Abba Goddard (1819-1873), born in Mansfield, Connecticut, daughter of Samuel Brigham Goddard and Hannah Skiff. Samuel Goddard moved his family to Lowell in 1834 to work as a machinist and Superintendent of the Lowell Machine Shop.
As a young woman in the 1840s, Abba Goddard wrote for the “Lowell Offering” under the pen names A.G.A and A.A.G. In the 1850s, she moved to Portland, Maine. In October 1861 she left Portland with five other women to accompany the Tenth Maine Infantry and serve as nurse. “Miss Goddard will receive the blessings of our sick boys to the end of life,” stated John M. Gould, a veteran of the Tenth Maine."
“Taking Care of Those in Need” from National Park Service
“In 1862, a stately brick mansion overlooking the picturesque water gap at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, was converted into "Clayton General Hospital." Long tents were pitched in the yard, and by the third week of July, this former armory paymaster's quarters housed 285 patients.
"I noticed a heap of amputated feet, legs, arms, hands, etc. -- about a load for a one-horse cart. Several dead bodies lie near, each covered with its brown woolen blanket" --- Walt Whitman
“Mrs. Abba A. Goddard [ed correction: Miss Abba A. Goddard] traveled over 600 miles from Portland, Maine to care or the soldiers of her hometown's 10th Maine Infantry at Clayton. She was named "Matron of the General Hospital." Despite the limited medical services and comforts provided by the government, Goddard worked to make the hospital as comfortable as possible. Within two weeks of her arrival, she solicited donations from civilians and received seventeen boxes filled with slippers, socks, fans, pin cushions, towels, handkerchiefs and checkerboards.