A WONDERFUL RECORD
Seven Baxter Brothers Gallant Veterans.
The following from the pueblo Chieftain will be read with interest, as it pertains to a gentleman well known in this community, Capt. H. B. Baxter of Ashland:
Although forty-seven years have passed since the outbreak of the Civil war, the record of the fighting Baxter family is unique in history, for the seven brothers who served throughout the war, are still living today.
O.H.P. Baxter of this city, is one of the seven brother comrades and another member of the fighting family is A.H.H. Baxter of La Junta. The other brothers: J.K. Baxter, of Sharpsville, Ind.; H.B. Baxter, of Ashland, Ill.; George W. Baxter, of Indianapolis, Ind.; Ed A. Baxter, of Pawnee, Ill.; and L. N. Baxter, of Indianapolis, Ind. All the brothers with the great war record are good solid Republicans.
Probably no other family from any one county or state in the entire country can equal the record of the Baxter family. At one time during the war all seven brothers were fighting in the great struggle. The combined age of the brothers is 466 years, which makes their average age almost 67 years. They served a total of 23 years in the war, which is an average of nearly 3½ years each.
At the time the war broke out some of the brothers were under the age limit for enlistment, but so anxious were they to go that they succeeded in enlisting in spite of their age. Throughout the war the brothers were scattered in different companies and regiments. At no time were any two of them in the same battle. They entered the service at different times, but in 1864 all seven were fighting for the northern cause.
At no time during the entire siege did any of the warriors meet a brother. However, it was during the great World's fair in Chicago in 1893 that the seven brothers had a grand reunion at their old home in Madison, Jeffersonville county, Ind. It was an occasion made memorable by the meeting of all the brothers in which the relating of interesting experiences during the war formed the feature of the glad reunion. Never since have the brothers enjoyed a similar reunion.
The oldest of the brothers today is 77 years of age. O.H.P. Baxter, of this city, is 73 years old. Since the war the brothers engaged in business which has made all of them successful. Today all are in the best of health with the chances that the family circle will not be broken for some years. Several of the brothers are farmers and well to do. H. B. Baxter, of Ashland, Ill., is the successful cultivator of 1.200 acres, while Ed A. Baxter, of Pawnee, Ill., is engaged in the hog industry and only recently sold one file specimen for $5,025.
Three of the brothers served as captains of companies during the war, and are O.H.P. Baxter, captain of company G of the Third Colorado cavalry; G.W. Baxter, captain of a company with Custer in the Brownsville siege, and H. B. Baxter, made captain of an Indiana regiment under Gen. Jeff C. Davis, because of bravery.
Josiah K. Baxter was a hospital steward in an Indiana regiment. Hiram B. Baxter was the only brother wounded in the conflict, and was shot twice and was compelled to lie in a hospital for a short time.
Pueblo's representative in the fighting family, O.H.P. Baxter, came to Colorado just fifty years ago and located in the Arkansas valley in the fall of 1861, three years after he entered the Centennial state. He first engaged in farming, taking out ditches. In one year he was doing quite a farming business.
At that time there was plenty of range and the cattle roamed from Pike's Peak on the north to the Greenhorn mountains on the south," related Mr. Baxter yesterday.
In 1862 and 1863, the Indians became troublesome and made frequent raids, killing our cattle, and even people when they caught them out alone. This kind of prowling warfare continued to get worse until 1864, when we along the Arkansas river were compelled to build forts and collect the women and children in them for protection.
"Finally Governor Evans called for a regiment of 100 day volunteers to go fight the Indians. In two days we started for Denver, where we enlisted and were sworn into service. I was elected captain. Upon returning from Denver we established quarters four and one half miles below Pueblo. We did duty protecting the mails. We then went to Fort Lyons, and upon reaching the Indian camp, opened fight and killed 600 or 700 of the men, women and children."