Baird, Absalom, 1824-1905

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Baird was born in Washington, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the preparatory department of Washington College (now Washington & Jefferson College) in 1841. He enrolled in the United States Military Academy and graduated in 1849, ranked ninth in a class of 43. From 1852 to 1859, he was a mathematics instructor at West Point, where one of his students was James McNeill Whistler. From 1859 to 1861, he served in Texas and Virginia.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Baird was promoted to brevet captain. He fought at the First Battle of Bull Run under Brig. Gen. Daniel Tyler. On November 12, 1861, Baird was promoted to major in the Regular Army while serving as an assistant inspector general. He became chief of staff to Maj. Gen. Erasmus D. Keyes during the first part of the Siege of Yorktown, where his service earned him a further promotion to brigadier general of U.S. Volunteers on April 30, 1862, to rank from April 28, 1862.

In April 1862, Baird took command of the 27th Brigade, 7th Division in the Army of the Ohio under Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell. Baird helped secure the Cumberland Gap in June 1862 under George W. Morgan. He commanded the 3rd Division, Army of Kentucky where his troops fared poorly in the battle of Thompson's Station though Baird was not personally involved. His troops were present at the battle of the Harpeth River before being assimilated into the Army of the Cumberland. Baird's division became the 1st Division of Maj. Gen. George Henry Thomas's XIV Corps. It was in this post that he won fame for his heroic efforts at the Battle of Chickamauga and the Chattanooga Campaign. Baird won a brevet promotion to colonel in Regular Army for Chattanooga. In the Atlanta Campaign, Baird led a brigade charge in the Battle of Jonesborough which earned him the Medal of Honor. He led his division in Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's March to the Sea and Carolinas Campaign. Baird led his division in the Battle of Bentonville in the latter campaign.

On January 23, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln nominated Baird for appointment to the brevet grade of major general of volunteers, to rank from September 1, 1864, and the U.S. Congress confirmed the award on February 14, 1865. On April 10, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Baird for appointment as brevet brigadier general in the Regular Army, to rank from March 13, 1865, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment on May 4, 1866. On July 17, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Baird for appointment as brevet major general in the regular U.S. Army, to rank from March 13, 1865, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment on July 23, 1866. Baird was mustered out of the volunteer service on September 1, 1866.

Following the war, Baird served as commander of the department of Louisiana. He was appointed an assistant inspector general with the grade of lieutenant colonel on June 17, 1867. He was appointed Inspector General of the Army on March 11, 1885, and was promoted to a full grade brigadier general on September 22, 1885. In 1887, he traveled to France to observe military maneuvers, and was named a Commander of the Légion d'honneur. Baird retired from the Army on August 20, 1888, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 64.

On April 22, 1896, Baird was awarded the Medal of Honor for leading "an assault upon the enemy's works" at the Battle of Jonesborough on September 1, 1864. He was also a veteran companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and a member of the General Society of Colonial Wars.

He died at Relay, Maryland near Baltimore, Maryland, and is buried in section 1, lot 55, at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Consolidated Military Officer's File of General Absalom Baird, Volunteers United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf 1884 - File No. 1023 - Baird, A - District of Columbia United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf Baird, A - State: Michigan - Year: 1867 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States Commandery of the State of Massachusetts Civil War collection, 1724-1933 (inclusive);, 1861-1912 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Frederick M. Dearborn collection of military and political Americana, Part III: The Civil War: The Union, 1804-1915. Houghton Library
contributorOf 1888 - File No. 5131 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf 1873 - File No. 2414 (Baird, A - Missouri) United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf Baird, A - New York - 1855 - File No. B704 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Congressional Medal of Honor File of Brigadier General Absalom Baird, U.S. Volunteers United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf Baird, Absalom -- Cadet, US Military Academy United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Scribner, B. F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1825-1900. Papers of B.F. Scribner, 1838-1911. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn Levi P. Morton Correspondence, 1860-1912 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
contributorOf 1866 - Baird, Absalom - File No. L323 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf Consolidated Military Officer's File of Absalom Baird, Tennessee, 1864 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf 1868 - Baird, Absalom - File No. B55 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf 1881 - File No. 6730 - Baird, A United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Augustus Mendon Lord collection, Lord (Augustus Mendon) collection, (bulk 1876-1908), 1778-1908 John Hay Library, Special Collections
contributorOf 1882 - File No. 4182 - Baird, A - District of Columbia United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf 1882 - File No. 4667 - Baird, A - District of Columbia United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf 1881 - File No. 6129 - Baird, A - District of Columbia United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf 1886 - File No. 914 - Baird, A - District of Columbia United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf Baird, A - Kentucky - 1863 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf Baird, Absalom - State: [Blank] - Year: 1867 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf Baird, A E - Tennessee - 1863 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf Baird, A - State: Michigan - Year: 1867 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf 1887 - File No. 3176 - Baird, A - Nebraska United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf Baird, Absalom - State: Georgia - Year: 1865 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf 1882 - File No. 4668 - Baird, A - District of Columbia United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf 1861 - Baird, Absalom - File No. B851 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf 1886 - File No. 4475 - Baird, A - District of Columbia United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf Baird, A - State: Louisiana - Year: 1866 United States. National Archives and Records Administration
contributorOf 1882 - File No. 2635 - Baird, A - District of Columbia United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Baird, Absalom - Brigadier General United States. National Archives and Records Administration
creatorOf Fry, James B. (James Barnet), 1827-1894. Letter, 1865 July 5, Mt. Airy, Pa. [to] General A. Baird. United States Military Academy, USMA Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Place Name Admin Code Country
Texas TX US
West Point NY US
North Carolina NC US
Louisiana LA US
Washington PA US
South Carolina SC US
Republic of France 00 FR
Baltimore County MD US
Subject
Peninsula Campaign, 1862
Chickamauga, Battle of, Ga., 1863
Chattanooga Campaign, 1863
Atlanta Campaign, 1864
Franklin, Battle of, Franklin, Tenn., 1864
Sherman's March through the Carolinas
Medal of Honor
Jonesboro, Battle of, Ga., 1864
Bentonville, Battle of, Bentonville, N.C., 1865
Thompson's Station, battle of, Thompsons Station, Tenn., 1863
Reconstruction--1865-1877
Civil War, 1861-1865
Sherman's March to the Sea, 1864
Occupation
Soldiers--19 century.--United States
Function

Person

Birth 1824-08-20

Death 1905-06-14

Male

Americans

English

Information

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