Wednesday, November 28, 2012

1862 November 29 Lynchburg, Va.

[from the diary of William M. Blackford, bank officer and former diplomat with five sons in the Confederate Army]

Saturday 29  Weather threatening--though
it cleared up at night & moderated
discounted all we could--our portfolio
for the last 6 mos are more than 7 1/2
percent, exclusive of Int on our bonds
which will amt to 3 1/2 more
This is doing well Our discount
line is more larger than any bank
in Richd or in the state I believe--
much surprized by a note from
Sam Miller, the clerk & factotum
of [Beall Stronberger?] in his palmy
days & whose sudden disappearance
gave rise to so many conjectures
at one time.  There was suspicion attach
-ed to him, but I think without grounds.
He settled in Kanawha afterwards studied
law-was highly esteemed and was
making a fortune, when the war
broke out--He was driven from his home
entered our army as Quarter Master
& was a few weeks since elected to
the House of Representatives to fill a
vacancy.  He is a good deal changed
but I should have recognized him
though it is 23 years since I saw  him
last--Many & various calls upon
my time and attention during the
day--At night none of the boys
were at home until late, and I em
-ployed the time in putting the air
pump in order--The glass plate for
the receiver was broke.  Some days
ago I succeeded in drilling a hole
in a piece of plate glass 3/8 " thick
and in cutting it by a diamond
roughly into a circle--I had no dif
ficulty with a coarse file wet with
spirits of wine in [dressing?] the edges
in a third of the time it would have
taken had the disk been metal.  I
set it with cement in the brass
rim and found the pump worked
normally--The effect of spirits of
turpentine thus applied, I have long
known, but have never been able
to explain the modus operandi.
I intend to try whether glass may
not be turned on the lathe---It is
as most important discovery.  I can
cut & work glass by the aid of the
spirits of Turpentine as easily as

MSS 4763

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