Matthew Baird received news that his mother passed away 11 days after her death. Although we have no letters from her to Baird, he wrote to her, she is mentioned in letters home, and he obviously cared for her a great deal based on the below. Her illness was incredibly quick – just 3 hours in length!

Washington, Feb. 10th ‘63

Dear Maggie,

Some time has now lapsed Since I wrote you and you may possibly think I have forgotten you, but I have not. I intended to have written last Sunday but Such Sad news reached me that it was almost impossible for me to write, and So I have delayed it untill now. You will doubtless, have heard, ere this reaches you, of the death of my mother.

It was So Sudden and unexpected that it almost unmaned me, and to-day, even, I can Scarcely collect my thoughts. Oh: Maggie, it is possible I can Scarcely realize it, And yet it is So. She has gone.

How my heart bleeds to think I shall meet her no more on earth. How little I thought when I left home three months ago that I Should be called afar, So soon to part, with the dearest and best friend of my life. But, Maggie, I shall not mourn for her. I feel that our loss is her gain, She has gone to rest. She has left a world of care and sorrow, of toil and pain, of Sickness and death, to participate in the joys of a world that is full of life and immortality. The only consolation I now have is that I may one day, meet her, in that land of rest and peace. Oh: how fleeting is life, and each day convinces me that life is but a Shadow, but a farce.

To-day we are with our friends enjoying the Society of those we love, to-morrow, they are gathered to the tomb. When we look around us, upon our friends, we do not realize how frail they are, and not till death Strikes the fatal blow, do we consider the deep import of those words: “Man is as grass, as the flower of the field.”

My Mother died, after an illness of only three hours. I had a letter from David and Mira yesterday. They were well, their letter was dated 3rd of Feb. I got a letter from Sammy also, yesterday, he was well and seems to enjoy himself very much. Poor boy! I fear his mirth will be dampened when he hears of his mothers death. I have’nt heard from Noah yet.

Write soon, Give my compliments to Miss Miller, And believe me Maggie, Truly Yours,



From the Hastings Banner, Feb. 18, 1863:

“At Cedar Creek, Jan 31st, 1863, MARY ELIZA, wife of George W. Baird, aged 48 years, 9 mo’s and 13 days. In the death of Mrs. B. the husband has sustained an irrepairable loss, in a faithful, affectionate, and beloved companion; the children, one of the kindest of mothers; and society, a spotless member, whose loss will be sadly felt, not only by family friends, but by a large circle of acquaintance’s. But they mourn not as one without hope. The deceased had for many years been a consistent member of the Church, and she has now gone to her reward. May she rest in peace.”


George Baird was remarried in October of 1863 to Antinet Baker.

David and Elmira (Mira) mentioned above are Maggie’s brother and sister-in-law. They were married in December of 1860. David was a Sargent in Co. L of the 11th Michigan Cavalry and served from October 1863 to May 1865. They had two daughters together, Cora and Bertha and had a “Domestic Servant” according to the 1870 census. Elmira died in March of 1871 and David remarried around 1875 to Nancy J. [Moore], Elmira’s older sister by 9 years. Nancy was likely married prior to her marriage to David, but locating her information around 1850 is difficult because she was already out of her parents’ home. Nancy and David had one child, Harry. Nancy died in 1910 and David in 1911. Noah, also mentioned, is another of Maggie’s brothers.


Who’s Matthew Baird?