Blackford Evaluates His Generals

by Fred Ray May 2, 2016

On December 7, 1861, Blackford wrote his father a rather pessimistic letter about the state of Confederate leadership. He is at his pithy best here when he evaluates his division commander, Earl Van Dorn. By the way our Maj. Gen. [Van Dorn] is a sad example of what effect too rapid a rise in the […]

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Harriet Tubman on the $20

by Fred Ray April 27, 2016

As you’ve probably heard, Harriet Tubman is slated to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. This has led to a sort-of debate. I say sort-of, since the issue was decided by the Washington bureaucrats and not the people, whom no one thought to ask. Liberals have hailed the inclusion of a black woman, while […]

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Eugene Blackford letter excerpt November 21, 1861

by Fred Ray April 11, 2016

The excitement of battle quickly died down, to be followed by the unending drudgery of drill, picket, and fatigue details of all sorts. Blackford was taken ill and went home to recuperate, then returned, still very weak, when he heard a battle might be imminent. There was an action at Ball’s Bluff on October 20th […]

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Blackford’s baptism of fire at Manassas

by Fred Ray March 24, 2016

For Blackford, the deciding moment came with the secession of Virginia on April 17, 1861. Like many other Southern Unionists like John Mosby, Jubal Early, and Robert E. Lee, Blackford threw in his lot with the new Confederacy, taking his company, the Barbour Greys, to Richmond. There they were assigned to the 5th Alabama Infantry. […]

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Eugene Blackford letter excerpt March 11, 1861

by Fred Ray March 13, 2016

Once secession of the Lower South was a fact, the seceded states immediately began attempting to expel Federal garrisons and claim United States installations. This was successful except for a few points, most notably Ft. Pickens at Pensacola and Ft. Sumter at Charleston. Alabama and Mississippi both sent troops to assist the taking of Ft. […]

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Eugene Blackford letter excerpt January 14, 1861

by Fred Ray March 3, 2016

In this letter home to his father, Blackford seems to understand better than the politicians what is coming. Although opposing secession, he also opposes coercion by the Federal government. Ere this I suppose you have received the intelligence that Alabama has seceded, and that I am for the first time in my life without the […]

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Eugene Blackford letter excerpt January 5, 1861

by Fred Ray February 28, 2016

I will be periodically posting excerpts from Eugene Blackford’s letters in the next few months, all of which are included in Volume I of my upcoming book (which may still be ordered at a prepublication discount). This letter finds Blackford, a Virginian, in the small town of Clayton, Alabama (near Eufaula) working as a school […]

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