Barlow was the CHENG of the Owasco, which in late summer of 1864 was in the Pensacola Navy Yard undergoing repairs that were estimated to last until October 1864. Due to his ship being idled and unable to participate in the impending battle, Barlow volunteered to replace the Tecumseh's CHENG, John Faron, who was hospitalized ashore. Despite a still ill Faron returning to his command on the eve of the battle, Barlow joined the Tecumseh's engine room complement along with a number of his men anyway.
From a book about the Preble family written by RADM George Henry Preble  summarizing Barlow's brief service:
He entered the United States Navy, as a Third Assistant Engineer, June 22, 1860. Served first on board the Anacosta, in the Chesapeake, and next on board the U.S. Steamer Sumpter, on the west coast of Africa, until her return to the United States, when he was ordered to the Steamer Kanawha, one of the ninety day gunboats attached to the West Gulf squadron, under Flag Officer Farragut, and chiefly employed on the blockade off Mobile. He was promoted July 30, 1862, to the grade of 2nd Assistant Engineer, and sometime the following year was ordered to the steam gunboat Owasco, a sister vessel to the Kanawha, as her Senior Engineer. While attached to the Owasco, when it was decided to attempt the capture of Mobile and its defenses, an officer of experience of being required as Senior Engineer, he volunteered to go on board the monitor Tecumseh, Commander T. A. M. Craven, the leading vessel of the Fleet in the Bay Fight, August 5, 1864. His services, after being twice declined, on the Senior Engineer of the Tecumseh being taken sick were accepted, and he went down in that vessel, at his post, when she was sunk on that memorable morning, at forty minutes past seven o'clock.
Awards & MemorialsMemorial cenotaph in Section E, plot #188, Washington Cemetery, Washington, PA
Alternate Spellings of Name
References and Sources Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military and Naval in the Service of the United States on the Thirtieth September 1863 (1864)
 George Henry Preble A Genealogical Sketch of the First Three Generations of Prebles in America (Portland, ME, 1868)
 "Navy Gazette: List of Deaths in the Navy of the United States, reported to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department, during the week ending December 3d, 1864." Army and Navy Journal, 10 Dec. 1864, p. 253.
 Officers and Enlisted Men who Died in the Active Service of the U.S. Navy 1776-1885