Col. John Baylor

Is your surname Baylor?

Research the Baylor family

Col. John Baylor's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Related Projects

John Robert Baylor

Birthplace: KY, USA
Death: Died in Montell, TX, USA
Place of Burial: Montell, Uvalde County, Texas, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Walker Baylor and Sophia Marie Baylor
Husband of Emily Baylor and Emily Jane Baylor (Hanna)
Father of Walker K. Baylor; Anna Louise Hardeman and Henry Weidner Baylor
Brother of Colonel George W. Baylor (CSA)

Occupation: Soldier
Managed by: Laura Elizabeth McLean
Last Updated:

About Col. John Baylor

John Robert Baylor (July 27, 1822 – February 8, 1894) was a politician in Texas and a military officer of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War.


Baylor was born in Paris, Kentucky, the son of a United States Army surgeon, and lived on various Army posts during his youth. He moved to Texas at age 18, where he became a prominent citizen, state legislator and Indian Agent.

In 1861 he organized the 2nd Texas Mounted Rifles to drive the Union forces from the southwest and led his men into New Mexico Territory. Following his victory at the Battle of Mesilla and the surrender of federal forces in the area, he proclaimed himself the military governor of Arizona Territory – a region encompassing the southern half of the modern states of New Mexico and Arizona. His position was confirmed by the Confederate Congress. A disagreement over critical articles in the Mesilla Times led to a fight with the editor, Robert P. Kelly, who died of his injuries. A member of Baylor's Cabinet, Attorney General Marcus H. MacWillie, officially pardoned him and was later rewarded when Baylor orchestrated MacWillie's election to the First Confederate Congress.

At one point, Baylor's frustration with the vicious attacks by the Apaches, he ordered his men the following:

[U]se all means to persuade the Apaches or any tribe to come in for the purpose of making peace, and when you get them together kill all the grown Indians and take the children prisoners and sell them to defray the expense of killing the adult Indians. Buy whiskey and such other goods as may be necessary for the Indians and I will order vouchers given to cover the amount expended. Leave nothing undone to insure success, and have a sufficient number of men around to allow no Indian to escape.

There is no indication that any of his officers ever followed this order. Nevertheless, when news of it reached Confederate President Jefferson Davis, he immediately relieved Baylor of his position as governor. His commission in the army was also revoked.

Baylor later was elected to the Second Confederate Congress. He enlisted in the Confederate States Army as a private and served in the ranks at the Battle of Galveston. He regained his commission of colonel and was raising a new force to recapture the Arizona Territory when the war ended.

After the war, Baylor lived in San Antonio. In 1873, he unsuccessfully campaigned for the Democratic Party's nomination for the governorship of Texas, losing to Richard Coke. In 1876, during the height of the Black Hills War with the Lakota Sioux, he offered his services to the United States Army.

In 1878, Baylor established a sizable ranch near Montell, Texas, and prospered. However, he continued to be involved in violent confrontations and reputedly killed a man in a feud over livestock in the 1880s, though he was never charged.

John R. Baylor died at Montell at the age of 71 and was buried in Ascension Episcopal Cemetery.


His great-uncle was Colonel George Baylor (1752–1784).
His uncle was US Congressman Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor (1793–1874), namesake of Baylor University.
It was his brother, Colonel George Wythe Baylor (1832–1916), who shot and killed his superior, General John Austin Wharton, in April 1865.
view all

Col. John Baylor's Timeline

June 27, 1822
March 1847
Age 24
Age 25
January 16, 1854
Age 31
February 6, 1894
Age 71
Montell, TX, USA
Montell, Uvalde County, Texas, United States