Saturday, April 17, 2010

Major General Edward D. Baker.

Edward D. Baker.

Birth: Feb. 24, 1811, London, England.
Death: Oct. 21, 1861, Loudoun County, Virginia.

Photo provided by Ethan F. Bishop

Civil War Union Major General, US Senator. He was Abe Lincoln's best friend and Lincoln named one of his children after him. Baker was born in London England in 1811. He moved to the US with his parents as a child. He lived in Springfield Illinois where he met Lincoln and served as law partners. He served in congress and formed his own regiment in Illinois and saw action in Mexico fighting with Winfield Scott in 1849. He later was instrumental in keeping the western states free from slavery and helped Lincoln become President in 1861.

He rode with Lincoln to the inaugural and introduced Lincoln to the podium for his inaugural speech. He became Senator of Oregon and when the South fired on Fort Summter He formed the California Regiment in New York City. Other regiments were placed in his Brigade and it became known as Baker's Brigade; most men were from Penn. Some of these regiments later evolved into the Penn 71st, and the Irish 69th; both were later instrumental in stopping Pickett's men at Gettysburg on July 3. Baker, however was killed earlier in the war at the battle of Ball's Bluff, Oct 21, 1861. Baker led the Union forces in the field and after being shot and killed, his men lost their spirit and retreated in a disorderly, mob fashion. it turned into one of the Union's greatest war time debacles. It was a small battle but it was a terrible blow for the Union and had dreadful results for the Union Army leadership.

Mary A. Baker.

CHAP. CXXXIII. — An Act for the Relief of Mary A. Baker, Widow of Brigadier General Edward D. Baker.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he hereby is, authorized and directed to place the name of Mary A. Baker, widow of Brigadier-General Edward D. Baker, on the pension roll, at the rate of fifty dollars a month, from the twenty-first day of October, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, to continue during her widowhood.
APPROVED, March 3, 1865.

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