Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BAIRD, Absalom, soldier, born in Washington, Pennsylvania, 20 August 1824. He was graduated at Washington College in 1841 and studied law. In 1845 he entered the West Point academy, was graduated in 1849, and served as second lieutenant in the Florida hostilities from 1850 to 1853. He was promoted first lieutenant 24 December 1853, and from 1853 to 1859 was stationed at West Point as assistant professor of mathematics. In March 1861, he took command of the light battery for the de-fence of Washington, and on 11 May was brevetted captain and appointed assistant in the adjutant-general's department. In July 1861, he served as adjutant-general of Tyler's division in the detente of Washington and in the Manassas campaign, being present at Blackburn's Ford and at Bull Run. tie was promoted captain 3 August 1861, served as assistant adjutant-general and was promoted major 12 November 1861, and served as assistant inspector-general and chief of staff of the fourth army corps in the peninsular campaign, where he was engaged in the siege of Yorktown and the battle of Williamsburg. He commanded a brigade of the Army of the Ohio from May to September 1862, and was engaged in the capture of Cumberland Gap. From October 1862, to June 186;1, he commanded the 3d division of the Army of Kentucky about Lexington and Danville and in the operations of General Rosecrans in Tennessee, being engaged at Tullahoma, the capture of Shelbyville, Dutch Gap, Pigeon Mountain, and Chickamauga. For gallant and meritorious services in the last action he received the brevet of Lieutenant-Colonel. In operations about Chattanooga he commanded a division of the 14th army corps and gained the brevet rank of colonel. He was engaged in the battle of Missionary Ridge, was in numerous skirmishes in pursuit of the enemy in the invasion of Georgia, and was present at the surrender of Atlanta. He was brevetted Major-General of volunteers for services in the capture of Atlanta, in the pursuit of Hood's army and the march to the sea, and the capture of Savannah. He participated in the march through the Carolinas, was engaged at Bentonville and Raleigh, and was present at the surrender of Johnston's army at Durham station. For his services in the Atlanta campaign he received the brevet rank of Brigadier-General in the regular army on 13 March 1865, with that of Major-General for services during the rebellion. He served as inspector-general of the department of the lakes from 1866 to 1868, of the department of Dakota till 1870, of the division of the south till 1872, and subsequently as assistant inspector-general of the division of the Missouri.
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