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CAPT: WILLIAM BRATTEN BAKER, of the 1st Indiana Cavalry. Civil War Veteran of Monterey County.

William Bratten Baker was born on July 29, 1839 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Evansville, Indiana. When the Civil War began, his father was commissioned as a Colonel; he also was the first of the 300,000 to enlist. He enlisted in June of 1861 into the First Indiana Cavalry, his mustered out date is unknown. Much later after the war, he married Sarah O. Harding. William B. Baker died on January 16, 1935 and his internment was   at the El Encinal Cemetery in Monterey, California. He was a member of the Lucius Fairchild GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Post #179 based out of the city of Pacific Grove, Ca.

The following is a Tribute article from the Monterey Daily Cypress and obituary from the Monterey Peninsula Herald.

BAKER, WILLIAM BRATTEN 1839-1935 Monterey, El Encinal Cemetery
Monterey Daily Cypress
July 21, 1911
Tribute to a Bride

Ladies of G.A.R. Give Reception and Banquet to Capt. and Mrs. Baker Courtship Told in Rhyme.

Couple Are Very Popular With Members of Sherman Circle-Congratulations Extended at Reception to Happy Couple

An interesting open meeting and reception of Sherman Circle No. 41, Ladies of the G.A.R. followed by a banquet, was given in honor of the late treasurer, S.O. Harding, who is now the wife of Comrade Captain W.B. Baker of the First Indiana Cavalry, the Twenty eight Regiment of the Civil War Veterans.  The bride’s desk was appropriately decked with flowers and she becomingly arrayed in white, and the groom showed himself a hero when in a few words he thanked all those sisters for their beautiful gift of sterling silver spoons, supported only by another comrade, Brother Christiansen of the Ninety fifth New York.  He also made a short speech.

Sister Parlington made the presentation speech

Sister French gave them kind wishes and a reminder that the spoons should always keep them “spoony” to ward each other

Last but not least Sherman Circle’s poet, Sister Cleveland, read the following original lines:

(See Article for lengthy poem)

Monterey Herald Jan 17, 1935
Capt. Baker Expires At Age of 95

Captain William B. Baker, 95 year old Civil War veteran, died suddenly last evening at his home on McClellan street, new Monterey.  Although not in the best of health, his general physical condition had been good and his mind clear and alert, so that the end was unexpected.

Rev. T.J. Barkle will conduct the funeral services at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning in the Paul mortuary chapel, followed by cremation at Santa Cruz.

Captain Baker, who celebrated his 95th birthday last July 29, was born in Gettysburg, Penn., and accompanied his family to Indiana in 1841, to grow up in Evansville, only about 35 miles from where Lincoln lived for a long time, and where Lincoln’s mother lies buried.

His father was commissioned a colonel in the Union army at the outbreak of the Civil war and the son was among the first to enlist, being one of the original 300,000 men mustered into the Union army in June of 1861.

He came to California in 1872.  For 28 years he lived in San Jose, coming to Pacific Grove in 1884.  Since 1900 he has divided his time between Monterey and his Big Sur ranch home where has maintained his legal residence.  

Monterey Herald January 18, 1835
Military Honors for Capt. Baker

Military honors were accorded Captain William B. Baker when funeral services were held this morning at the Paul Mortuary chapel.  The 95 year old Civil War veteran died Wednesday evening at his McClellan street home in New Monterey.

Ladies of the G.A.R. were in charge of the services, assisted by the Rev. T. J. Barkle.  Soldiers from the Presidio served as pallbearers and two buglers sounded “Taps” at the conclusion of the service.

Surviving relatives of Captain Baker include the following:  A brother, Albert Baker, and a half brother, Thad Baker, both of Indianapolis; a half-sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Anderson of Jacksonville Florida, six nieces, Miss Gertrude Baker and Miss Rosemary Baker both of Indianapolis; Mrs. Nellie Dallam of Bridgeport, Conn.; Mrs. Leroy Witter of Alexandria LA; Miss Ella Lister and Mrs. Elsie Mayer, both of Chicago; a stepson, William B. Harding of Riverbank, Calif.; a stepgrandson, Vernal Harding and step-granddaughter, Mrs. Ozetta Watson both of Modesto.



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Headstone Headstone for wife Obit Tribute