Mayor's Message to the Common Council, of the City of Portsmouth..June 30, 1896
A Confederate veteran who lost his left leg in the battle of Davis's Farm, near Petersburg, in 1864, J. Thompson Baird was elected mayor of Portsmouth 12 times, serving continuously except for one term, during which L.H. Davis was mayor. He died of paralysis on May 9, 1905, at the age of 73. The Portsmouth Board of Aldermen and Common Council, in their Resolutions of Respect, described Baird as "kind hearted, generous, and brave...always tempering justice with mercy when mercy was due."