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|Abstract||Margaret E. Blackwell of Murray's Ferry, S.C., tended the home front while her husband and sons fought in the Civil War. The collection consists primarily of letters, 1861-1865, received by Margaret E. Blackwell from family members in Pontotoc County, Miss., during the Civil War. Letters discuss home front conditions in Mississippi; the occupation of Fort Sumter; the fall of Vicksburg, Miss.; and the battle at Gettysburg, Pa. Members of the Blackwell family serving in the 2nd Mississippi Regiment and their role at Gettysburg are mentioned. Other letters discuss plantation management, and one letter from 1865 describes the treatment, especially medical care, of slaves and freedmen working on family plantations.|
|Creator||Blackwell, Margaret E.|
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Margaret E. Blackwell of Murray's Ferry, S.C., tended the home front while her husband and sons fought in the Civil War.Back to Top
Primarily letters received by Margaret E. Blackwell of Murray's Ferry, S.C. Her most frequent correspondent was M. J. Blackwell, apparently her brother-in-law, of Pontotoc County, Miss. Other correspondents included her cousin Captain Samuel H. Blackwell and her brother James M. Burgess. Correspondence between family members A. Pinckney Blackwell and E. B. Blackwell is also included.
Letters chiefly contain news of home front conditions faced by the family in Mississippi. M. J. Blackwell described his family's hardships in Pontotoc County, Miss., and related news of the war. Several family members, including Blackwell's children, fought as part of the 2nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment. A 20 February 1862 letter describes the terrible conditions in Mississippi, and M. J. Blackwell laments that there seems to be "no way of saving the Mississippi Valley." In a 8 January 1863 letter, M. J. Blackwell stated that Margaret's husband, M. J.'s brother, was captured. In this letter, M. J. advised Margaret on how to manage the plantation in his brother's absence. A 15 July 1863 letter discusses the surrender of Vicksburg, Miss., and mentions the battle of Gettysburg. More news of Gettysburg and the role of the 2nd Mississippi is included in a letter of 17 July 1863. The condition of Vicksburg is also mentioned. A 30 July 1863 letter relates family casualties at Gettysburg--one member dead and another severely wounded.
Other correspondence includes a letter, 12 March 1861, from Margaret's brother James Burgess discussing the occupation of Fort Sumter by Federal forces. There is also a letter, 28 September 1865, from Margaret Blackwell's family physician to Judge Watson in Holly Springs, Miss., in which the doctor defended Margaret's treatment of the people she enslaved and free Black people working on her plantation after emancipation. Also present is a 12 May 1865 pass to visit Tennessee for a member of the 2nd Mississippi.Back to Top
Processed by: Tim Pyatt, January 1996
Encoded by: Nancy Kaiser, April 2005
Updated by: Laura Hart, June 2021
Funding from the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc., supported the encoding of this finding aid and microfilming of this collection.Back to Top