Enos Blair short stores · Uncategorized

Oh, that little devil…


Dear Rosa,

I love a mystery. I don’t write them, I solve them. Yup, you can call me “Detective Sue” – or some other cool moniker like “Cookie”. I had wondered why your grandfather, Louis Blair, would show up in Civil War records as Enos Blais and now I have a pretty good hunch.

He was a jumper.

Shhh – don’t tell anyone.  Jumpers were shot when they got caught.

Let me explain…

The Union sought out and paid bounties to Canadians to fight on their side. Many of these fellows weren’t naturalized and even lived in Canada (the Union recruiters went their to seek them out). They were paid $300 for their service to the Good Old US of A.  I don’t know the numbers, but quite a few of these fellows quickly learned a neat little trick. Sign up in New York, get paid, then scram, only to sign up in Massachusetts under a different name.

Thus, Enos Blais.

If you’re wondering how I made the jump from Louis Blair to Enos Blais – I’ll tell you, all the details of this Enos, from age to children to place of birth line up exactly with Louis Blair (Maybe I should start calling him Louis Blain – because that is his real name!).

So Rosa, there you have it. Your Grandfather was a crafty fellow. I wonder if any of his sons did the same thing?

We are a smart lot, us Blains-

We know how to make money.


14 thoughts on “Oh, that little devil…

  1. Wow, that is a pretty awesome piece of history. Did your history friend help you, cause I would have never known to look for quite literally another alias. Cool!

    1. Nope, found this out on my own. The sad irony is, Louis fought under his father’s name – Enos (which in French was really Ignace), while his son, Louis died in the Civil War. It really helps to understand also, that these French did not read or write – thus, I found Lewis Blair is really Louis Blain and Newell Blair is Noel Blain. All very cool stuff!

  2. Is this true? If so very cool piece of history indeed..I’m sure if I dug hard enough I would find some rather odd secrets in my ancestral closet..

    1. yup. All true. The Union paid a bounty to Canadians to serve on their side. Some were here in the US (like my family), others were recruited in Canada. Good old Louis took his father’s name, Enos, and got paid twice.
      The little rascal…

      1. It comes in bursts now. Will be leaving later this month. I’m expecting one massive emotional roller coaster ride at the airport…I could be wrong, I’m basing it off of the boo-hoo I had after dropping off #2 son. Might have to try out the airport bar.

      2. Oh my dear – you have so much on your plate! Too much, but at least the end is in sight. If you’re like me, you store all that emotion up and release it at the worst possible times. bawling at the airport? Sounds about right. I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
        Sending a hug across the country to you-

      3. Thanks for the hugs and prayers. I’m planning on wearing waterproof mascara….just in case. I’ve got an Amazon image to keep up. hehe 🙂

      1. Thxks sweety. I’ve been super busy lately, yet making time for my blog is a must. Keep up the grrrreat work,I so enjoy reading your work.

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