Annie Turner Wittenmyer was born in Ohio in 1827. In 1850 she moved with her husband to Keokuk, Iowa, where she became an advocate for public education. Three of her brothers served in the Civil War and she was one of the first Iowans to organize civilian relief efforts for soldiers. With Mrs. J.B. Howell she organized the Keokuk Ladies Aid Society and began visting military camps and hospitals in April 1861. She coordinated Iowa efforts to provide food, clothes, and medical supplies to soldiers at the front. In 1862 the Iowa legislature created the Iowa Sanitary Commission and appointed Wittenmyer Sanitary Agent. In this position she coordinated relief, inspected military hospitals, and secured discharges for disabled soldiers. Wittenmyer resigned from her Iowa post to join the United States Christian Commission, the national group that coordinated church war relief efforts. Wittenmyer ran the diet kitchen operation for the Commission, which grew to over 100 kitchens in military hospitals. She also helped to organize Iowa's first home for war orphans in Farmington, Iowa. She left Iowa after the end of the war.
From the description of Wittenmyer, Annie papers, 1861-1901. (State Historical Society of Iowa, Library). WorldCat record id: 48218444