Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Lairdland Farm House / War and Romance

Marker ID:  
Location: 3238 Blackburn Hollow Road, Cornersville, TN
County: Giles
Coordinates: N 35° 16.545    W 086° 54.017
  35.27575    -86.90028333
Waymark: None


Here on February 10, 1867, James Knox Polk Blackburn and Mary “Mackie” McMillan Laird were married on the porch of the Lairdland farm house. She was the daughter of Robert H. and Nancy Mildred Gordon Laird, who owned the thousand-acre farm called Lairdland. Blackburn, born in Maury County on February 20, 1837, moved with his parents to Texas in 1856 and taught school there. In September 1861, he enlisted in the 8th Texas Cavalry, known as Terry’s Texas Rangers. He later attained the rank of captain and fought in the battles of Shiloh, Murfreesboro, and Chickamauga, among others.

In September 1863, the 8th Texas Cavalry was assigned to Gen. Joseph Wheeler’s brigade to raid Union Gen. William S. Rosecrans’s supply line in Middle Tennessee and capture his wagon trains between Nashville and Chattanooga. Wheeler succeeded, but his raid ended a few miles northeast of here at Farmington, in a sharp encounter on October 7. Blackburn was wounded, taken to Lewisburg, left with family to recover, and fell into Union hands after Wheeler retreated into Alabama. He was paroled but was unwilling to take an oath of allegiance to the United States. In March 1864, Blackburn was permitted to move from Lewisburg to the vicinity of Brick Church and teach school. While there, he met the Lairds and their daughter. He later rejoined his regiment in time for the last battles of the war in North Carolina. Blackburn returned here afterward, married his sweetheart, and later represented Giles County in the Tennessee legislature. In 1918, he published “Reminiscences of the Terry Rangers,” a lively account of his experiences, in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly. Blackburn died in July 6, 1923.

"If the terms of peace had been left to the men who faced each other in battle day after day, they would have stopped the war at once on terms acceptable to both sides (except the civil rulers) and honorable to all alike." — James K.P. Blackburn

Tennessee Civil War Trails.