Portion of Aug. 27th entry, HCP Collection

Aug. 27th 

Today has been cold and rainy.

We were hurried off so quick that some of us could bring neither over-coats nor blanket in consequence of which we suffered considerable with the cold last night.

Not having brought any food with us and not expecting any till late we began to examine the premises around us. In a deserted house upon the hill above us, was found several pounds of pork, half barrel of crackers and some fish, this with a fine lot of potatoes taken from an adjoining building made us quite a breakfast. Between eight and nine o’clock a.m. our overcoats and blankets came with a supply of provisions. Today our pickets were thrown out into the woods for half a mile west of the road and thus were drawn in again at the close of day.

Though we neither saw, nor heard anything of the enemy from our position, still there was considerable sharpshooting done out in the front at Balls cross road, the result of which I have not yet learned.

The skirmish at Ball’s Cross Road between Union and Confederate troops took place August 27th -28th. As indicated, Baird did not participate in this skirmish. Read an account from the New York Times here and a map of the area can be found here.

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Who’s Matthew Baird?

Aug. 26th

Portion of Aug. 26th entry, HCP Collection.

Today I paid a visit to the 4th Mich. Regt.  to see one or two old acquaintances. This is a healthy robust looking regiment. It is stationed at half a mile west of Fort Corcoran and forms a part of Sherman’s brigade. The 4th is at present engaged in building another fort in a commanding situation to the right of their camp. The work has progressed finely since they began. The boys seem to be in good spirits, jovial and full of life. On my return I passed Fort Corcoran, which presents quite a formidable appearance. It is situated on the opposite side of the river from Georgetown and has a command of the town and river, and the road leading down the canal, beside a large range of country to the west. Passing through one or two other camps,and down the canal road I soon arrived in camp.

Going out on picket.

I had not been long in camp before the alarm was given and the 3rd was called out to relieve the picket guard in the advances. This is a pretty particular duty and in this war has thus far proved to be a very dangerous one.

There seems to be so much antipathy existing between the Union and the rebel troops that a sight of each other is temptation enough to draw fire. Quite a number have been killed on both sides in such cases. Company E [Baird’s company] are posted along the road at short intervals in squads of six. While several other companies are thrown out still further in the advance.

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Who’s Matthew Baird?