The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 283
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burg to fight for the Confederacy, he and his wife, Susan, agreed
to save all correspondence passing between them. Fortunately,
they did, and the present volume is the result of their fore-
The book consists of his letters with frequent passages inter-
spersed by Susan and, at odd times, notes by their grandson,
Charles Minor Blackford, III. These letters effectively picture
bloody battlefields, the heroes--Jackson, Lee, and Longstreet-
the weariness of marching and countermarching, and the priva-
tion of those at home.
Captain Blackford officered first in the 2nd Virginia Cavalry
and served notably on marches and on picket duty. When a
battle was imminent, however, Blackford usually became ill, and
would remain in bed, so it seems, until the battle was safely
over. In late 1862, he was appointed judge advocate of Long-
street's Corps, a position allowing him greater insight into army
In his comments on Texans, Blackford has only sincere praise.
The soldiers of Hood's original brigade were among the first to come
to Virginia, and there was never a finer body of men or more gallant
soldiers. .. They have been campaigning out here on frozen ground,
many of them with bare feet, . yet there was not a murmur. Their
progress, however, was slow; but when ordered into line of battle
they were quick as if shod with the best and as if there was no snow,
ice and briars to make their cold feet bleed.
He faithfully recorded what he deemed of historical value,
and happily, the letters lack the usually stilted quality of letters
written for posterity. They are human and sympathetic, and
provide a fairly accurate, if not a representative, picture of
Southern life during the Civil War.
This book is, however, a regretfully short and haphazard
abridgement of the author's longer work in two volumes, Mem-
oirs of Life In and Out of the Army in Virginia (1894-1896), of
which only thirty-five copies were printed. Although the abridged
volume has much of the appealing narrative and human interest
element of the parent volumes, it nevertheless leaves much to
be desired. The editing could have been more carefully accom-
plished. Brief biographical sketches of the authors and a map
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/351/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.