Written at the end of his first diary, this list is Baird’s self-imposed rules for his conduct and reveals much about his character.

Rules for every day

Rule 1. That I will arise in the morning as soon as I awake.

2. That I will endeavor to direct my first thoughts to my Heavenly Father, thanking him for his kindness during the past night and ask his blessing upon me during the day.

3. I will endeavor to obey implicitly and without complaint my Captain and other officers over me.

4. Will endeavor to discharge each duty assigned me with alacrity, and to the best of my ability.

5. Knowing my [tendency] to ill temper, I pray God to give me strength to overcome it and to assume each day assume each day a manner which will be pleasing and cheerful to all.

6. I will regard each of my comrades as a gentleman and endeavor to treat them as such.

7. Days when I am not on duty I will spend in profitable reading or [illegible] and in visiting friends.

8. Will endeavor by precept and example to persuade my comrades to forsake the paths of sin and to seek a change of heart.

9. Will read each day in the Bible as much as is profitable, and will try and meditate upon the goodness and mercies of God.

10. Will try and maintain in my heart a true patriotism, and love of country

11. Will endeavor at the close of each day to review the past and ferret out each fault and error and to rectify the same and that my last thoughts may like my first be centered on God.

12. Knowing my inability to reach the least of these rules by my own strength I have but ask God to direct me, and bring me off triumphant and at last save me for Christ’s sake.


Who’s Matthew Baird?