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 received the Medal of Honor for his military actions
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. On November 12, 1861,
Baird was promoted to major in the Regular Army while serving as an assistant inspector general. He became chief of staff to Maj. Gen. Erasmus D. Keyes during the first
part of the Siege of Yorktown, where his service earned him a further promotion to brigadier general of U.S. Volunteers on April 30, 1862, to rank from April 28, 1862.
In April 1862, Baird took command of the 27th Brigade, 7th Division in the Army of the Ohio under Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell. Baird helped secure the Cumberland Gap in
June 1862 under George W. Morgan. He commanded the 3rd Division, Army of Kentucky where his troops faired poorly in the battle of Thompson's Station though Baird was not
personally involved. His troops were present at the battle of the Harpeth River before being assimilated into the Army of the Cumberland. Baird's division became the 1st
Division of Maj. Gen. George Henry Thomas's XIV Corps. It was in this post that he won fame for his heroic efforts at the Battle of Chickamauga and the Chattanooga
Campaign. Baird won a brevet promotion to colonel in Regular Army for Chattanooga. In the Atlanta Campaign, Baird led a brigade charge in the Battle of Jonesborough
which earned him the Medal of Honor. 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.
On January 23, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln nominated Baird for appointment to the brevet grade of major general of volunteers, to rank from September 1, 1864, and
the U.S. Congress confirmed the award on February 14, 1865. On April 10, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Baird for appointment as brevet brigadier general in
the Regular Army, to rank from March 13, 1865, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment on May 4, 1866. On July 17, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated
Baird for appointment as brevet major general in the regular U.S. Army, to rank from March 13, 1865, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment on July 23, 1866.
Baird was mustered out of the volunteer service on September 1, 1866.