Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Book - Confederate Daughters

Confederate Daughters: Coming of Age during the Civil War
By Victoria E. Ott
Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, 2008
ISBN 9780809328284


I have just received from the publisher a review copy of what promises to be a fascinating study of young women who lived in the Confederate states and came of age during the Civil War. The author, Victoria Ott, is an assistant professor of history at Birmingham Southern College.

Ms. Ott has examined the lives of 85 young women born between 1843 and 1849 through written records such as diaries and letters. She poses the following questions in her introduction:
  • What did they stand to gain by the Confederacy's success and what did they stand to lose in defeat?
  • How did young women conceptualize their role in the Confederacy as their parents assumed the adult responsibilities in creating the national structure and identity?
  • In what ways did they define their roles according to the rhetorical image of Confederate women and to the reality of wartime circumstances?
  • Did their support for the war, like so many of the older generation of women begin to wane as the conflict took its toll on the communities?
  • Finally, I turn to the issue of war and memory in asking how this generation participated in the creation of Lost Cause mythology.
  • What do their reminiscences of the Confederate experience reveal to us about their worldview in the New South era?

Twenty eight of the young women in Ms. Ott's study were from Virginia, and I will be very interested in how their experiences compare with Betty Herndon Maury's. Betty, of course, falls outside of the age range Ms. Ott has chosen to study, having been born in 1835. Betty was married and the mother of a young daughter when the war began, so her viewpoint is different from that of the younger girls. However, there was another Fredericksburg diarist who does fit into the age range identified by Ms. Ott: Lizzie Alsop, who was born in 1846.

As a side note, a character in Virginia, a novel by Ellen Glasgow, gives a portrait of a woman who came of age during the war, Miss Priscilla Batte, who never married and whose pre-war dreams of her life to come never came to fruition.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve 1862

The following is from Historic Fredericksburg: The Story of an Old Town by John T. Goolrick, published in 1922, describing events of Christmas Eve 1862, after the horrific Battle of Fredericksburg of December 11-13, 1862.

"We spoke of Christmas Eve [1862], when in the long lines of the two camps great fires beamed, voices rose in songs and hymns, and bands played. Late in the evening when dusk had settled, a band near Brompton broke out defiantly into 'Dixie,' and from the Washington Farm a big band roared out 'The Battle Hymn [of the Republic]'. There was a pause and then, almost simultaneously, they began 'Home, Sweet Home,' and catching the time played it through together. When it was done, up from the camps of these boys who were to kill and be killed, who were to die in misery on many a sodden field, rose a wild cheer."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lincoln in Fredericksburg - May 23, 1862

Abraham Lincoln visited Fredericksburg, