Sunday, June 30, 2013

Colonel Edward Dickinson Baker.

Edward Dickinson Baker.

Birth: Feb. 24, 1811, London, England.
Death: Oct. 21, 1861, Loudoun County, Virginia.
Burial: Balls Bluff National Cemetery, Leesburg, Loudoun County, Virginia.

Civil War Union Major Colonel, 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.

 Actual burial of body is at San Francisco National Cemetery in California.

Twentieth Massachusetts Regimental History.
Colonel Baker who had been conspicuously brave was instantly killed in front of the line.  The nearest California and Twentieth Massachusetts men immediately rushed forward, brought in his body, and sent it back across the river.  The Twentieth always thought that he was shot by a sharpshooter in the branches of a single tree in the middle of the field. 

No comments: