Baker

Philetus Baker - update 4/26/2008

Philetus Baker was born 1830 in Onondaga, New York, possibly the son of Simon and Roxanna.

By 1850 Philetus was probably working as a blacksmith and living with the family of a butcher named Joseph Landen (?) in Marcellus, Onondaga County, New York. Philetus left New York sometime before the war and settled in Michigan.

He stood 5’8” with blue eyes, light hair and a dark complexion, and was 31 years old and possibly living in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. (Company D was composed in large part of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) He was discharged for consumption on December 27, 1861, at either Camp Michigan, Virginia, or Annapolis, Maryland.

It is not known if Philetus returned to Ionia County after his discharge.

In fact, it appears that Philetus returned to his home in Onondaga County, New York. He is buried in Amber cemetery, Otisco, Onondaga County.

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.

Benjamin Elias Baker Jr. - update 8/29/2016

Benjamin Elias Baker Jr. was born October 3, 1835, in Fort Ann, Washington County, New York, the son of Benjamin Elias Sr. (b. 1805) and Arathusa (b. 1809).

Both New York natives, Benjamin Sr. and Arathusa were married in 1825, presumably in New York where they resided for many years. By 1850 Benjamin Sr. was working as a wagon-maker and had settled his family in Warsaw, Wyoming County, New York. Benjamin Jr. eventually left New York and moved westward, settling in Oakfield Township, Kent County, Michigan where he was working as a blacksmith and farmer by the time the war broke out.

He stood 6’0” with black eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 26 years old when he enlisted in Company I on February 22, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered the same day. He was wounded on August 29, 1862, at Second Bull Run, and subsequently hospitalized.

He eventually returned to the Regiment and in October was working as a company cook. He was on detached service at the Division hospital from November of 1862 (probably at Armory Square hospital in Washington, DC) through April of 1863, eventually returned to the Regiment and was present for duty throughout the remainder of 1863.

Benjamin reenlisted on February 26, 1864, near Culpeper, Virginia, and was mustered on February 29 at Culpeper, crediting Oakfield Township, which he also listed as his place of residence. He was subsequently absent on veteran’s furlough in March and April, and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of May and was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864. He was listed as wounded a second time on August 15, 1864, and subsequently on detached service in September, probably at City Point hospital, and in February of 1865 was serving with an ambulance train. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, near Jeffersonville, Indiana.

It is not known if Benjamin ever returned to Michigan after the war was over.

He did however return to New York and was probably living in Warsaw, Wyoming County where he married Priscilla Amanda Mattison (d. 1906) on August 13, 1865, (she was the widow of Robert Burke who was killed in action near Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia, in 1863) and they had at least four children: Benjamin E. (b. 1866), George W. (b. 1868), Edwin T. (b. 1869) and Mirty Dell (b. 1870).

In 1871 Benjamin applied for and received a pension (no. 148115). He was a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Association.

In 1870 Benjamin was working as a blacksmith and living with his family in Warsaw, Wyoming County, New York. He worked for many years as a blacksmith and lived in Warsaw, New York until about 1876 when he moved his family to Nebraska. By 1880 Benjamin and his family were living in Adams, Nebraska, and in Johnstown, Brown County, Nebraska in 1890. In 1892 he was living in Woodlake, Nebraska and in 1900 in Omaha, Nebraska with his wife and daughter Mirty. He may have left Nebraska sometime after 1901. In any case, by late 1910 he was a widower living with his son Edwin in Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington.

Benjamin was a widower and living (probably with his son Edwin) at 1624 E. 32nd Street in Tacoma when he died of apoplexy on April 29, 1919. He was buried in Tacoma cemetery.