A Guide to the Papers of the Staige D. Blackford 1939(1942-1946)1949 Blackford, Staige D., Papers of 2170-a

A Guide to the Papers of the Staige D. Blackford 1939(1942-1946)1949

A Collection in
The Special Collections Department
Accession Number 2170-a


Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4110
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© 2002 By the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. All rights reserved.

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Special Collections Department

Special Collections, University of Virginia Library
Accession number
Papers of Staige D. Blackford 1939(1942-1946)1949
Physical Characteristics
This collection consists of ca. 800 items.
Steve White

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

See the University of Virginia Library’s use policy.

Preferred Citation

Papers of Staige D. Blackford, Accession #2170-a, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.

Acquisition Information

The collection was given to the University on September 17, 1975, by Mrs. Staige D. Blackford, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Biographical/Historical Information

Staige Davis Blackford was born December 28, 1898 in Alexandria, Virginia. His mother was Eliza Ambler Blackford, and his father, Dr. Launcelot Minor Blackford, was Headmaster of the Episcopal High School in Alexandria. Staige was educated at Episcopal High School and at the University of Virginia, where he received his B.S. degree in 1923, and his M.D. in 1925. Prior to attending the University Blackford served in the University of Virginia section of the Army Ambulance Service during World War I. While a student at the University he was Captain of the 1923 football team, President of the class of 1925, and a member of several fraternities and secret societies.

Following the completion of his medical studies Blackford joined the staff of the University of Virginia Medical School, where he made several noteworthy administrative and instructional changes in the interwar period. In August, 1927 he married Miss Lydia Fishburne, and they had two children: Staige D. Blackford, Jr., and Linda Harper (Blackford) Wells.

After the Eighth Evacuation Hospital was disbanded in 1945, Blackford returned to teaching at the University Medical School, where he remained until his death July 17, 1949. Among the professional organizations to which Blackford belonged were the Albemarle County Medical Society, the American College of Physicians, the American Medical Association, the American Board of Internal Medicine, and the Board of Trustees of the Episcopal High School.

For further information, see the September 1949 issue of the University of Virginia Medical Alumni Newsletter .

Scope and Content Information

The correspondence and papers of Dr. Staige D. Blackford consist of ca. 800 items for the years 1939(1942-1946)1949 and include a variety of material relating to the Eighth Evacuation Hospital, which Blackford organized in 1942 and which was on active duty for the remainder of the Second World War.

The bulk of the collection is made up of Blackford's personal correspondence with his wife Lydia and children Staige, Jr. and Linda (Blackford) Wells, first from training camps in Pageland, South Carolina, and Ft. Benning, Georgia, and then from various locations in North Africa and Italy. Among the modest number of letters in the collection between Blackford and persons outside his family are letters from Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., and Virginia Governor Colgate Darden. Of particular interest from the North African period are Blackford's impressions of General George Patton, Jr., whom he treated for a temporary illness; his impressions of Casablanca and the North African landscape; his observations concerning French emigre politics are the local French, Jewish and Arab communities. The correspondence from the Italian period contains colorful descriptions of recently liberated areas, including Naples and Rome. Rigid censorship regulations prevented Blackford from describing military matters at all.

Many of the letters from both North Africa and Italy describe the problems of operating a mobile evacuation hospital; the work loads of nurses, medical doctors and surgeons; numbers and types of patients treated. Another recurring theme in the correspondence is Blackford's encouragement of his wife Lydia's active role in organizing blood donations and establishing a Blood Plasma Bank in Charlottesville.

Besides correspondence, the collection contains hospital newletters, newspaper clippings, propaganda leaflets, many Bill Mauldin cartoons, book jackets of Byrd Stuart Leavell's history of the Eighth Evacuation Hospital, a hospital personnel directory, and an edition of the University of Virginia Medical School and Hospital Bulletin. The latter contains an excellent brief history of the evacuation hospital and a copy of the citation for outstanding performance and duty which the hospital received from the Fifth Army. Of special interest in the collection are an account by Staige Blackford of impressions of liberated Russian prisoners of war, and a speech Blackford delivered following the war to the United Daughters of the Confederacy.


The correspondence of this collection has been arranged chronologically and is followed by miscellaneous items including newspaper clippings, newsletters and cartoons.

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