J.R. Baird Collection

Transcribed by: Wanda Ray

Transcription Date: 2.10.2006


Hospital Department

Rock Island Bks Ills.

September 30, 1864


Dear Sister:


It is impossible for me as a true brother to express the intense love my heart ever cherishes for my kind and devoted sister.  I can only say, I believe it almost idolatry to love as I do, my parents and relatives and I feel too that they reciprocate it, with more than I deserve.  How often I know “Poor Sis” has said with a sigh “What assurance have we that he is alive” How long will this cruel war keep us miserable to a thousand just such gloomy and discouraging thoughts – As I’ve always said, throw off this additional and unnecessary weight, Look on the bright side of everything and arouse every energy for the comfort and pleasure those nearer and dearer – let energy take the place of hope, which at best is but a delusion that finds us inevitably to caprice or misfortune.  I am probably doing better to day, than some who are lamenting my hardship, privations &c.  Understand one, I do not mean that all grief is foolishness and (word) affectation, but that we should endeavor incessantly to limit and lessen rather than increase unnecessarily our distresses.  I disremember when I wrote you last tho’ I’ve written regularly to some one of the family.  Heard from “Lt. Will” not long since, he wrote very cheerfully indeed which made me glad.  I felt as the Poet has it.  “Let the wide World wag as it will, I’ll be gay and happy still.”  I have money, books, good clothing and a Sweetheart (of a distance).  In short I may say contented but for the longing desire of being with those the heart holds most dear.  One page is all I’m allowed.  Goodbye – Regards to my friends – Love to the young ladies.

As ever I am your devoted brother – John Rupert Baird





Outside envelope reads “Received Oct. 30, 1864 From John”