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PVT Charles E. Baker

Photo added by Tony Cossean

PVT Charles E. Baker

  • Birth 2 Jul 1840
  • Death 2 Jul 1863 Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Burial Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Plot Gravesite B-10, Minnesota Plot
  • Memorial ID 24670026

Mr. Baker enlisted on 5/29/1861 as a private. He and his regiment were to become legendary in all American military history. On July 2, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pa., a potentially fatal gap opened in the Union line on Cemetery Ridge. Confederate General Wilcox's brigade aligned on this gap with the intention of cutting the Federal line. When Gen. W. S. Hancock arrived on the scene, he cried "My God, is this all the men that we have here?" The 1st Minnesota was, in fact, the only men available, and as it turned out, the only men that he would need. He asked "what regiment is this?" The Minnesotan Colonel Colvill replied, "the 1st Minnesota." Hancock pointed across to the enemy line nd shouted "Take those colors!" The 1st Mn. moved immediately at the double quick across 175 yards of killing ground. The Confederates had them outnumbered 5 to 1, and they knew it. However, the vision of this disciplined, bayonet studded line of men moving relentlessly toward them shook the Rebels. They broke, and the Minnesotans fired a volley directly into them, then took whatever cover they could. After general firing of weapons, Colonel Colvill, shot in the foot, ordered Capt. Nathan Messick to move the men back to their original position. What was left of them retreated in perfect order. Their success was complete, but at a most terrible cost. The 1st Minnesota lost a staggering 82 percent of it's men in just those few minutes. The exact numbers are 215 of 262 men as casualties. No other Union regiment would sustain this casualty rate during the entire war. It is as General Sherman put it so aptly when he said that glory was for the living, honor for the dead. Armies always lose their best, most disciplined troops first. Private Baker was one of these men,and it cost him everything.


Inscription

Pvt. Co. "D" 1st Minn.


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  • Created by: Tony Cossean
  • Added: 16 Feb 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 24670026
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for PVT Charles E. Baker (2 Jul 1840–2 Jul 1863), Find A Grave Memorial no. 24670026, citing Gettysburg National Cemetery, Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Tony Cossean (contributor 46794296) .