Col. John Baylor

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John Robert Baylor

Birthplace: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, United States
Death: February 06, 1894 (71)
Montell, Uvalde County, Texas, United States
Place of Burial: Montell, Uvalde County, Texas, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Walker Baylor and Sophia Marie Baylor
Husband of Emily Jane Baylor
Father of Walker K. Baylor; Henry Weidner Baylor; Anna Louise Hardeman and George Wyeth Baylor
Brother of Sophie Elizabeth Dawson; John Walker Baylor, Jr; Henry Weidner Baylor and Col. 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.
1844 James Lowes Dawson and John Robert Baylor were arrested for the murder of Indian trader Seaborn Hill. They escape to Texas and begin a life on the run until eventually being captured and brought to justice.

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Col. John Baylor's Timeline

June 27, 1822
Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, United States
March 1847
January 16, 1854
September 22, 1858
Weatherford, Parker County, Texas, United States
February 6, 1894
Age 71
Montell, Uvalde County, Texas, United States
Episcopal Church of the Ascension Cemetery, Montell, Uvalde County, Texas, United States