91st PA: David B Baker

David B Baker

Before the war

He was born in 1832/34, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, perhaps to Chalkly and Elizabeth Baker. [sources: date: 4 (28 in 1861), 16 (29), 18 (26 in 1860), 19 (36 in 1870), 20 (45 in 1880), 25 (53 at death in 1886). place: 4, 25. parents: 18]

He married Sarah [unknown family name]. She was born in 1833/34, in Pennsylvania (or Camden, New Jersey). They had six known children:

[sources: 18, 19, 20, 32, 33, 34]

In 1860, he was living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a railroad conductor, and had $100 in personal property. He was living with Chalkle and Elizabeth Baker (probably his parents), with Sarah Baker (probably his wife), with Ida and Edgar Baker (probably his children), and with Thomas C Baker (probably his brother). [source: 18]

His occupation at enlistment is mostly illegible in the microfilm I have of the descriptive roll; the first word seems to be 'book'. Given his later occupations, it was probably 'bookbinder'. He was living in Philadelphia when he enlisted. [sources: 4, 16]

Description

When he enlisted, he was 5 feet 9-1/2 inches high, and had a light complexion, grey eyes, and light hair. [source: 4]

During the war

He enlisted and was mustered into service as a private in company E on 20 August 1861. He was enlisted by Captain Lentz, for three years, and was mustered into service by Colonel Reiff. [sources: 1, 4, 16, 35 (1 sgt)]

He was appointed first sergeant on 10 September 1861.

In the 1861 election, he was part of a group taken to vote by Alderman Lentz, apparently on Dickerson Street, between Seventh and Eighth, in the Eighth Precinct, First Ward. [source: 27]

On 16 December 1862, he was acting second lieutenant. As the 5th Corps was covering the Army's retreat from Fredericksburg, he took about twelve men to the top of a hill. Shortly after he returned, Captain Lentz took the rest of the company to relieve part of the 126th Pennsylvania Infantry on their picket line. At Colonel Gregory's order, Baker followed with his detachment. Lentz did not know he was on the picket line. When Baker overheard Lt Bonsall of the 126th Pennsylvania ordered Berdan's Sharpshooters to follow the 126th Pennsylvania, serving as skirmishers and collecting all stragglers, Baker commented that they would be left alone. After Bonsall ordered him to retreat also, Baker did. Unfortunately, Bonsall thought Baker was commanding the company, and went back to the 126th's headquarters believing he had ordered the commander to retreat. Captain Lentz never received the order, and was almost captured. [source: 24]

Baker was court-martialed for leaving without permission from his commanding officer. He was tried twice, since the first trial was illegal because too few men were serving on the court. He was found guilty both times. The first court sentenced him "to be publicly reprimanded by his commanding officer and a forfeiture of one months pay". The second court sentenced him "to be reduceded [sic] to the ranks and to carry a ball + chain four hours per day Sundays excepted for the period of one month". The 126th Pennsylvania's Regimental History calls this an extraordinarily severe sentence. However, the Division Commander, Brigadier General Humphreys, overturned the sentence, because Baker had authority to leave, since Lt Bonsall had conveyed an order of Lieutenant Colonel Rowe's. [sources: 24, 28]

He was promoted from first sergeant to first lieutenant on 1 January 1863, replacing Matthew Hall, who had been promoted. [sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 16]

He was present at the Battle of Chancellorsville. He saw Edgar Gregory immediately after he was wounded, and left the field with him. [source: 29]

On 26 May 1863, he testified at the trial of David B Baker. [source: 29]

He was present, but sick, on 9 June 1863. [source: 12]

He fought at the Battle of Gettysburg, as first lieutenant. [source: 6]

On 27 October 1863, he returned to duty from the RS [recruiting service?]. [source: 14]

He was acting adjutant from 15 December 1863 through 25 December 1863, when Howard Shipley became acting adjutant. (Shipley was on leave during that time.) [sources: 7, 13, 8, 15]

An order appointing him to command company B, replacing John Brass, who was acting adjutant, was canceled. A board of survey was appointed on 6 March 1864 to investigate a deficiency in items for which he and John Brass were responsible. [sources: 9, 10]

