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Blackford, W. W. (William Willis), 1831-1905 | Sargeant Memorial Collection

Name: Blackford, W. W. (William Willis), 1831-1905

Historical Note:

William Willis Blackford was born on March 23, 1831 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He worked as a civil engineer for the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad and later for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Blackford attended the University of Virginia from 1849-1850 to study engineering. He married Mary Trigg Robertson on January 10, 1856 in Richmond, Virginia.

Blackford organized the Washington Mounted Rifles, which later became part of the 1st Virginia Cavalry. He enlisted in the Confederate army on May 14, 1861 and served as lieutenant under the command of Jeb Stuart. Blackford was promoted to captain of Company D, 1st Virginia Cavalry on October 3, 1861. In 1864, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the Engineer Corps. On April 9, 1865, Blackford mustered out of the Confederate army at Appomattox Court House in Appomattox, Virginia.

From 1880-1882, Blackford was a professor of mechanics and drawing at the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College in Blacksburg, Virginia, which later became Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He died on May 1, 1905 in Princess Anne County, Virginia and was buried at Sinking Spring Cemetery in Abingdon, Virginia. In 1945, his memoir War Years with Jeb Stuart was posthumously published.

Norfolk Public Library
Slover Library
235 Plume Street
Norfolk, Virginia 23510
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