heights in April 1863. Following an unsuccessful attempt to push the Confederates out of the Fredericksburg area, his company retreated to its former position and was relieved by reserves from New Jersey. Barry started for home on May 15, 1863, mustered out at Harrisburg on May 29, four weeks before the start of the Battle of Gettysburg. After the war he married (Mary Alice Barry b. 1847) and worked as a clerk in Baltimore. In the 1870 census, Barry is listed as a retail coal dealer, and in the 1900 census he is listed as a sales agent.