Elihu Baker in the Civil War

The following information was provided by Addie Ann Huffman [1958-1992]. She was the granddaughter of Cleve Baker, a grandson of Elihu. The information was obtained in 1990 during a visit to the Iowa Archives in Des Moines (east and across the street from the capital.)

During the Civil War the Fourth Battalion of the Southern Border Brigade was composed of men from Taylor, Page and Fremont counties. Elihu was in COMPANY "B" of the Fourth Battalion.

From a copy of papers in Des Moines showing "enlistment" of Elihu's company:
Elihu signed with a mark. His brother-in-law signed as is shown. It is not known why Cadle was dismissed after only 6 months. All regular enlistees were officially mustered out shortly after the war ended by an act of the legislature.

Specifically, the record shows:
Baker, Elihu. Age 44.
Residence Gravity, Taylor County.
Nativity Georgia.
Enlisted Oct. 18, 1862. Mustered on same date.

A brother-in-law also was enrolled that date.
Cadle, Green B. Age 40.
Residence Taylor County
Nativity Georgia.
Enlisted Oct. 18, 1862. Mustered on same date.
Dismissed April 27, 1863.

Apparently the Brigade was never used. To have called it to service could have created a bureaucratic nightmare for the person responsible. The official order stated:

"In order that the Southern Border Brigade shall not be an unnecessary expense to the State, it is directed that not more than ten men shall be detailed for special service from any company in any battalion, unless there be an actual invasion, and then the additional force must be ordered out by the Major of the battalion; and in every case full report must be made to the Governor, with a statement of the facts upon which the additional force was ordered into the field, and the officer making the order will be held responsible for the correctness of his statements and actions."

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Beyond the scant official records very little is known of Elihu during the Civil War. The following facts were passed by Elihu's son, Jim, to his son, Albert.

1. Elihu considered himself a forced volunteer.

2.There was no pay unless he was called to duty and he never was.

3. He was not happy about the situation but it isn't clear now if his dissatisfaction was due to the circumstances of the moment, or if he was somewhat a southern sympathizer.


NOTE: Addie died 07 Feb 1992 during surgery for a brain cancer complication, having just turned 34 years of age. Of her trip to Des Moines she stated that she only had a half day to research. She kept hoping her illness would improve so she could return and do more. She was so certain additional information would be found with a more in-depth search of the archives.