He was discharged on 9 March 1864. He was first lieutenant of company E. (According to OAR, he resigned on 5 March 1864). A letter from Henry Mather (90th PA, formerly co. E 91st PA) dated 26 February 1864 says that he had heard Baker resigned. Also, Theodore A Hope's entry in the company E descriptive roll reports him promoted vice Baker resigned. And the regimental descriptive book claims he was discharged by order of the War Department.) [sources: 1, 2, 3, 16, 35, 36]

After the war

He signed an undated letter of reference for William H Geary. [source: 30]

In 1870, he was living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a bookbinder, and had $300 in personal property. He was living with Sarah (presumably his wife), Ida, Edgar, Joseph, and Jennie (presumably their children), and Elizabeth (presumably his mother). [source: 19]

At a meeting of the 91st's survivors after Edgar Gregory's death, he was appointed to a committee to draft resolutions about Gregory's death. In November 1871, he was at a meeting setting up the 91st's Survivor's Association, and successfully offered a motion recognizing Captain Ryan and the State Fencibles for their presence at Edgar Gregory's funeral [sources: 22, 23]

In 1880, he was living at 723 Watkins Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a letter carrier. He was living with his wife Sarah, and his children Joseph and Jennie. [source: 20]

He died on 25 April 1886, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, of cons[umptio]n [?] of lungs. He was either living at or died at (or both) 1612 Pallace Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was buried on 27 April 1886, at Philanthropic Cemetery. [source: 25]

On 11 July 1890, his widow, Sarah A Baker, applied unsuccessfully for a pension from Pennsylvania. She was living at 1531 Chadwick, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [source: 17, 21, 26]

On 16 January 1891, his widow, Sarah A Baker, died, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She died of consumption of lungs. The funeral was held from 1419 South Fifteenth Street, the residence of Charles H Hartley. On 18 January 1891, she was buried in Philanthropic Cemetery. [sources: 31, 32]

Sources

1 Bates, Samuel Penniman. History of Pennsylvania volunteers, 1861-5. Harrisburg: B. Singerly, state printer, 1869-71. 5 volumes. 'Ninety-first regiment', volume 3, pages 186-233. (In the roster)

2 Official Army Register

3 list of commissioned officers, company E

4 descriptive roll, company E, entry 1 (David B Baker)

5 list of non-commissioned officers, company E

6 Pennsylvania Memorial, 91st Pennsylvania plaque, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (David B Baker)

7 special order 115, HQ 91st PA, 15 December 1863

8 special order 122, HQ 91st PA, 25 December 1863

9 special order 12, HQ 91st PA, 25 February 1864

10 special order 16, HQ 91st PA, 6 March 1864

11 regimental descriptive book

12 consolidated morning report, 91st PA, 9 June 1863 (Lt Baker)

13 consolidated morning report, 91st PA, 16 December 1863; see also subsequent consolidated morning reports (DB Baker)

14 consolidated morning report, 91st PA, 27 October 1863 (Lt Baker)

15 consolidated morning report, 91st Pennsylvania, 25 December 1863 (acting adjutant: Howard Shipley)

16 Civil War Veterans' Card File, available at the Pennsylvania State Archives, searched 15 May 2004 (David B Baker)

17 pension index, by name (David B Baker)

18 1860 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, stamped page 698 [handwritten page 264], line 30 to stamped page 699 (handwritten page 265) line 9 (David Baker)

19 1870 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, census district 84, page 20 handwritten [page 161 handwritten on side] (David B Baker)

20 1880 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, supervisor's district 1, enumeration district 15, page 7 (stamped 206C) (David B [?] Baker)

21 1890 Gopsill's Philadelphia directory

22 'The Reserves', Philadelphia Inquirer, 18 November 1871, page 2 (D B Baker)

23 'General Gregory'. Philadelphia Inquirer 11 November 1871 page 2. (Lieutenant Baker)

24 court-martial record, trial of James B Bonsall, 3 January 1863, and trial of D B Baker, 3 January 1863, National Archives, Record Group 153 (Judge Advocate General, Army), file KK691; and court-martial record, trial of James B Bonsall, 12 January 1863, and trial of D B Baker, 12 January 1863, National Archives, Record Group 153 (Judge Advocate General, Army), file KK664 (D B Baker)

