Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Brigadier General Alpheus Baker.

Alpheus Baker.

Birth: May 28, 1828, Abbeville, Abbeville County, South Carolina.

Death: Oct. 2, 1891, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

Brigadier General, CSA. He taught school in South Carolina and Georgia while he was studying law. After moving to Alabama, he was admitted to the Alabama bar in 1949. He began to practice law and was elected to the Alabama constitutional convention. When war seemed inevitable, he enlisted as a private in a local militia, the Eufaula Rifles. Shortly thereafter he was named captain of Company B of the 1st Alabama. When the Civil War began his company was sent to Pensacola, Florida and late in 1861 to Tennessee. When the First Alabama enlistment expired he was named colonel of the 4th Confederate Infantry Regiment. Following action in New Madrid, he was captured at island #10, an island in the Kentucky bend of the Mississippi River.

A few months later he was involved in a prisoner exchange and named colonel of the 5th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment. In the Vicksburg campaign, he was wounded at the battle of Champion's Hill and was promoted to brigadier general. He was wounded again at Ezra Church and after recovery his brigade was assigned to the Department of the Gulf near Mobile Alabama. His brigade rejoined the main Western army in time to take part in the Carolina campaign. Baker and his brigade were captured at Bentonville, North Carolina on 19 March 1865. By then the war was almost over and upon release returned to his law practice in Alabama. In 1878, he moved his practice to Louisville, Kentucky where he remained until his death. Baker is buried among the wartime Confederate burials, instead of in the veterans' section, because his last wish was to be buried among his soldiers. An empty space was held in his honor among the wartime burials of Confederate POWs who were held in Louisville.

Part of a battle report.

Camp Forrest, MISS.,
August 28, 1863.

In the mean time Featherston's brigade was put into position to protect the rear of the retreating forces and to cover the falling back of Buford's brigade. This duty was ably and gallantly executed. This latter brigade (Buford's) about this time met a charge of the enemy (infantry, cavalry, and artillery), and repulsed him in splendid style with great slaughter, the heavy fighting being done by the Twelfth Louisiana, a large regiment, under the able and daring [T. M.]Scott. This and the gallant [Edward] Goodwin, thirty-FIFTH Alabama Regiment, had also distinguished themselves in the charge upon the enemy's center, and about this time the brave Alpheus Baker, of the FIFTY-fourth Alabama, was severely wounded in another part of the field.

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