Civil War Wiki
John Robert Baylor
Personal Information
Born: July 27, 1822(1822-07-27)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: February 8, 1894 (aged 71)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Confederate States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: Confederate Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Colonel
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Battles: American Civil War
- Eastern Arizona Campaign
- Western Arizona Campaign
- Galveston Campaign
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

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 a force 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.[1]

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.


  • Thompson, Jerry Don, Colonel John Robert Baylor: Texas Indian Fighter and Confederate Soldier. Hillsboro, Texas: Hill Junior College Press, 1971.
  • Katheder, Thomas, The Baylors of Newmarket: The Decline and Fall of a Virginia Planter Family. New York and Bloomington, Ind., 2009.


External links[]

Template:Start box |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #bebebe; color: #000000" | Government offices

|- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Lewis Owings
|width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Governors of the Confederate Territory of Arizona
August 1, 1861–March, 1862 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Lewis Owings |- |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #cccccc" | Confederate States House of Representatives |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Malcolm D. Graham |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|C.S.A. Representative from Texas's 5th Congressional District
1863–1865 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
none |- |}