25 death certificate, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 25 April 1886 (David B Baker)

26 pension index, by regiment, 91st PA Infantry, company E (David B Baker)

27 'The Sheriff contested election case', Philadelphia Press Monday 23 June 1862 page 4 (Sergeant Bader)

28 National Archives Archival Research Catalog (accessed 24 July 2010) (D B Baker)

29 National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 153: Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General (Army), 1792-1982, general court martial, 25 May 1863 (David B Baker)

30 undated letter, Eli G Sellers, about William H Geary (David B Baker)

31 death notice, Philadelphia Inquirer 18 January 1891, page 6 (Sarah A Baker)

32 death certificate, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 16 January 1891 (Sarah A Baker)

33 death certificate (not transcribed), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 10 November 1863, David B Baker, available on FamilySearch (accessed 28 July 2012)

34 death certificate (not transcribed), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 17 February 1861, Chalkley Baker, available on FamilySearch (accessed 28 July 2012)

35 index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania (David B Baker)

36 letter, Henry G Mathers to his mother, 26 February 1864 (from his mother's pension certificate file) (Lieut Baker)

Sources checked unsuccessfully

Pennsylvania veterans' burial records
Ancestry index (accessed 5 April 2012)
applications for headstones for military veterans, 1925-1941
FamilySearch index (accessed 28 July 2012)
records of headstones of deceased Union veterans, 1879-1903
FamilySearch index (accessed 28 July 2012)
Find a grave
accessed 28 July 2012 (searched by name and by cemetery)
1850 US census
Ancestry and FamilySearch indices (accessed 28 July 2012)
checked David and Chalkly
1890 US census, veterans' schedules
Ancestry (accessed March 2005)--David or Sarah Baker
RootsWeb WorldConnect
accessed June 2007
1900 US census
HeritageQuest index (accessed June 2007)--Sarah Baker
FamilySearch index (accessed 28 July 2012)
Sarah Baker, b. Nov 1832, Pennsylvania, boarder, in enumeration district 968, ward 38, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, microfilm series T623, film 1479, page 20 A handwritten (FamilySearch)
1910 US census
HeritageQuest index (accessed June 2007)--Sarah Baker
FamilySearch index (accessed 28 July 2012)
Sarah M Baker, with son Frank (44, b. PA) and daughter Mary Campbell (53, b. PA), in ward 23, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, microfilm series T624, film 1397, page 253 = 1 A handwritten (FamilySearch)
1920 US census
HeritageQuest index (accessed June 2007)--Sarah Baker
FamilySearch indices (accessed 28 July 2012)
1930 US census
FamilySearch index (accessed 28 July 2012)

Display


David B Baker in the 91st PA gedcom on RootsWeb WorldConnect

David B Baker in the 91st PA database

1860 census

[1860 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, stamped page 698 [handwritten page 264], line 30 to stamped page 699 (handwritten page 265) line 9]
[I have not transcribed the last five people in the household, Henry Rhuichart [?], A J Lamhoff, and J G, Eliza, and Hannah Hibbard]
[identification is likely, given the apparent spouse's and childrens' names; see the 1870 census entry transcribed below]
Line3839401234
Dwelling number1745      
Family number1827      
NameChalkle BakerElizth "David "Sarah BakerThom C "Ida "Edgar "
Age676226262352
SexMFMFMFM
Color       
OccupationConfectioner R R Conductor Book Binder  
Value of real estate owned       
Value of personal estate500 100    
Place of birthNJ"PaPa"""
Married within year       
Attended school within year     1 
Cannot read & write       
Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.       

1870 census

[1870 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, census district 84, page 20 handwritten [page 161 handwritten on side]]
[identification is likely, given his occupation at enlistment]
Line14151617181920
Dwelling-house number137      
Family number161      
NameBaker David B_ Sarah_ Ida_ Edgar FJoseph T._ Jennie MElizabeth
Age363614126373
SexMFFMMFF
ColorWWWWWWW
OccupationBookbinderKeep houseAt schoolAt schoolAt homeAt homeAt home
Real estate value       
Personal estate value$300      
BirthplacePennPennPennPennPennPennPenn
Father foreign born       
Mother foreign born       
Birth month if born within year       
Marriage month if married within year       
Attended school past year  11   
Can't read       
Can't write       
Deaf, dumb, blind, etc.       
Male US citizen at least 21 years old1      
Male US citizen at least 21 years old who can't vote ...       

