Birth: May 6, 1825.
Death: Mar. 21, 1867.
Brief history prior to Civil War:
Was a Lumberton in Wisconsin.
Brief history during the Civil War:
Was with the 4th Wisconsin
Direct engineer in campaign against Mobile then given rank of Major General Helped rear Admiral David Dixon Porter out of situation on the Red River expedition. The admiral brought a 2 million-dollar fleet of gunboat up the river, the river water level dropped since he started his trip from New Orleans. Col. Bailey came up with a plan and got permission to build a dam. He was told by the Admiral he had 12 days and didn't get any money to do it. He picked up lumberjacks from the 29th and 23rd Wisconsin and a Maine unit. Porter was very skeptical of this whole idea. Bailey sunk two barges and used tree and rocks to build the dam. He raises the water seven feet and sent the ships through and it took only 11 days. The dam did cost 50 axes but when President Lincoln found out how he saved the fleet he didn't charge Bailey but promoted him to Brevet Brig General. Later he commanded troops that captured Fort Morgan near Mobile, AL which made him a full Brig General.
Major May 30, 1863.
Lt. Col. June 1, 1864.
Brig General April 16, 1865.
Resigned July 7, 1865.
Civil War Reports by Joseph Bailey.
Numbers 6. Report of Brigadier General Joseph Bailey, U. S. Army, commanding Engineer Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS ENGINEER BRIGADE,
ARMY AND DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
Mobile, Ala., April 28, 1865.
The One hundred and sixty-first New York Regiment, Major Craig; 200 men from the Twenty-third Iowa, Captain ---; 200 from the Ninety-fourth Illinois, Captain Howell, and various other detachments of infantry and cavalry were added to the command upon landing, with which the post was guarded and kept patrolled. Until wharves could be built the bridges were used as such, and proved indispensable, but six wharves from 300 to 500 feet in length were constructed in five days' time, and another repaired for the use of the sick and wounded. Besides this all supplies, ordnance, commissary, quartermaster's, &c., were handled, moved, and mostly loaded upon wagons by the command.
The roads from this point to the headquarters of the army were kept in repair by the brigade, and various other duties were performed incidental to such a command. No troops during this was have labored more severely or arduously, but those to whom most credit is due are the Ninety-sixth and Ninety-seventh U. S. Colored Engineer Regiments. Night and day without compliant those regiments worked, and it is difficult to comprehend how they endured through it.
The regiments manifest very great care and ability in their organization and discipline. The officers of both, with two exceptions, now out of service, labored assiduously. Of none of them can I do other than speak in the highest terms. The One hundred and sixty-first New York Regiment deserves especial mention for its energy and laborious exertions. I have to commend highly the organization known as the First Company of Pontoniers, Captain Smith commanding. Under Captain Smith and his officers, all of whom are thorough in their duties, the bridges are better handled and more quickly than I deem a regiment can do it.
To the officers of my staff, but to my aide-de-camp particularly, First Lieutenant Washington Hill, Fourth Wisconsin Cavalry, I was indebted for a great deal of valuable and indispensable assistance.
I am, major, most respectfully, your obedient servant, J. BAILEY, Brigadier-General, Commanding Brigade.
Numbers 61. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Bailey, Fourth Wisconsin Cavalry, Acting Engineer Officer Nineteenth Army Corps.
HDQRS. 19TH A. C. AND U. S. FORCES WESTERN LA.,
Monett's Ferry, La., April 23, 1863.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that in obedience to orders I left the Alexandria and Grand Ecore road early this morning, 4 miles above Monett's Ferry, and traveled nearly north 8 miles, when I reached Red River at a point 10 miles above the mouth of Cane River; thence down Red River to the mouth of Cane River, and from there up said river to the above-named ferry, and find that this entire country is a swamp extending close to the bank of Red River, except a narrow strip of land on the west bank of Cane River which could be completely commanded by field artillery from the bluffs on the opposite side, and which has been strongly guarded by the enemy during the day.
Cane River is not fordable below Monett's Ferry, and owing to the impassable swamp on one side an the high bluffs on the other, it would not be possible to cross Cane River at any point below the above-named ferry with the army.
I have the honor, major, to be, respectfully, your obedient servant, J. BAILEY, Lieutenant Colonel 4th Wis. Cav. and Actg. Mil. Eng. 19th A. C.
Joseph Bailey survived the war by less than two years. In October 1865, he moved with his wife and children to Vernon County, Missouri, where he was elected sheriff. He was shot and killed in March 1867 near Nevada, Missouri by two brothers he had arrested (but failed to disarm) for stealing a hog. Despite a $3,000 reward, the killers, former guerrillas Lewis and Perry Pixley, were never brought to justice. General Bailey was buried with Masonic honors in the military cemetery at Fort Scott, Kansas. His remains were later moved to Evergreen Cemetery, where he rests next to his wife. A monument to his memory stands in Malta, Ohio