November 2013

Camp Stoneman
Friday, Nov. 13th ’63.

My dear Maggie,

I left the hospital last Saturday and am now at the dismounted camp near Washington, but Shall probably Start for my regiment to-morrow. I would have written before, but I have been waiting to hear from you. But I as I leave so soon I will wait no longer. I haven’t heard from home Since your wrote from Hickory Corners.

You will now want to direct your letters to my company at first. Well, Maggie, now do you enjoy yourself? And how do you find things up in Newaygo [Michigan]? Do you have Sleighing up there yet? The weather is delightful here. We have had but very little rain, and the roads are as dry & hard as a brick. Fine time for the army to move, Meade gained another victory last Saturday. The advance of the army is now at Culpeper.

I presume my regiment is at that place. There was report of another fight at Fredericksburg yesterday. I have not new of news to write this time, So you will excuse the brevity of this; won’t you? I am not so well as I would wish, but let this create no uneasiness in your mind.

Write me as soon as this reaches you, give me all the news you can, and believe me, dearest,

Ever Your Own,

Company K,
6th Mich. Cav’l
Washington, D.C.


Who’s Matthew Baird?

In this letter, Baird writes home to his future wife, Maggie Bowker about his hopes for the future. The letter is much more poetic than his recent letters with expressive turns of phrase.

Washington D.C.
Thursday, Nov. 5th ‘63

My dear Maggie,

Taking into consideration the prospects and hopes of the future, how slowly the time moves along; yet predictably, it is Swifter than the fleet footed deer. We look away and into the future, panting & thirsting for the undeveloped enjoyments which, we fondly hope, it holds out to us, and we murmur & seem disappointed because those hopes are not realized to us Sooner.

One long year has fled Since we last met, Since we parted. I had flattered myself then, that ere another Autumn had Seared the forrests And browned the fields, we would be made happy in each other’s Society & love. But Providence has otherwise ordered.

The Same passions that then agitated the public mind of our country, still continue to rage. The same urgent voice that echoed over hill & dale, calling men to battle for their homes, is Still heard; And the Same conflict, in which is invalued The Sacred principles of universal liberty, Still continues. That year has passed, the future of that year has been reached; but does it bring the coveted object? No, it does not. But it does Seem to increase that desire – The desire for the return of peace, and the enjoyment of those blessings which flow from peace. You do not know how much my thoughts turn to the closing period of this conflict, & the opening of another period in which, is involved the happiness of us both. Yet that future may, like the future of the past year, bring but a bitter disappointment, But I have reason to believe, & predict different. Another Autumn will usher in, & welcome the Sweet harbingers of peace. Joy, throughout our land, will take the place of crying & mourning. And those who now so boldly grasp the weapons of death, will return to caress the loved objects of home. Every day brings Some new evidence that the Rebellion is Sinking, Slow it may be, but sure. The great question, whether the American people are able to govern themselves, will soon be decided. And it will be decided in the affirmative.

I am glad you had so good a visit at “Cousins,” but I regret you did not make a longer stay at my father’s. I gather from your letter that you Simply Stoped there, I was in hopes you would, for my sake, make a visit. But I will not reproach you for this, only I’m sorry you didn’t. I was marked for my regiment a few days ago, but I do not know when I will go to it. Direct as usual, till you hear from me again. I presume when this reaches you, you will have got all my other letters, & you will have to write a long one to answer them all, at least I shall expect a big one.

Write me all the news, My love to “Cousin Mary,” when you write her,

Yours Affectionately,


P.S. Yours of the 28th came yesterday, M

Who’s Matthew Baird?