Why so much writing about the Blalocks? I’ll tell you why. I spend a fair number of days working (volunteering) at the Avery County History Museum in Newland. The one thing that I get asked the most about is the Blalocks. People have heard of them, they’ve read about them, they’ve read Stevens’s book about them. Maybe someone is telling folks - "Michael’s at the museum today, go ask him about the Blalocks." Or, maybe people see me and say, "I bet he’s a Civil War buff" (I think I passed the "Buff" stage about twenty years ago!) Regardless, I spend a great deal of time talking about the Blalocks, explaining how to get to their graves, or refuting what is in Rebels in Blue.
We need to have a good book written about their lives. Unfortunately, it would not be as exciting as Steven’s Rebels in Blue. The only primary sources are found in Blalock’s pension record. His family and friends all claim that he was insane and almost an invalid (he received a pension for $72 a month at one time!). So, we have the words of an insane man. Is that good enough to base a book upon?
Oh, and - when an inspector for the pension board showed up to check on Keith Blalock, the "insane man" was not there. He was in Caldwell County trout fishing, by himself.