This Day in Dayton, February 23
A number of women served in the Civil War as nurses or cooks. There is a possibility that a woman with Dayton ties was one of these women. Martha A. Baker, a native of Concord, Indiana, married Abner Baker in 1859. Abner was probably the son of William Baker and his second wife, Hannah. Abner and Martha had one child, a girl, before Abner enlisted in 1862 in the 40th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Martha and her daughter went to stay with her brother in Stockwell when Abner left for war. Abner was injured and transferred to the 160th Battalion Veteran Relief Corps, where he was a nurse and chief wound-dresser of a ward in the Officers’ Hospital. He sent for Martha and their daughter. Martha was appointed to the Special Diet Kitchen, which prepared food for the Officers’ Hospital and “No. 2,” about 500 men. She served until February 1865 (Holland, comp., Our Army Nurses, pp. 229-30).