Postwar: Former Union Officer Attacks Confederate Gen. Joe Wheeler August 1865

John Hartwell

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Thanks John.
Note, I corrected Blackburn's first name. It was Joseph. James H. Blackburn was a Lieutenant in the same regiment.

I had this all a bit confused. James H. replaced M. Quinn as 1st Lt. in Co. D, when Quinn was made Captain.
Joseph H. was not previously in the service. He was "Mustered in as Lt. Col. to date from Nov. 26, 1864. Was appointed from civil life."
 
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TerryB

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Well...sounds like a set-up! Send somebody to check if that little guy really is Joe, be sure he's all alone by himself... Seems to me - maybe somebody can correct me if I'm wrong - that the officer who arrested Ferguson was named Blackburn. There's always a WHOLE lot more to these kinds of events than meets the eye!
I've checked all my records and posted all I have here. I know that at one time I had a clipping in which a Capt. Blackburn was mentioned in context with Wheeler. The man was accused of violating his parole after having been captured by Wheeler earlier in the year. It had something to do with Streight's Raid, but that's all I remember.
 

TerryB

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This is an account of Tennessee homegrown Union cavalry that happened in 1864 at the home of indirect ancestors of mine. I'm still trying to locate the account that named the officer who was talked out of burning the house. I think it was Blackburn or Blackwell. I'll keep looking.

http://www.ajlambert.com/history/ct_uf.pdf
 

TerryB

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I think this Col. Blackburn was probably in command of the 4th Tenn Mounted Inf (US). His regiment was tasked with clearing out the guerrillas from the Upper Cumberland area of Middle Tennessee in May 1865.
 

TerryB

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One of the other newspaper articles I read (I didn't take note of it) said that at some time during the war Wheeler had sent a message to Blackburn calling him a "D*mn, homegrown Yankee," and promising that if he captured him he'd hang him on the spot.

Joseph H. Blackburn was Lt. Col of the 4th Tennessee Mounted Infantry. His MSR includes only one reference to the incident:
Capt. Morton Quinn's MSR contains a similar declaration.


NB: BLACKBURN'S FIRST NAME CORRECTED.
You saw this before I did. Just now found it. Now I'm trying to establish his relationship to the Lt. (later) Captain Blackburn of Stokes' 5th Tenn Cav (US) who had Lt. Bob Davis of Terry's Texas Rangers executed on March 15, 1865. The six men killed that day were all members of this regiment and were serving with Wheeler, though cut off from his command. One man escaped that day, John Officer, who later made it back to Wheeler. I can only imagine the tale he had to tell. Captain Blackburn tried three times to set fire to Officer's parents' house, but was talked out of it by a slave who later buried the bodies of the six men killed that day. I have a personal interest in this because I'm closely related to the Officers.
 

John Hartwell

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You saw this before I did. Just now found it. Now I'm trying to establish his relationship to the Lt. (later) Captain Blackburn of Stokes' 5th Tenn Cav (US) who had Lt. Bob Davis of Terry's Texas Rangers executed on March 15, 1865. The six men killed that day were all members of this regiment and were serving with Wheeler, though cut off from his command. One man escaped that day, John Officer, who later made it back to Wheeler. I can only imagine the tale he had to tell. Captain Blackburn tried three times to set fire to Officer's parents' house, but was talked out of it by a slave who later buried the bodies of the six men killed that day. I have a personal interest in this because I'm closely related to the Officers.
I only skimmed through th MSRs on fold3.com. A closer study would. There are quite a few Blackburns in the Tenn. Cav. that need to be sorted out to get a clear picture. Lt. Col. Joseph H. Blackburn was appointed to the 4th Mtd. Inf. "from civilian life" in the fall of 1864, but there was also a Capt. Joseph H. Blackburn, 5th Tenn. Cav., who resigned in May or June 1864, because of "dissatisfaction" with his superiors, and a desire to raise a new company of his own. Very likely the same man.
 

