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Launcelot Minor Blackford, letter

June 28, 1863

"The stores were all closed when we entered the place, but many of them were opened by threats of violent entrance by armed force if it was not done quickly. When opened, guards in most instances--not all--were posted at the door and but a limited number allowed to enter at a time. When we did get in we bought what few things we could find that we wanted with C. S. money. Their prices varied in an advance of from 10 to 50 per cent on old figures, but at this no one complained. At some of the stores the soldiers got in, and not being restrained by a guard, took a good many things without pay. There was, in short a good deal of lawlessness, but not as much as might have been expected under the circumstances. I did not know of more than 6 or 8 stores in all being opened. I secured some needed things, for our messmenage, and for myself a handsome black felt hat, and material for military shirts. To send home I could only get a few dozen spools sewing cotton, superior quality, No's. 16,40, & 24. and some buttons. These are for home and Sister Sue. The stock of dry goods I got at was very meagre. Shoes, gloves, pins, etc. unattainable. I shall keep the interests of the "home department" constantly before me, however. Our whole party re-hatted themselves. We have held court to-day, though Sunday, and I have been very busy: therefore am very tired now. The army is in splendid condition: marches almost wholly without straggling, and is in the highest spirits. Lee is making a bold stroke for peace. Pray that it may succeed.

Your affectionate son
L. M. Blackford.


Name: Launcelot Minor Blackford

Unit: 1st Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, CSA

Document Information

Type: Letter


  • Soldier/Civilian Interaction

Event Location: Chambersburg, Franklin Co., PA

Document Origin: Chambersburg, Franklin Co., PA


Blackford served in the Rockbridge Artillery (Private), in the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia (Clerk in the Military court), and in the 24th Virginia Infantry, “William R. Terry's” Brigade, “Pickett's” division (Adjutant). Following the Civil War, Blackford returned to his pre-war position as a teacher in a high school and, in 1884, married. In 1914, Blackford passed away, leaving his wife and six children to carry on his family’s legacy.


Launcelot Minor Blackford to William Matthews Blackford. June 28, 1863. Valley of the Shadow Personal Papers. Obtained from