Birth: Jan. 25, 1830
Death: Jul. 2, 1913
Andrew "Andy" Baker was born in Perry County, Kentucky, in January of 1830.He was 83. He had a twin brother named Calvin or "Dock." "Dock" Baker disappears after the 1850 Pike County, Kentucky, Federal Census. Stella Mae Baker Rose of Elkton, Maryland, believes that Calvin may have been one of President Lincoln's body guards, but I have discovered proof that this man could not be a relation. Andy married Harriet Smith, the daughter of Samuel M. Smith and Mary Jane ["Polly"] Justice in 1850, in what was then Tazewell County, Virginia. Sometime during 1850, Andy moved from Pike County, Kentucky, to Tazewell County, Virginia, as did his father, Eligha. Andy can be found in the censuses for both Pike and Tazewell Counties in 1850. In Tazewell County, he lived with Sam and Polly Smith.
When the war came to these parts, Andy and his younger brother James (who married another Smith girl, Julina) joined the Second Virginia State Line, Company E, a Confederate partisan unit, under Captain William R. Lee. Andy was with that unit from August[?] to early December 1862. It is even possible that Andy was on the winning side of the battle at Wireman's Shoals in early December of 1862, and afterwards joined the 39th on the 27th of December.
Sometime during late 1862, Andy's aged and crippled father, Eligha, was murdered by Confederate deserters. The motive for his killing is not clear, but another version of the legend states that Eligha's livestock were taken and his home was ransacked. He may have been a little too vocal in his approval of the Union. Apparently, he was hanged from a dogwood tree located along Peter Creek in Pike County. Had his hands not been tied behind his back, he might have survived. Another old man, a Justus from the Knox Creek area, was also killed in the same manner around the same time.
For more information on Eligha Baker and his descendants: go to Gwen Boyer Bjorkman's Eligah Baker Genealogy Page.
Andy and James switched sides and joined the Union. Their youngest brother, Freeling, came with them when they went to join up with the 39th Kentucky, Company H. Two brothers, William Preston Baker and Thomas Vester Baker, had preceded Andy by a month in joining the 39th. With the Bakers came some of their neighbors from Knox Creek, Buchanan County, Virginia: the Esteps, Dotsons, Blankenships, Stacys, and Smiths. Though some were strongly pro-Confederate, they joined the Union with the Bakers presumably to exact revenge upon the lawless scoundrels whom had murdered old Eligha and Mr. Justus.
Family legend states that the Bakers, their relatives, and neighbors were successful in tracking down the guilty men. "Hise" Freeling is alleged to be the brother who identified the malcontents. The legend also claims that the bodies of those deserters lie scattered around the northern Buchanan County region in shallow graves long since forgotten.
After spending a short time in the hospital at Ashland in early 1863, Andy deserted the 39th in April and joined the 10th Kentucky Cavalry, C.S.A., in May of 1863. Most of the men in this company came from the Knox Creek area of Buchanan County. One of the sergeants of this company was Andy's brother-in-law, Hiram Justice, and its captain was Hiram's uncle Hiram. Uncle Hiram was also an uncle to Andy's wife Harriet. Many of the men in this company were related by blood or by marriage.
Andy deserted from the 10th before December of 1863. His desertion from this company probably coincides with an order received by the regiment to relocate outside of their home region. Five companies of the 10th Kentucky just dissolved all at once in reaction to this order. Andy returned to the 39th around this time. Also, the Sulphur Springs Old Regular Baptist Church was built sometime during the middle of 1863, and it is believed that Andy had a significant hand in that endeavor. He was a member, and later a deacon, after the war.
Late in 1863, Andy returned to the 39th. The next time Andy deserted the Union Army, he took his Enfield rifle and cartridge box with him.
Baker Family Cemetery at Hurley Virginia
Created by: Phil Holden
Record added: Oct 11, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42981919