In an earlier blog, we reported on the 50 year old copy of the "Civil War News" that was edited by Spencer Leonard, the erstwhile editor and Department Historian for the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War of Oregon and Washington. This vintage newsletter was a four page edition that came out in  October 1961,as  Volume 1, No. 12.  Today's internet generation would see the single-spaced typed and mimeographed pages and  scream "Relic"; whereas I have reverentially leafed through the pages as if I were touching the "Holy Grail"...that's how important a find it has been for me to discover.
I hope you will enjoy looking back 50 years to see what another historian had writing about the Civil War as much as I have had the pleasure of reproducing it for your education and enjoyment.


                             CIVIL WAR NEWS - OCTOBER 1961 --VOL 1, NO 12 PAGE 4 (CONTINUED)

    "
Edward D. Baker was of English descent, the Baker family first settled in Pennsylvania, where Edward was born February 24, 1811. Thereafter the family moved to Indiana, and to Illinois, where with little early education Edward studied law and at 19 was admitted to practice. In 1831, he married Mary Lee; the following year he served in the first Black Hawk War, attaining the rank of Major.

     Later removed to Springfield, where in 1837 he became partner in the law firm of Stephen T. Logan (father of David), J.D. Stuart, and Abraham Lincoln. A Whig, he served in the Illinois State Legislature, 1837-1845; and in 1845 became representative in Congress. In 1846, raising a regiment of Illinois volunteers, he distinguished himself in the Mexican War. He again served in the state legislature, 1849-1851. Then in 1851 he sailed for Panama, remaining there but briefly.  

 In 1852, he was attracted to San Francisco, where he gained a high reputation as criminal lawyer and orator. In 1859, by invitation, he removed to Oregon, where in the following year, the first state senate, in the face of Democratic opposition, elected him, as Oregon's first Republican senator. He left at once for Washington D.C., where his talents for leadership soon brought him into national prominence. As a colonel of a regiment of volunteers, he was killed at the unfortunate engagement at Ball's Bluff. He now lies buried at San Francisco. 

The Ball's Bluff National Cemetery consists of fifty-seven one thousandth of an acre centered around a stone wall containing a flag pole. The U.S. Flag is raised and lowered each day. There is a small stone on which Baker's name is inscribed outside the battlefield fence that supposedly marks the spot where he fell. It is reached via Virginia Highway No. 15

His likeness may be found between Jefferson and Washington in the rotunda in the Capitol where it was placed by act of the 42nd Congress in 1873. 

Baker County, Oregon was created  September 22, 1862, by the state legislature. Baker County was carved out of the eastern part of Wasco County, and named for Edward D. Baker, likewise Baker City, whose name was shortened to Baker in 1911."

- Department Historian
Spencer Leonard