|Horace Mann Baker|
OF HORACE BAKER
Thanks to the incredible generosity of Mr. Bill
Jackson, his collection of correspondence between his Great Great
Grandfather, Horace Mann Baker and
I was born at Clarksville, Texas, June 16th, 1842. My father, Hiram Baker, was born near Skowhegan, Maine. He helped to start Chicago during 1829 and 18.. . (now Calumet, South Chicago)
He then removed to the Republic of Texas, and rendered service to the Republic in locating headright certificates for land.
My father's political views were precisely the same as Abraham Lincoln's
My mother was born at Stonington, Connecticut, January 5th, 1821, removing to the Republic of Texas with her widowed mother and brother, John H. Cullom,, lead by her grandfather, Benjamin F. Brewster, whose headright certificate for a league and labor, (three miles square of land) He located two miles South of Clarksville known now as Brewster's Prairie,
Father went to California in 1852 and died there, in 1853.
In August, 1857, mother, with an intuition divine, being convinced that she could not rear her children under the blighting cause of slavery, her decision also being precipitated by certain remarks of Roger Q. Mills, which he made at a dinner at Uncle John Cullum's hotel in Corsicana, August, 1857.
Mother and I were sitting opposite
Mills at the table. The subject of Abolition was being discussed.
Hills said "These Abolitionists are no better than horse thieves,
and ought to be hung the same as horse thieves; whereupon, mother and I
immediately left the table, mother exclaiming "You forget,
Mr. Mills, that I am an Abolitionist."
On September 5th, 1857, we started for Wisconsin. We made the trip by carriage drawn by two horses. In this vehicle mother, sister Lucy and my half brother, Sam Walker, then an infant, were riding. My brother, Chauncey, riding behind and leading a horse Thus we traversed the wild prairies of Texas. There were no wagon roads in those days, which we might follow. We were guided by land marks given us from house to house by the few settlers along the way. We stopped at Fort Worth, then an outpost.
At Gainesville, which had just been located by our old friend, Reverend Mansell Mathews on an overland stage route from Texas points to California. We followed this stage road thru the Indian nation, Arkansas and Missouri. We arrived at Uncle Perry Baker's farm two miles south of Geneva, Wisconsin, December 12th, 1857.
Mother immediately leased a hotel at Springfield Station, on the Racine and Mississippi Railroad, three miles north of Geneva. My duties in the business alternated between landlord, porter and general roustabout. I operated our carriage bringing passengers to and from the neighboring towns. Brother Chan and I made some illustrious strides, meantime, in diversified farming. Besides this I practiced telegraphy at night. Later on I slept in the railroad depot. This fact accounts for my receiving the first dispatch of the firing on Fort Sumter, and the beginning of the War Between the States. I got this dispatch about nine a.m. the day after the firing. I immediately took the Dispatch out onto the depot platform and read it aloud to the people congregated there. Two boys immediately set to work to hoist 0ld Glory to the breezes. Placing two "dumpy cars* on the track, we shoved them upgrade, went to a poplar grove, and soon returned with two splendid Liberty poles. While my party was getting the poles, a Second formation of boys were digging the holes in which to set the poles,
Tom Turner, the Village blacksmith, made the rings for the splice. Other boys, old and young, telegraphed to Chicago for a flag and in a few days we had a company of one hundred boys, uniformed and armed with every kind of ordinance ready to answer the call of Abraham. Finally, by a combination with the Geneva and Lyonsdale boys, we joined the Racine boys, which become, during the early days of September, 1861, the nucleus of Company K, 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
My service in the war the three years following is known to all the survivors of that Immortal regiment. But for your enlightenment, I shall say that I never missed being in my place, except while a prisoner. I was taken prisoner while doing picket duty with Ed. Farley, Felch and Corporal Wheens, September, 1862, at the first battle of Iuka, Mississippi. We were returned to our regiment in January, 1863
|Letters to Caroline, Horace's Mother|
|Letters from Chauncey, his brother|
|Soon after the War|
In the 1880's
|The whole Family|
|Camp Van Norman,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1907
GAR Reunion of the 8th Wisconsin
Horace is standing -(looking
at the picture) to your left and behind the woman sitting and with the
|Augie Weissert letters||Augie Weissert|
|Colonel Robbins||William P. Lyon|