TerryB

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I only skimmed through th MSRs on fold3.com. A closer study would. There are quite a few Blackburns in the Tenn. Cav. that need to be sorted out to get a clear picture. Lt. Col. Joseph H. Blackburn was appointed to the 4th Mtd. Inf. "from civilian life" in the fall of 1864, but there was also a Capt. Joseph H. Blackburn, 5th Tenn. Cav., who resigned in May or June 1864, because of "dissatisfaction" with his superiors, and a desire to raise a new company of his own. Very likely the same man.
Quite possible. The one who resigned from the 5th, a unit already getting bad "reviews" for their poor discipline, is the one who led the 200 man raid against the Officer farm while hunting for Champ Ferguson. Blackwell must have been a bad egg if he was forced out of the 5th. [edit] Blackburn was wounded in the shoulder in the summer of 1863, resigned in June 1864, but was ordered back to duty by Col. Stokes in Jan 1865. That confuses the issue as to whether he could be the colonel of the 4th Mtd Inf.
 
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TerryB

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There is a story told in White County that Blackburn and Ferguson, each with a sizeable body of men, faced off for a fight, by prearrangement, If I remember it correctly. I'll have to look that one up.
 

James N.

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Kudos to Blackburn! I hope he punched him for the damage, pillage, destruction and mayhem Wheeler distributed during HIS March to the Sea. Wheeler probably made Georgia howl as much if not more than good ol' "Uncle Billy".

Some of the Georgia civilians were as afraid of Wheeler's men as they were of Sherman's "bummers", at least as far as pillage and confiscation of property went.
 

TerryB

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Well...sounds like a set-up! Send somebody to check if that little guy really is Joe, be sure he's all alone by himself... Seems to me - maybe somebody can correct me if I'm wrong - that the officer who arrested Ferguson was named Blackburn. There's always a WHOLE lot more to these kinds of events than meets the eye!
AndyHall tells me it was Blackburn who arrested Ferguson, but I'm still not sure whether the Col. Blackburn who assaulted Wheeler was the same one who was forced to resign form Stokes' 5th Tenn Cav (US) "for the good of the service."
 

TerryB

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Some of the Georgia civilians were as afraid of Wheeler's men as they were of Sherman's "bummers", at least as far as pillage and confiscation of property went.
An IG inspection in Jan 1865 cleared Wheeler's men of all such charges. His biographer, Dyer, wrote that every bushwhacker in Georgia claimed to be with Wheeler. The IG did criticize Wheeler for being a poor disciplinarian, and all modern writers on the subject agree. He trained his troops well, drilling them constantly, but that's not the same thing as having them under tight command and control.
 

LBlackburn

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It was indeed Joseph H. Blackburn who had the run-in with Gen. Wheeler. James H. Blackburn was Joseph Blackburn's brother. In fact, they had 2 other brothers who also fought in the war (see below).

William T Blackburn was my GGG Grandfather. Wm survived the war but was wounded in the eye and shoulder and was listed as "very feeble" on a later pension application.

Charles W. Blackburn was killed in the war near LaVergne, TN. Family lore has it that Charles' death was the reason behind the attack on Gen. Wheeler, although I have found no facts to support that.

William Thomas BLACKBURN b: Dec 1835 Maury Co., TN d: Bet. 1910 - 05 Dec 1912
Charles W. BLACKBURN b: 15 Oct 1839 TN d: 07 Apr 1863 in La Vergne, Rutherford Co., TN
Joseph Hayes BLACKBURN b: 03 Jan 1842 Liberty, DeKalb Co., TN d: 15 May 1913 in DeKalb Co., TN
James Henry BLACKBURN b: 1845 TN d: Bef. 02 Jun 1900
 

Pat Young

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It was indeed Joseph H. Blackburn who had the run-in with Gen. Wheeler. James H. Blackburn was Joseph Blackburn's brother. In fact, they had 2 other brothers who also fought in the war (see below).

William T Blackburn was my GGG Grandfather. Wm survived the war but was wounded in the eye and shoulder and was listed as "very feeble" on a later pension application.

Charles W. Blackburn was killed in the war near LaVergne, TN. Family lore has it that Charles' death was the reason behind the attack on Gen. Wheeler, although I have found no facts to support that.

William Thomas BLACKBURN b: Dec 1835 Maury Co., TN d: Bet. 1910 - 05 Dec 1912
Charles W. BLACKBURN b: 15 Oct 1839 TN d: 07 Apr 1863 in La Vergne, Rutherford Co., TN
Joseph Hayes BLACKBURN b: 03 Jan 1842 Liberty, DeKalb Co., TN d: 15 May 1913 in DeKalb Co., TN
James Henry BLACKBURN b: 1845 TN d: Bef. 02 Jun 1900
Thanks.
 
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