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After the war, Blinn was chief clerk for two years at the Welden House in St. Albans, Vt. He moved to California in 1868, and for six years was employed with the Wells-Fargo Express Co. In 1875, he became an editorial writer of the “Alta California.” In 1878, he was appointed chief permit clerk in the San Francisco Custom House, a position he held until his death on May 11, 1926. On December 15, 1870, Blinn married Nellie Holbrook of Salem, NH. Nellie (d. 1909) was a suffragist and public speaker, and took the stump for Hayes, Garfield, Blaine, and Harrison. The couple had one son, Holbrook (1872-1928), who pursued a career in acting and performed on Broadway as well as in silent films. In October 8, 1910, Blinn married Vivian Bailey (d. 1944), a grammar school teacher, with whom he had one daughter, Eleanor.
Topics in Blinn’s diaries include the experiences of Union soldiers in camp, on the battlefield, and as prisoners of war in Confederate prisons; the experiences of Southerners in Union-occupied towns, illness and medical practices in the military, and the Battle of Gettysburg.