Moseley (Mosley) Baker was born 1802 in Virginia. As a leading advocate of Texas independence from Mexico, Baker claimed to have made the first speech in favor of disunion. He was one of nine men whom Col. Domingo de Ugartechea ordered arrested at San Felipe in July 1835. The following month Baker accompanied Francis W. Johnson into East Texas to recruit men for the revolutionary army. As a member of the Consultation of 1835 Baker delivered a speech calling for the dissolution of that body. This proposal was met by a stern response from Sam Houston who, “drawing his majestic figure up to his full height,” declared “I had rather be a slave, and grovel in the dust all my life, than a convicted felon!”
Baker was one of the military leaders of the Texas Revolution. He served as a private at the battle of Gonzales, at the Grass Fight, and at engagements connected with the Siege of Béxar in December 1835. On March 1, 1836, he was elected captain of Company D, First Regiment of Texan Volunteers, the largest company in Sam Houston’s army. John P. Borden served as his first lieutenant. On Houston’s retreat into East Texas after the disasters at the Alamo and Goliad, Baker refused to abandon the line of the Brazos River. For several days his company, on detached duty, guarded the ford at San Felipe, where most of his men resided, thus preventing Santa Anna’s army from turning Houston’s left flank and forcing his retreat toward the San Jacinto River. On March 29, 1836, when Houston abandoned his position at Groce’s Retreat, Baker burned San Felipe to prevent its capture by the enemy. He contended that the destruction of the town was a result of Houston’s orders; Houston said otherwise. Baker rejoined the main army on April 14, 1836, and commanded Company D of Col. Edward Burleson’s First Regiment of Texas Volunteers at the battle of San Jacinto, where he was slightly wounded. In 1839 the Congress appointed him a brigadier general in the militia of the republic for a campaign against the Indians on the Brazos. In 1842 he was reappointed brigadier general and raised a company in response to Gen. Adrián Woll’s seizure of San Antonio. He paraded his company on the Harris County courthouse square on September 28, and “made a very eloquent and appropriate reply” to the presentation of his company flag.