OF all the band of noble women who during the war gave their time and best labors with devotedness and singleness of purpose to the care of the suffering defenders of their country, few, perhaps, have been as efficient and useful in their chosen sphere as Mrs. Spencer.
That she left a home of quiet ease and comfort, and gave herself, with her whole soul, to the cause she loved, is not more than very many others have done, but she incited her husband to offer himself to his country, and gladly accompanied him, sharing all his privations, and creating for him, amid the rudest surroundings, home with all its comforts and enjoyments.
At the commencement of the war, Mrs. Spencer was living at Oswego, New York, which had been her residence for many years. Her husband, Captain R. H. Spencer, had been formerly commander of several of the finest vessels which sail from that port in the trade upon the upper lakes. But for some years he had remained on shore, and devoted himself to the occupation of teaching, in which he had a very fine reputation. Mrs. Spencer was also a teacher, and both were connected with the public schools for which that city is celebrated.
Mr. Spencer was a member of that wing of the Democratic party which opposed the war, and his age already exempted him from military duty.
When, therefore, immediately after the battle of Antietam he announced to Mrs. Spencer that he had resolved to enlist in the