Monday, April 30, 2012

1862 April 30 Yorktown, Va.

Yorktown--Bivouac  30th April 1862

Dear Mother,
                       Much to my regret I am not able to
announce my promotion as I had somewhat anticipa
ted--As I had led you to believe that I would be upon the
staff I must explain why I am yet in the company.
Genl. Rodes sent for me two days before our reorganization
which was on the 28th inst. and desired me to run for the
Colonelcy of ours, being knid[sic] enough to say that he a preferred
that I should be the Col. of his old regt. to any other man
in it. This I was obliged to decline as I had been somewhat
compromised with a Capt. in the Regt. who had solicited
my vote & influence, sometime f before. I however an-
nounced my name self as a candidate for the Lt. to
such as questioned me about it, but I found afterwards that
owing to the command being scattered on duty it was not
generally known--My opponent having principles which
would permit him to such a thing canvassed the regt. diligently
making promises here and there &c &c--Of course I would not
do this, tho' I do not blame Capt. Hall, it is considered very
honorable & proper in his country.  Still I would not have
been defeated had he not discovered somehow  that a com-
pany from the  6th Ala. had that morning been transferred
to us & would come over to vote--The vote of this company was
unanimously for him! (?)  and I was defeated by a few votes.
Had Not I been so compromised as to be unable to become
a candidate for the Colonelcy I would have had scarcely
any opposition.  The Capt who was elected tho' a gentleman
was so unfit for it that the men (200 of them) voted for a man
from a nother Regiment.

[page 2]
I don't know whether I ought to blame Capt. H. for going over
and securing the vote of the new company--I may have
been all right--It merely defers my promotion for a
longer period.  I am now the senior Capt. of the Regt. ranking
them all by nearly a 12 months--in case of a vacancy
I rise nolens volens--tho' I am anxious to avoid the
Major's grade, where there is too little to do.   I am completely
broken up now, not a single one of the Old Capts were reelected;
and the new Lieuts are horrible.  Our new staff is of such
a calibre that I am almost the real Col. doing pretty much
as I please.  Our Col. & Lt.Col are good fellows, but perfect
nonentities.  Great regret seemed to be manifest at my refusal
to run for the the chief command.  My men are hugely delighted at
my defeat, tho' every one voted for me.   x    x  the worst
of it is over now.  I think writing home about it worse than any
thing else---   I am now absolutely in rags, being
forced to wear my overcoat at all times, for other reasons
than keeping myself protected from these vile winds--By the
way, we are now at the mid of April and not one sunny day
have we had on this Peninsula,  verily the war sees to
change the course of nature.  It is so cold that I sit over a
fire at noon day--One of my very best soldiers was mortally
wounded in the trenches last night.  He was shot about 2 o'clock
I was up with him until day, there are hopes of his recovery
but that is all.  I sent him to Richmond to day with a good nurse.
A Yankee picket about 500 yards off, and sent the ball close
to my knee, I saw the smoke of his gun, & moved a little which
dub doubtless saved me. There is but little danger from the sharpshooters
if you keep a look out.  They are arrant cowards and never come out
as our men do, who afford them a constant mark.  Best love to all
Your aff son Eugene Blackford.

Eugene Blackford, 1839-1914, Captain, Co. A, 5th Alabama

MSS 6403-k

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