William was captured with his father, Capt. Nathan Barnes. They were shipped to Ship Island in the Gulf of Mexico, off Biloxi, MS. The time in prison weaken William's lungs. He was 16 when he joined the Civil War. He was a hard headed and hot headed young boy. He refused to take the oath of allegience to the Union; so the Yanks would not release him. Nathan refused for a long time too. Finally Nathan went to the Yanks and swore to them he would take the oath and really mean it. He said he would go home and not fight anymore, if they would let William go without William taking the oath. Someone believed him, knew he was trying to save his son. He swore on the Bible the oath to the Union and he meant it. Nathan went home and did not fight anymore. William was released but his lungs were weaken. In 1887 he rode his horse into town to buy, apples and oranges and candy for his children's Christmas. It was raining hard. Two days later he died of a common cold gone bad.