Bob Baker places a flag at the grave of James Ramsbottom, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Civil War. (JOHN QUINN PHOTO)
Rochester man honors veteran from the Civil War
Each year, Bob Baker — who will be 77 later this month — visits the gravesite of James Ramsbottom, who died Jan. 5, 1867 — around the age of 41 — from injuries suffered during a naval battle near Mobile, Ala., in 1864.
"Ramsbottom is the original name," Baker said, adding it was common and acceptable to pay someone else to serve in your place — with your name — during the Civil War.
"I got involved with this when I started asking questions," Baker said, adding he was confused why Melville — and not Ramsbottom — was honored with a separate marker at the city's Civil War monument on the Rochester Commons.
Baker, who currently serves as commander of AMVETS Post 1, said he will eventually be buried in state Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen
Afterward, he said he was stationed on the island of Okinawa with B Battery, 65th Anti-Air Artillery Battalion in support of the 3rd Division of the U.S. Marine Corps. He later served with the 36th Field Artillery in Germany before leaving the Army as a Specialist — E-4 — in 1963. Baker said he's fascinated by the Civil War and has spent a lot of time visiting Civil War battlefields and cemeteries. He added more people died due to disease rather than on the battlefields — which accounts for a discrepancy in the number of casualties.