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January 6, 2013

Civil War anniversary: Private Robert Hammond Baker Company B, Dalton Guards, Phillips Legion

Robert Hammond Baker was born in Dalton on Dec. 14, 1842, to Robert Hammond and Susan Hammond Baker. Robert’s father had died in May of 1842 before he was born.

Private Baker enlisted in the Rifle Battalion of the short-lived 4th Georgia State Brigade along with the rest of the Dalton Guards on June 11, 1861, at Camp McDonald. They would become Company B of the newly formed Phillips Legion’s Infantry Battalion at the beginning of August 1861.

Baker’s compiled service record indicates that he participated in the brutal campaign into the mountains of northwestern Virginia that autumn. Rolls indicate him absent on sick furlough during May/June of 1862. It would appear that he rejoined his company and participated in the Second Manassas and Maryland campaigns before coming down with typhoid fever in late September 1862. He is admitted to the Confederate hospital at Culpepper, Va., on Oct. 1, 1862, and is then listed as “absent sick” on rolls dated Nov. 30, 1862, and Dec. 31, 1862, indicating that he did not participate in the battle of Fredericksburg.

Back with his company on the roll for January/February 1863, he was then severely wounded at the battle of Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863. A hospital record shows him admitted to Richmond General Hospital No. 9 in early May and then transferred to General Hospital No. 26 on May 10. He was subsequently declared unfit for field servive and detailed to the Quartermaster Department at Charleston, S.C.

A postwar pension application filed by his widow, Martha, states that he was born in 1842 and died in Whitfield County on Sept. 11, 1921. It also states that he was wounded in the head and both thighs at Chancellorsville and subsequently detailed to duty at Augusta with Maj. Welles of the Quartermaster Department.

This article is part of a series of stories about Dalton and life in Dalton during the Civil War. The stories run on Sunday and are provided by the Dalton-Whitfield 150th Civil War Commission. To find out more about the commission go to If you have material that you would like to contribute for a future article contact Robert Jenkins at (706) 259-4626 or

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