Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mrs. Blackburn & The Family Cow & General Grant

On February 5, 1863, on a cold winter's day, Catherine Shelby Blackburn, the widow of Dr. David Flournoy Blackburn, after her family’s property had been confiscated; chickens, hogs, and other livestock, with the exception of one good milk cow which had been kept hidden in a small wooded area and was milked everyday, sent her young son out for the evening milking of the cow, but the cow was nowhere to be found. George saw tracks heading toward the Union Camp. Returning home, hungry, cold, and frightened, he reported this to his mother. Reaching her limit with the Union’s forging she decided to pay General Grant a visit.
In the early morning twilight the very gracious and determined Mrs. Blackburn asked to speak to the Commandant and she was ushered into his tent. She told him of her & her neighbors troubles with the activities of his Federal troops and how much the cow meant to her to providing for her family. General Grant was very courteous and listened to her then excused himself and then left his tent. He went to where a big fire had been started and preparations made for the slaughtering of Mrs. Blackburn’s cow and he ordered his troops not to forage her place again. Grant apologized to her and had a soldier to escort her home and the cow returned to the pasture in the woods.
[story related by Mr. George Blackburn, the boy, from “A Place to Remember“, by Georgia Pinkston]

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