James Baker

James Baker, also known as “Baeker”, was born 1834 in the Netherlands.

James immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Michigan and by 1860 he was a laborer living with and/or working for Genurus Bummstron in Bridgton, Newaygo County (John Kempf, also of Company C, lived in Bridgton as well).

James was 27 years old and probably living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company C on May 23, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles”, a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.)

By June of 1862 he was sick in a hospital at Bottom’s Bridge, Virginia, suffering from fever. By April of 1863 he had been assigned to “guarding baggage”, possibly as a consequence of his remaining in poor health. In any case, he was admitted to a general hospital on September 10, 14 or 19, 1863, probably in Washington, where he remained until he was mustered out of service on June 20, 1864.

No pension seems to be available.

In 1870 there was a 40-year-old James Baker, born in the Netherlands, living in Norton, Muskegon County, with a farm laborer named John Baker and his family, also born in the Netherlands.