Absalom Baird
Personal Information
Born: August 20, 1824(1824-08-20)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: June 14, 1905 (aged 80)
Place of Death: {{{place of death}}}
Nickname: {{{nickname}}}
Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Participation(s): {{{participations}}}
Branch: United States Army
Union Army
Service Years: {{{service years}}}
Rank: Brevet Major General
Service number : {{{servicenumber}}}
Unit: {{{unit}}}
Commands: Inspector General of the Army
Battles: American Civil War
Awards: Medal of Honor
Relations: {{{relations}}}
Other work: {{{otherwork}}}

Absalom Baird (August 20, 1824 – June 14, 1905) was a career United States Army officer who distinguished himself as a Union Army general in the American Civil War. Baird was awarded the Medal of Honor for his military actions

Early life

Baird was born in Washington, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the preparatory department of Washington College (now Washington & Jefferson College) in 1841. He enrolled in the United States Military Academy and graduated in 1849, ranked ninth in a class of 43. From 1852 to 1859, he was a mathematics instructor at West Point, where one of his students was James McNeill Whistler. From 1859 to 1861, he served in Texas and Virginia.

Civil War

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Baird was promoted to brevet captain. He fought at the First Battle of Bull Run under Brig. Gen. Daniel Tyler, and was promoted to brevet major. He became chief of staff to Maj. Gen. Erasmus D. Keyes and fought in the Peninsula Campaign, where his service earned him a further promotion to brevet brigadier general.

In 1862, Baird commanded a brigade in the Army of the Ohio under Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, and helped secure the Cumberland Gap. He commanded a division in Kentucky, and then joined the Army of the Cumberland under Maj. Gen. George Henry Thomas in XIV Corps. It was in this post that he won fame for his heroic efforts at the Battle of Chickamauga and the Chattanooga Campaign. In the Atlanta Campaign, Baird led a brigade charge in the Battle of Jonesborough. He led his division in Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's March to the Sea and Carolinas Campaign. Baird led his division in the Battle of Bentonville in the latter campaign. By the end of the war, Baird had been promoted to brevet major general and permanent lieutenant colonel.

Postbellum career

Following the war, Baird served as commander of the department of Louisiana and then as an assistant inspector general. He was appointed Inspector General of the Army in 1885 as a permanent brigadier general. In 1887, he traveled to France to observe military maneuvers, and was awarded the Légion d'honneur.

In 1896, Baird was awarded the Medal of Honor for leading the charge at Jonesborough.

He died near Baltimore, Maryland, and is buried in section 1, lot 55, at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.[1]

Medal of Honor citation

  • Rank and organization: Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers.
  • Place and date: At Jonesboro, Georgia, September 1, 1864.
  • Entered service at: Washington, Pennsylvania.
  • Birth: Washington, Pennsylvania.
  • Date of issue: April 22, 1896.


Voluntarily led a detached brigade in an assault upon the enemy's works.[2]

See also

32x28px Biography portal
32x28px United States Army portal
32x28px American Civil War portal


  1. Absalom Baird at Find a Grave Retrieved on 2007-11-07
  2. "Absalom Baird, Medal of Honor recipient". American Civil War (A-M). United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved December 8, 2007. 


Template:Start box |- ! colspan="3" style="background: #CF9C65;" | Military offices

|- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Nelson H. Davis |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Inspector General of the U. S. Army
September 20, 1885-August 20, 1888 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Roger Jones |- |}

NAME Baird, Absalom
SHORT DESCRIPTION Union Army general and Medal of Honor recipient
DATE OF BIRTH August 20, 1824
PLACE OF BIRTH Washington, Pennsylvania
DATE OF DEATH June 14, 1905
PLACE OF DEATH Baltimore, Maryland
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