First page of Baird's letter, HCP Collection.

As Baird’s father’s previous letter implies, Matthew has been sick for some time. The last time he recorded anything in his diary was October 2, 1861. The nature of his illness is not known at this point, but he transferred to many hospitals, as later diary entries will show. Unfortunately, we do not know to whom this missive was written.

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General Hospital
Anapolis, Nov. 19th, 1861

Dear Friend,

I presume by this time you think I have quite forgotten you, but when I tell you that I was taken sick only a few days after I wrote my last letter to you, and have been ever since, you will excuse me for not writing before. I was taken sick and laid in my tent over a week. I then went to the regiment hospital and in four days after was conveyed to a hospital in Georgetown, D.C. where I remained four weeks. I left my bed last Wednesday, and yesterday I was brought to this place where I expect to remain untill I have fully recovered my health and strength. I have no doubt you have long been looking for your paper, and the Daguerotype, I have had no opportunity to obtain either. I shall not send you my picture till I am somewhat recruited, or I am thin now it would be only a scare-crow.

As I have been away from my regiment so long I have not much news to send you. But I presume you have already heard of the Success of the late naval expedition.  Our troops in connection with the fleet have taken possession of Port Royal and Beaufort in South Carolina (very important points) besides a portion of the rail-road between Savannah and Charleston. This is the most important news I have to send you. You must, and I know you will be kind enough to excuse me the shortness of this letter, as I have half a score of letters received while sick that remain unanswered. I only wrote two while sick and both of those I wrote home. I write you these few lines, so you will know I have not forgotten you.

Write soon and believe me as ever your Sincere Friend                                                                        Matthew Baird

Anapolis, Maryland

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Who’s Matthew Baird?