Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/408

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387
CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

of Ireland. Alpheus Baker was educated by his father, and he began to teach school himself before he was sixteen years old. He was successful in this profession at Abbeville, S. C., then in Lumpkin, Ga., and lastly in Glennville, Barbour county, Ala., where he settled in 1848. Meanwhile he had been studying law. Being admitted to the bar in 1849, he opened his office in Eufaula and began to practice. His success was wonderful. In 1856 he accompanied Major Buford to Kansas, and returned to rouse the people to the importance of making Kansas a slave State, thinking that this would restore the equilibrium between the free and the slave States, and prevent the inevitable conflict between the two sections. In 1861 he represented Barbour county in the constitutional convention, but resigned his seat to go into the army, as captain of the Eufaula Rifles, which he led to Pensacola. This company had on its rolls at Pensacola the names of fifty persons who afterward became officers. In November he went to Fort Pillow, above Memphis, where he was elected colonel of a regiment made up of Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama troops. This regiment was in the siege o£ New Madrid, and was captured at Island No. 10, April 10, 1862. In September of that same year Colonel Baker was exchanged, together with his regiment. At that time four Alabama companies took the place of the four from Tennessee, and the regiment, under the name of the Fifty-fourth Alabama, gladly received Alpheus Baker as its colonel. It fought at Fort Pemberton, on the Yazoo, where General Loring commanded, and at Baker's Creek, where Colonel Baker was wounded in the foot. On March 5, 1864, he was assigned to brigade command of the Thirty-seventh, Fortieth, Forty-second, and Fifty-fourth Alabama regiments. He led this brigade through the entire campaign, from Dalton to Atlanta. At Resaca his horse was killed under him, and near Atlanta he was slightly wounded, at the battle of Ezra Church, July 28th.