Dec. 2

The past, to my last date, has been a blank to me as far as regards military matters. The 7th Oct. I was taken very sick. The 17th I was conveyed to regiment hospital and the 19th was removed to Georgetown to the Seminary Hospital.

I was detained there four weeks with a heavy fever, and then again, 17th Nov. was removed to this place; U. S. General Hospital, Annapolis, MA. I have been here two weeks today. I forget to say that the 4th Brigade removed from Camp Albany to Fort Lyons  two miles below Alexandria, on the 14th Oct. I have heard nothing definite from the 3rd since I left. They are however in the same camp.

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Civil War Washington  is a wonderful website with a plethora of information on Washington, D.C. during the Civil War. The site contains information about soldiers that were housed in the Seminary Hospital Baird mentions above, and also gives us our first clue to Baird’s ailment – typhoid fever.

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Who’s Matthew Baird?

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Oct. 2nd

Nothing has occurred since my last date of any importance, till with in a very few days.

The rebels have evacuated and abandoned their works on Munsons Hill and the hills adjacent, and have retreated with their whole advance line toward Bull run. The Union troops now occupy those hills and our advance line is thrown out as far as Fairfax. Where I heard the rebels a few weeks ago playing in division the ever glorious Star-Spangled-Banner, now the air resounds with the strains of that noble tune sung and pledged by true, loyal, and patriotic men.

Considerable excitement was created in this and other camps belonging to the 4th brigade. The day-before-yesterday, by rumors being circulated that the enemy were returning upon their lately abandoned works and had begun an attack upon our centre. The rumors were however false. The reason why the Brigade was called and (which was done) was because we had received orders to march or to hold ourselves in readiness to march, and the alarm was sounded for the purpose of testing the energies of the men. A real fighting spirit was manifested. We have orders now however to hold ourselves in readiness to march at a moments notice. The camp is all quiet however at present. People still continue to seek safety in Washington. Three teams are passing along while I am writing, fleeing from the country, and the rebels, and seeking safety within the Union fortifications.  

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Who’s Matthew Baird?