My previous blog gave a thumbnail sketch of the Oregon Camps of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and how their work perpetuates the legacy of the Union veterans buried in the state of Oregon. With the internet, of course, members today are kept informed of the special events, volunteer opportunities, member pedigrees and Civil War calendar events through their monthly digital newsletters. Back in 1961; during the Centennial Observance of the American Civil War, the Oregon camps of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War  would receive a 4-paged handtyped and mimeographed copy of the newsletter "CIVIL WAR NEWS:" that was  written and edited by Spencer Leonard, the Department Historian.

Billed as "a continuous account of events starting 100 years ago" the Civil War News" reported on the historical news pertinent to both Oregon and Washington State, and gave 100-year-old weather reports, military orders, posting notices, information on the concomitant battles taking place on all fronts of the Civil War, a Chronology of dates and information on the various battles and skirmishes, and estended obituaries.of persons of note who died during the Civil War.

As to be expected, the fourth page is devoted to the death of Colonel and Oregon US Senator Edward Dickinson Baker, Sr.

                                   ACTUAL WORDS TAKEN FROM "CIVIL WAR NEWS" OCTOBER 1861 ISSUE

"October 21, 1861: Of paramount interest today, by the people of the Pacific Northwest is the commemoration of the supreme sacrifice of our own  U.S. Senator from Oregon, Colonel Edward Dickinson Baker, killed in action October 21, 1861 at the battle of Ball's Bluff. The following, from official records, are pertinent:

  • Oct. 21 -President Lincoln visits Gen. McClellan's headquarters in War Dept. and reads dispatch announcing death of intimate friend, Col. Baker(for whom Eddie Lincoln was named), at Ball's Bluff. Entire family grief stricken.
  • Oct. 22 -Cabinet meeting: Battle of Ball's Bluff topic of discussion. President and Mrs. Lincoln, greatly afflicted by death of Col. Baker, are receiving no visitors, Lincoln spends evening at homes of Sec. Seward and General McClellan.
  • Oct 24.-President and Mrs. Lincoln attend funeral of Col. Baker at residence of James W. Webb, minister to Brazil.
  • Oct.25- President does not hold stated cabinet meeting. In evening father, son and nephew of late Col. Baker call on Lincoln.
  • Oct.30- Willie Lincoln writes poem eulogizing late Colonel Baker.
    (to be continued in next blog)

    You are invited to attend any of the two Edward Dickinson Baker Commemorative events taking place in Oregon to mark the 150th anniversary of our Second United States Senator's death while defending the Union at the Battle of Ball's Bluff, near Leesburg, Virginia.These events are free and open to the public.

    1. October 21, 2011 at the Salem Public Library, located at 585 Liberty St SE, starting at 1:30pm
    2. October 22, 2011 at the Civil War Memorial in Portland's Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery, located as SE 24th and Morrison and starting at noon.

    For more information, please check our website at, or call (503)303-8426