J.R. Baird Collection

Transcribed by: Wanda Ray

Transcription Date: 2.10.2006


Missionary Ridge

October 19, 1863


Dear Pa

Gen’l Bragg has issued an order saying that any man commissioned officer or soldier that will obtain a Recruit and have him mustered into the service to duty in the army can get a furlough for 40 days.  His idea I think is this, winter is approaching and he wishes to commence furloughing the troops without weakening the total effectiveness of the army.  Winter is not sufficiently near to commence it otherwise for fear that Rosencranz may possibly try once more to reach Ga. this fall.  If he should and part of his army was off on furlough we would be up the (word?).  So I believe he has fallen upon this plan not only to commence it, but also, to increase the effective strength of the army by next spring.  A very good trick.

If you can persuade McCama to join, (which he will be cause pelled to do, if they ever get another chance at that country) I can get a leave of 40 days, as soon as he is present with our battalion or brigade.  I think it no injustice to put Mc in the serve and unless he has his papers, all square, claiming British protection will do no good whatever.  As for the ease of service, he will find this company band battalion as good if not superior to any he can go into.  Good officers and clever men guard and fatigue duty much lighter than any other.  Button was crazy to come with me in Feb.  Perhaps the Col. Will have to let him go soon, if so, manage to procure him transport (word?) to this army and I will take advantage of him, which will be no draw back upon him and considerable help to me, however, don’t mention this to him (that is my working him in, to furlough myself).

If Mac won’t come otherwise give him $20 bounty and I will pay it.  Tell him by coming now it will be a great accommodation to me and just as well for him now as it will ever be.  You will think of (word?) I expect as soon as you peruse this, but I don’t want to go into Infantry.  I think he can have an easier time in cavalry and besides if I get off, I will do my best to get into something better and nearer home.  However, if he prefers infantry and will go in to service, why send him where you think best, if it is here, for I may not be allowed to go into anything else and would under these circumstances like to have him with me.  If we reorganize and have new elections I can do as well in my present company as anywhere better in fact.  Do all you can for me in this line and you must go at it immediately, as I wish to spend Christmas with you.  Anybody you can get to come will do.  Tho’ they have to enlist for the war when they do come, it is not simply to take my place for 40 days but to enlist and become as regular volunteer soldiers for the war.

Have send word to Will, to keep a lookout for young boys going to the Army, but his chance to get one may the “slim” as prospect a great many are working the same trick.  Mac will come if you talk to him right.

Read yours from Mobile yesterday.  Glad to hear all right once more.  We will unite to 9th Miss. Batt. in (word) Brigade.  (Several sentences unreadable)

Page Two October 18, 1863


Will be a twist to see what he can do for me.  Write as often as possible.

Love to Sis “Manie” and all children.

Goodbye, Your devoted son

Jno. R. Baird

P.S. What has become of Ma.  Love, John




At top of page: “From Grandfather Baird, while fighting in Bragg’s Army at Missionary Ridge.  Recopied in 1950 by his granddaughter Dorothy Baird Allen.