Chapter 1: A Final Decision (Part 4/4)

Chapter 1: A Final Decision (Part 4/4)

Alfred approached Peggy’s father with a determined stride and asked if he could speak with him privately in the parlor. The older man nodded slightly and led Alfred to the quiet room, where they both sat. With a deep breath, Alfred asked for the older man’s blessing and the hand of his beloved daughter in marriage.

Blair remained silent, his face unreadable as he rose from his chair and walked to the small whiskey bar. He poured two generous glasses, handing one to Alfred before sitting beside him. Crossing his legs, he looked Alfred in the eye and asked, “Why should I allow my daughter to marry a Union boy? What can you provide that other men in Virginia cannot?”

Alfred met John Geddes Blair’s gaze with a steady, unyielding stare. “You may find other men who do not travel or see what I have and will see.” Shifting in his chair to look Blair directly, Gibbs continued, “You will find other boys who have more money than me. But you will never find another man who can love your daughter more than me or care for her as I can.” Looking into his glass of whisky, the young Captain swirled the bourbon three times, brought the glass to his lips, and drank the contents in a single drink. With confidence found from a place not fully known to Gibbs then, he continued: “Neither can you find another man who can make your daughter be all that she can be. I am a soldier and a warrior, it is true. But facing my own death has taught me the importance of life and being in service to others.” Gibbs stood up, grabed his gloves, and began putting his gloves on. With a slight smile, he added for assurance: “You can go to bed each night knowing that your daughter will be safe in my arms, protected by my heart, and together we will give you grandchildren that will bring honor to your family. That is what assurances I can offer you, sir.”

With a firm and unwavering voice, Alfred asked, “Do I have your blessing, Sir?”

The older Blair studied Alfred’s face for a moment, weighing his words and the conviction behind them. Finally, he stood, extended his hand to Alfred, and said, “You have my blessing, son. Take good care of my Peggy.”

The two men shook hands, sealing their understanding and the promise of a future filled with love, devotion, and loyalty. As the night ended, Alfred left the Blair residence with a heart full of joy, looking forward to the life he would build with Peggy as his wife. They knew the road ahead would be filled with challenges, but together, they were ready to face whatever the future held. 

Alfred married Peggy Forshee Blair of Richmond, VA December 27, 1855. 

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