Death of Colonel Baker

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Melody - "California Brothers"
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William Sutherland, 1861

Our starry flag is at half mast,
And the muffled drum beats low,
It tells a sad, sad story,
A story full of grief and woe--
Of the death of a soldier hero,
Cut down in the prime of life,
While fighting for our Country's union,
Amid the battle's strife.

2. Brave men are falling, every day;
They seem dying by the score,
Ellsworth and Lyons are both dead,
And now Baker is no more:
Noble, loyal, true-hearted man!
He never felt afraid;
The dashing, brave commander
Of the California Brigade.

3. Six balls had pierced his noble breast,
Aimed by some hostile hands
Who had joined the southern traitors,
And entered the rebel bands:
While pushing a cannon forward
To his adopted country's aid,
He fell upon the battle-field,
While leading his brave brigade.

4. The gallant Colonel Baker's dead,
And a nation mourns for him,
And another murder is added
Unto the traitors' sin;
At Leesburg, in Virginia,
After the close of day,
Brave Baker fell with a mortal wound,
While leading on the fray.

5. He seemed to forsee his doom
Before the fatal hour had come,
Yet, like a soldier brave, he died,
That never the dangers shun,--
Peace to his ashes, let him rest,
His name shall forever shine,
And his deeds be read on history's page
Until the end of time.

6. Yes, Baker's dead; his battles o'er,
He fell, like a soldier brave,
Fighting in the struggle our country's
Banner for to save,--
Bury him beneath the sod,
Raise a monument to his name,
And let the nation ring throughout
With Colonel Baker's fame.

7. How many brave men have been killed
Since secession raised her head!
How many homes left desolate,
And how much blood's been shed!
We love our Union, 'tis true,
And suffer much to save our flag--
God grant our army victory!
May their courage never lag.


Col. Baker was killed in battle near Leesburg, Virginia, October 21st, 1861. From Civil War Song Sheets, Series 1, Volume 1.

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