Silver Spring in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Blair Family and the Civil War
“I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate and aid said effort to maintain the honor, the integrity, and the existence of our National Union, and the perpetuity of popular government; and to redress wrongs already long enough endured.”
Every member of the Blair family earnestly answered this call to duty.
When President Lincoln filled his Cabinet positions, he appointed Montgomery Blair U.S. Postmaster General. Until his resignation in September 1864, Blair was responsible for ensuring that postal routes remained open in southern post offices still loyal to the Union, as well as facilitating the establishment of free city postal delivery, the adoption of a money order system, and the use of railway mail cars during the Civil War. His placement in the Cabinet was strategic, as Blair was instrumental in keeping Maryland in the Union.
Montgomery Blair, a West Point graduate, had hoped to serve as Secretary of War. Such a title might put him in closer contact with his younger brother, Missouri Congressman Frank Blair Jr., a Union General who actively participated in combat throughout the South, including Sherman's March to the Sea. For his efforts, General U.S. Grant said of Frank Blair,
Throughout his tenure as President, Lincoln relied on Francis P. Blair, Sr. as his “private counselor.” In an attempt to bring the rebellion to an end, “Father Blair” went on an authorized mission to Virginia, twice, to secure a peace treaty from Jefferson Davis. The results of these operations were less than successful: “Francis P. Blair, Sr., returned from Richmond, and brought with him precisely what sensible men expected — that is just nothing.” In his own words, Blair concurred — calling himself a ‘total failure.’
Only a few months after Blair Sr. returned, General Robert E. Lee would surrender in Appomattox and the war would conclude on April 9, 1865. The sweet taste of victory was short-lived as Lincoln was assassinated less than a week later. In her mourning, former First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln sought solace from Elizabeth Blair Lee and her family: “Remember me most truly, to your brother, Judge (Montgomery) Blair, and your dear father & mother & all friends.”
Erected 2015 by History In the Parks, Montgomery County.
Location. Touch for map. In Jesup Blair Park behind (east of) Jesup Blair House. Marker is at or near this postal address: 900 Jesup Blair Drive, Takoma Park MD 20912, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Blair Family and their Silver Spring Homes (here, next to this marker); Silver Spring Experienced by a Mother and Child, 1861-1865 (here, next to this marker); Jesup Blair House (within shouting distance of this marker); William L. Chaplin Arrested! (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Civil War in Silver Spring (about 700 feet away); Original Federal Boundary Stone NE 1 (approx. 0.2 miles away in District of Columbia); Living in Takoma Park (approx. ¼ mile away); The Metropolitan Branch and Takoma Park (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Silver Spring.
Categories. • Politics • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 5, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 303 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on April 5, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.