Col. J. H. Blackburn, attorney at law and solicitor of claims, was born in 1842 near Liberty, Tenn. He is the third of eight living children of William and Ann (Hayes) Blackburn, the former born in 1808 in South Carolina, and the latter in 1820 in Wilson County, Tenn. The father, when a during man, located near the present college home, Wilson County, where he afterward married. In 1846 he came to Liberty, and continued farming on his farm lately bought, and since 1885 he has lived in Dowelltown, in feeble age. For fourteen years before the war he was constable at Liberty and mail contractor for six years. The mother is also living.
Our subject was educated at Liberty, and in 1861 enlisted in the Federal Army, Company A, Fifth Tennessee Cavalry, and, though but eighteen, immediately elected captain. In November, 1864, he resigned his captaincy, and by order of Gov. Johnson raised a regiment at Liberty, known as the Fourth Tennessee Mounted Infantry, and served as colonel of the same until the close of the war, and was honorably discharged in August, 1865. He was in several battles, the most important of which were Nashville, Chattanooga, Snow Hill and Milton, where he defeated Morgan. He also cleared of guerrillas the counties of White, Putnam, Dekalb and Jackson by capturing Camp Ferguson, after which even rebel sympathizers felt more secure. He is said to have been in 217 engagements, in all of which he was successful. He was wounded at Liberty in a charge by a rifle ball in the left shoulder, and ruptured at Big Harbor. From the former effects he receives $10 a month pension.
Since the war he has practiced some at Dowelltown, and now owns 500 acres of land in Dekalb County, and a house and lot at Dowelltown, and lost $12,000 in real estate on securities.
In 1861 he married Jennie, daughter of Samuel and Cynthia (David) Barger, and born in 1844 in Dekalb County. Their two children are Caledonia (wife of R. Griffith) and Ulysses (a civil officer at Dowelltown). He is a Republican, and is adjutant of the G. A. R. at Dowelltown. His children are both members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and he and wife are professors though members of no church.