Baird was born on December 13, 1839, in Milford, Connecticut. He graduated from Hopkins Grammar School in 1859, and entered Yale University. Despite leaving Yale prior to his graduation to fight in the American Civil War, he received his diploma in 1863, while serving with a Connecticut artillery battery.
Baird served in the artillery until 1864, when he was appointed colonel of volunteers of the 32nd Infantry Regiment U.S. Colored Troops. He reverted to the rank of second lieutenant in 1866, and remained in the army. From 1871 to 1878, he was adjutant to colonel Nelson A. Miles (he later wrote the book "General Miles's Indian Campaigns: On the staked plains."), and served under him in the Nez Perce War. He was promoted to major in 1879, and became Deputy Paymaster General of the army in 1899. He was eventually promoted to brigadier general in 1903, shortly before his retirement.
Baird died on November 26, 1906, in Asheville, North Carolina, and was buried in his hometown of Milford, Connecticut.
Medal of Honor citationEdit
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 5th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Bear Paw Mountains, Mont., September 30, 1877. Entered service at: Milford, Conn. Birth: Milford, Conn. Date of issue: November 27, 1894.
Most distinguished gallantry in action with the Nez Perce Indians.
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