The Missouri in the Civil War Message Board

Duo Who Decoyed Bill Anderson to His Death

Looking for date of discharge from Co. H, 1st Missouri Engineer Regiment of one Pvt. Charles Morton.

Here's what I know about him: born Ohio March 18, 1846, moved to Missouri as a boy, enlisted July 25, 1861 at age 15 in Co. I, 13th Missouri Infantry which reformed as 25th Missouri Infantry in September 1861 and reformed again as 1st Missouri Engineers February 1864. Lexington, Shiloh, Corinth. Serious resume.

Morton spent the entire war as a private, entered West Point in 1865. Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant 1869, was finally promoted to 1st Lieutenant 1890. After spending almost 30 years getting just one promotion, he thereafter rocketed up the ranks and made brigadier general in early 20th century. Died Washington D.C. at age 68 December 20, 1914, buried Arlington National Cemetery. Fascinating fascinating story which I have just one hole to fill....

Anyway, 18 year old blooded veteran Pvt. Morton was with Samuel Cox's ragtag ad hoc hastily cobbled together militia and discharged veterans in Ray County, Missouri on October 26, 1864, and played a key role in the ruse where Cox located Anderson's camp through a female informer, had Morton and Lt. --- Baker ride up to while they were eating, fire a couple quick shots, wheel around, after which Anderson chased them to the waiting mass of Federals down the road where he promptly got peppered with gunshots by scores of patiently waiting Federals.

But I'm wondering why Morton was there. I suspect he had been discharged like a number of other veterans ("whose presence steadied the raw troops") I've identified as being part of that group, but Morton's SOS card is silent on the question.

I'm also wondering who this Lt. Baker was. I can't find Baker in the one Citizen Guard and two primary EMM units that played a role in the death of Anderson (33EMM and 51EMM), but he plays very prominently in events that day. He's mentioned simply as "Lt. Baker" in multiple sources.

By the way, I've unraveled the mystery of the military/legal status of Lt. Col. Samuel P. Cox that day, who led this group of Federals. This lingering question has bounced around this board a bit. Turns out he had been temporarily appointed lieutenant colonel of 33rd EMM. Was a civilian clerk of the circuit court at the time with a 25 year history of civilian adventurism and military derring-do before running for circuit court clerk in November 1862, winning, and taking the job in January 1863. In October 1864 Civilian Cox was specially appointed lieutenant colonel of the 33rd EMM by the governor and held the rank extremely briefly. Just long enough to have the authority to gather this hodge-podge group together, be able to give orders to acting c.o.'s with ranks of majors, and accomplish his one mission of retaliation for the outrages committed against politically-connected Ben Lewis on Oct. 21, 1864. Cox held that lieutenant colonels rank for around one week, during which this whole affair arose and then unfolded, and which I have sussed out in pinpoint detail.

Anyway, I need help on Morton's date of discharge from 25th Mo. Inf/1st Mo. Engineers, and who the heck Lt. ---- Baker was. Regarding Morton, it bears mentioning his motivation might have involved having discharged buddies from the 25th Mo./1st Mo. Eng. murdered during the Centralia Masscre four weeks earlier. Thanks....

Messages In This Thread

Duo Who Decoyed Bill Anderson to His Death
Bill Anderson's Death: Lt. --- Baker
1st Lt. James Baker, Citizen Guard unit
Re: 1st Lt. James Baker, Citizen Guard unit
Re: 1st Lt. James Baker, Citizen Guard unit
Lt. James Baker poster boy for Mo Citizen Units
Re: Lt. James Baker poster boy for Mo Citizen Unit
Co. G, 6th MSM Cav?
Re: Co. G, 6th MSM Cav?
Re: Lt. James Baker poster boy for Mo Citizen Unit
Re: Duo Who Decoyed Bill Anderson to His Death
Found Him Finally -- It was James F. Baker
Armed Civilians Involved in Bill Anderson Death
"Lt. Col." Samuel P. Cox Fake Commission