|Birth: ||Feb. 15, 1840|
|Death: ||Jan. 22, 1901|
Joseph was born in Arkansas but brought to Lamar County, Texas, as an infant.
At the beginning of the Civil War, he enlisted in Company E of the Texas 9th Infantry, commanded by Samuel Bell Maxey along with brothers John and Robert. He was elected a junior 2nd Lieutenant, by his fellow soldiers,a common practice in the Texas units of the CSA. For unknown reasons he resigned his commission 3 months later. Most likely, he wanted to fight beside his brother Robert who was enlisted, a move in vain when his brother died in from accidental gunfire two weeks later. Joseph and his brother John were then given leave to take his brother Robert home for burial.
Following this, Joseph was stationed in Iuka, Mississippi, where he was detailed as a musician to the unit. We assume that Joseph was a bugler as those were the most important musicians in the Civil War Armies. They needed to know 31 different signals for working with infantry and more for relaying commands to the cavalry.
Once in Mississippi, nearly 10% of the 9th died from disease the first winter. Their first combat was the bloody Battle of Shiloh. Fortunately for Joseph, Company E was one of three chosen to stay in reserve (J.K. Street Civil War Letters, 9th Texas Infantry from Paris, Lamar County, Texas, Julie Williams Coley ed., 2009:44). The South's brilliant strategist, General Albert Sidney Johnston, died at Shiloh, and Joseph later named his firstborn son Albert Sidney, in his honor.
The 9th next moved into Tennessee where Joseph was hospitalized with illness in Chattanooga. Later in October, the 9th fought at Perryville in Kentucky. They then retreated to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where they spent Christmas. When the Union Army arrived, the opposing armies bivouacked only 700 yards from each other the night of Dec. 30, 1862. Their bands began a musical battle. Finally, one band played Home Sweet Home and thousands of soldiers from both sides sang the sentimental song together across the lines, in one of three such instances during the war. Joseph Lafayette was among the musicians entertaining that night. At dawn on December 31, the Confederates launched the Battle of Murfreesboro.
In early March, Joseph was again stationed in Mississippi. On May 20th, Joseph was sent to the hospital again, this time at Brandon. The 9th was then ordered to retreat from Vicksburg. J.K. Street: 168, helps us to understand what happened to Joseph.
"We are ordered to send off all the sick……...The cars last night were loaded with sick and those who couldn't get on were left to shift for themselves".
Joseph ended up in Camp Morton, a Union prison facility just outside Indianapolis, Indiana. Suffering from lack of food and clothing in the severe Northern winters, the death rate among the unfortunate Confederates was high.
After nearly two years, Joseph was paroled on the last day the camp was open, more than two full months after the surrender at Appomattox. Very likely, he had been recalcitrant in swearing an oath of loyalty to the Union. Finally he was released June 12,1865, after doing so. When the rest of the 9th was paroled, there were just 8 officers and 79 men left of the 1,018 men who had served with the 9th at one time or another.
Joseph returned to Texas and settled in Wilson County where he married Susan Arrena Haynes and they had seven children altogether.
Joseph Baker (1798 - 1862)
Susan Arrena Haynes Baker Adams (1854 - 1942)
Albert Sidney Baker (1870 - 1907)*
Mary Isabelle Baker Roselle (1874 - 1958)*
Addie Katherine Baker Robbins (1879 - 1956)*
Robert Guy Baker (1881 - 1963)*
Joseph Dee Baker (1885 - 1976)*
Lura Loretta Baker Smith (1887 - 1978)*
Myrtle Ruth Baker Pace (1891 - 1975)*
Henry Perry Baker (1822 - 1877)*
Joseph Lafayette Baker (1840 - 1901)
Robert Perry Baker (1841 - 1861)*
John Calhoun Baker (1843 - 1877)*
Maintained by: Jan
Originally Created by: JanGeo1
Record added: Aug 19, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 40864864