Military Wiki
John Robert Baylor
Born (1822-07-27)July 27, 1822
Died February 8, 1894(1894-02-08) (aged 71)
Place of birth Paris, Kentucky
Place of death Montell, Texas
Allegiance  Republic of Texas
United States United States of America
Confederate States of America Confederate States of America
Service/branch Republic of Texas Texas Army
 Confederate States Army
Years of service 1840–1842
1861–1862, 1863–1865
Rank Confederate States of America Colonel.png Colonel
Battles/wars American Civil War
- Eastern Arizona Campaign
- Western Arizona Campaign
- Galveston Campaign
Other work Military Governor of Confederate Territory of Arizona, 1861–62

John Robert Baylor (July 27, 1822 – February 8, 1894) was a politician in Texas and a colonel in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He was removed as military governor of Arizona Territory by Jefferson Davis, who disapproved of his murderous intentions towards the Apaches.


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, publisher of a racist newspaper called The White Man, 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 attempts by the Apaches to drive out Anglo-American invaders, 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. {This killing happened in Ulvade County Texas and involved a man called Gilchrist. Baylor was charged with first degree murder but acquitted on the grounds of self-defense May 1881}[2]

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.
  • Allardice, Bruce S., Confederate Colonels, University of Missouri Press, 2008.
  • Allardice, Bruce S., More Generals in Gray, Louisiana State University Press, 1995, ISBN 0-8071-3148-2.
  • Katheder, Thomas, The Baylors of Newmarket: The Decline and Fall of a Virginia Planter Family. New York and Bloomington, Ind., 2009.

External links[]

Government offices
Preceded by
Lewis Owings
Governors of the Confederate Territory of Arizona
August 1, 1861–March, 1862
Succeeded by
Lewis Owings
Unrecognised parameter
Preceded by
Malcolm D. Graham
Succeeded by

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