1880 census

[1880 US census, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, supervisor's district 1, enumeration district 15, page 7 (stamped 206C)]
[identification is likely; see the 1870 census entry transcribed above]
line14151617
street nameWatkins Street
house number723   
dwelling visit #66   
family visit #68   
nameBaker David B [?]_ Sarah A._ Joseph T._ Jennie M.
colorWWWW
sexMFMF
age45431614
month born if born in year    
relationship WifeSonDaught
single  11
married11  
widowed/divorced    
married during year    
occupationletter carrierKeeping houseworks in shoe factoryat school
months unemployed    
currently ill?    
blind    
deaf/dumb    
idiotic    
insane    
disabled    
school this year   1
can't read    
can't write    
birthplacePennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvaniaPennsylvania
father's birthplaceNew JerseyNew JerseyPennaPenna
mother's birthplaceNew JerseyNew JerseyPennaPenna

1890 Gopsill's Philadelphia directory

[searched transcription on Ancestry, March 2005]
Sarah A Baker, wid David B., h 1531 Chadwick

death certificate

[death certificate, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 25 April 1886, David B Baker]
[source: www.familysearch.org (viewed 28 Oct 08)]

RETURN OF A DEATH
IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA.
PHYSICIAN'S CERTIFICATE.
1. Name of Deceased, David B. Baker
2. Color, White
3. Sex, Male
4. Age, Fifty-three years (53)
5. Married
6. Date of Death, April 25th 1886
7. Cause of Death, Cons[umptio]n [??] of lungs
[illegible] Castle M.D.
Residence, 2007 Arch St.
UNDERTAKER'S CERTIFICATE IN RELATION TO DECEASED.
8. Occupation, [illegible]
9. Place of Birth, [Phi]la [?]
10. When a Minor, [blank]
11. Ward, 26th [?]
12. Street and Number, 1612 Pallace St
13. Date of Burial, April 27th 1886
14. Place of Burial, Philanthropic Cem
Saml R. Foster Undertaker.
Residence 1728 Federal St

index to compiled service records

[index to compiled service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Pennsylvania]
[transcribed 16 Mar 2014, from Fold3]


Baker David B
Co. E, 91 Pennsylvania Inf.
1" Sgt. | 1" Lieut.
See also [blank]

GENERAL INDEX CARD.

death notice, Sarah A Baker

[death notice, Philadelphia Inquirer 18 January 1891, page 6]
[transcribed 28 July 2012, from GenealogyBank]

BAKER.--On the 16th [?] inst., Sarah A., widow of David B. Baker, aged 57 years.

The relatives and friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, on Sunday afternoon, at 3 o'clock, from the residence of Charles H. Hartley, 1419 South Fifteenth street. To proceed to Philanthropic.

death certificate, spouse

[death certificate, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 16 January 1891, Sarah A Baker]
[transcribed 28 July 2012, from FamilySearch]

12962
RETURN OF A DEATH
IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA.
PHYSICIAN'S CERTIFICATE.
1. Name of Deceased, Sarah A. Baker.
2. Color, White.
3. Sex, Female
4. Age, Fifty seven years (57)
5. Married (widow)
6. Date of Death, January 16th 1891.
7. Cause of Death, Consumption of lungs.
D. M. Castle M.D.
Residence, 2007 Arch St
UNDERTAKER'S CERTIFICATE IN RELATION TO DECEASED.
8. Occupation, -
9. Place of Birth, Camden N.J.
10. When a Minor, --
11. Ward, 26
12. Street and Number 1419 Sth 15th St
13. Date of Burial, Jany 18 1891
14. Place of Burial, Philanthropic Cem
Saml R. Feaster Undertaker.
Residence, 1728 Federal St

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revised 24 Dec 14
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