J.R. Baird Collection

Transcribed by: Wanda Ray

Transcription Date: 2.10.2006


Missionary Ridge, Tenn.

October 18, 1863


Dear Ma,

I’m sitting to day under my little “shanty” (made of one blanket) in high anticipations of spending the coming Christmas with my dear parents.  If you can manage to send a letter to Pa so that he may procure me a “Recruit” I will enclose in this a note explaining to him (Pa) how he can possibly work to get me 40 days leave.  Tell Will to keep a shark lookout for men and boys who are volunteering or being forced into the army and persuade someone to come and enlist in our battalion.  By so doing I can get off for 40 days.  Tell him to praise the battalion in every shape.  It is a much easier place than any regiment, as have nothing more to do in battle than the Regt. And not half so much in camp have comparatively no guard duty to do; am never made to do fatigue duty and get choice in many instances when any distributions are to be made; in word are kinder “Pets.”  There certainly must be some young boys just be coming of age in the country who he might persuade to come to Braggs Army.  We’ve just gained a complete victory over the Feds and are not likely to have any more fighting in 6 or 7 months, so this is the best possible place for them if they want “an easy time.”  (Word?) home but tell them so for they have to go into the service anyhow.)  If I ever get off again I will manage to get into something nearer home and possible more profitable.  They may not allow us to reorganize except in our present Regts. and battalions.  However, if they allow new elections and I stand as I do at present, I am certain of an office, tho I’ve no desire in that direction what ever.  Over a third of this company have been after me to leave when our time expires, go home and form a company of men from there.

Love for each of the family, hoping to hear often.  Goodbye.


Your aff. Son,

John R. Baird