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Murray S. BAKER

I WAS born in Canton, Wayne county, Mich., and enlisted in the service of the United States, at Plymouth, Wayne county, Mich., 24th day of July, 1862, in Company D, 4th Michigan Cavalry. Was captured September 30, 1864, and confined in the Cahaba, Ala., prison. In the spring of 1865 I was taken to Big Black river and turned over to the "Yanks." I did not keep a diary and cannot remember details. After lying in camp awhile we were taken to Vicksburg and put on board the "Sultana." I tried to get close to the boiler, but it was full there, so I laid down by the stern door, beside Frank Nevins, of the 18th Regiment, Michigan Volunteers, and another comrade of the 25th Regiment Michigan Volunteers, (he was lost). I sat up till 12 o'clock, cooking rations, and then laid down and went to sleep. How long I had been sleeping I do not know. I was awakened by the explosion and sprang to my feet and looked around; some one said the boat was sinking; I went out on the stern and saw that it was not, and so went back. It was one of the worst sights I ever witnessed. Men who were scalded and bruised were crawling over one another to get out of the fire. I went to the side of the boat and pulled a board off to help me get ashore with, but a big "Yank" grabbed it away from me. Then I got another off from a bunk and went down to the wheelhouse and threw it in the water, and then jumped after it. My limbs cramped, but I kept paddling. I tried to get to one side of the shore, but could not, then I tried the other side, and by hard work I got on some flood-wood. When I reached it I was about exhausted and could not speak and laid there until I was rescued.

Was discharged at Detroit, 28th of June, 1865. Occupation farming. Postoffice address, Williamston, Ingham county, Mich.

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Civil War Files On This Site

Michigan Civil War Files | 1883 Michigan Pensioners | 1894 Civil War Veteran Michigan Census
African Americans Who Served From Michigan | 1st Michigan Sharp Shooters Co. K | Loss of the Sultana
Honor Roll Interments in Michigan