While Oregonians  held a quiet memorial service on Friday, October 21, honoring the life and battlefield death of Colonel and Senator Edward Dickinson Baker in the state capitol of Salem, with the event taking place at the very moment of Senator Baker's untimate sacrifice 150 years ago...an assemblage of dedicated military re-enactors were arriving that Friday in Leesburg, Virginia  to prepare for the battle re-enactment on Saturday, October 22. 

     2000 spectators attended Saturday's ticketed event, and looked on from various viewing places as 1000 re-enactors took to the hallowed grounds of Ball's Bluff in the first re-enactment ever held on the hallowed grounds since the original skirmish. Only this time around, there were no Civil War casualties, as the re-enactors portraying Union and Confederate soldiers and commanders  went through an hour-long, condensed version of the actual battle, punctuated with  "the frequent booms of Union howitzers, whose construction was commissioned to help mark the 150th anniversary of the battle..." as reported in the Leesburg Times. A gallery of high-quality  photographs taken by Leesburg Times reporters are being displayed at http://www.leesburg2day.com/collection_32209b14-fcf6-11e0-8a29-001cc4c002e0.html   and in addition to showing impressive military formations, the photos also show the people in attendance, including some of the uniformed re-enactors, eagerly capturing the action on their smartphones.

     Randol Fletcher, of Baker Camp SUVCW, and a featured participant in today's memorial ceremonies; posted a photograph of the participants taking part in the October 23, 2011 solemnities held at the memorial headstone for Colonel Edward Dickinson Baker at Ball's Bluff. We will (with Randy's permission) post the picture on the front page of this website, so that it gets the extended coverage it deserves.  

     Today's ceremony at the headstone marking the spot where Oregon's Senator Baker expired a century and a half ago,  serves as a permanent reminder of the casualties that resulted from what has been called at times, "an insignificant skirmish".  Of the Union troops that fought at Ball's Bluff, 49 men were killed in action, 117 were wounded  and 714 were either missing in action or captured.  For the victorious Confederate troops of about equal strength, the toll from the battle included 36 killed, 158 wounded and 2 missing and captured. 

     Further repercussions will result from the death of the only sitting Senator, and Lincoln's close friend, combined with the growing tally of Union army losses. December 1861 will see the creation of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. This oversight committee was comprised of three senators and four representatives and was granted the power to investigate anything or anyone. The committee's initial charge was to pinpoint the cause of the defeat at Ball’s Bluff and  to determine how Stone's actions and command may havecontributed to the defeat. For the remainder of the war, this watchdog committee would place all Union military actions under scrutiny.