Ball's Bluff is the only battlefield where on which a United States senator was killed in combat. Edward Dickinson Baker, senator from Oregon, was also a colonel and one of Brig. Gen. Charles Stone's three brigade commanders. Baker was a long-time friend of President Lincoln and was known as a brilliant orator. His canvassing efforts during the 1860 election campaign helped win both California and Oregon for Lincoln.
Baker's death here and three Union defeats in 1861 resulted in the creation of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. Composed of three senators and four representatives, this committee remained in session throughout the war and gave itself the power to investigate anything or anyone. Its first investigation dealt with Ball's Bluff. Its first victim was General Stone.
Going after Stone more for political reasons than because he had lost a battle, the committee allowed hearsay and complaints by officers whom General Stone had previously disciplined to count as valid testimony. The sessions were closed and Stone himself was questioned without being informed he had become the target of the investigation. Stone was arrested in front of his Washington home near midnight on February 8, 1862.
Stone was imprisoned in New York at Forts Lafayette and Hamilton for six months with no charges ever being filed against him. He finally was released on August 16, 1862.
He served for several months in the western theater under General Nathaniel P. Banks, and then briefly commanded a brigade in the V Corps of the Army of the Potomac. But typhoid and the attacks on his reputation did their work and he resigned from the army in September of 1864. He later spent over 12 years as Chief of Staff to the Khedive of Egypt and, following his return home early in 1883, became chief engineer on the Statue of Liberty project. Stone died of pneumonia on January 24, 1887, three months after serving as Grand Marshall at the dedication of the Statue of Liberty.