Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 4.djvu/418

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388   CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

it is said, fallen nearest of all Confederate soldiers to the Federal capital. Sheridan's advance on Winchester, September 19, 1864, found Colonel Blacknall with his depleted regiment picketing the Berryville pike. Although his videttes were captured and his bivouac ridden down at dawn by a division of cavalry, he formed a square and fought his way back to his supports, receiving his death wound on the way. Too severely wounded to be brought off in the retreat, he was left in Winchester and died a prisoner in the enemy's hands. Colonel Blacknall's war career, the salient points of which alone have been outlined, was as picturesque and eventful as that of any other North Carolinian. To courage, the birthright of the Confederate soldier, he added a command of faculty, and sureness of thinking and acting in danger and emergency, possessed by few, and it is certain that no other officer of like rank in the Confederate service had in larger degree the confidence and affection of the men. qwert Richard D. Blacknall, of Durham, a veteran of the artillery of the Confederate States army, was born in Orange county, N. C., in 1846, a son of Richard Black nall, M. D., who was a native of Granville county. The families of both his father, and his mother, Harriet Russell, are among the oldest in the State. The Black- nails settled in North Carolina in the early part of the eighteenth century, and were represented in the revolu tionary war, two of them participating in the battle of Yorktown; and the Russell family was founded in Gran ville county by his great-grandfather, who acquired a large tract of land under a patent from King George III. In 1864, at the age of seventeen years, Mr. Blacknall enlisted as a private in Moseley s battery of light artillery and served at Fort Caswell, at the mouth of Cape Fear river, from April of that year until January 16, 1865. After the fall of Fort Fisher he was one of the garrison which defended Fort Anderson until the ammunition was exhausted, and he subsequently retreated toward Fayetteville. During this campaign he took part in the battle of Town Creek, where his battery was severely handled. The battery was ordered to Danville, Va. , and soon afterward was returned to North Carolina and attached to the reserve artillery of Johnston s army. He was paroled at Greensboro, in the rank of corporal, to