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.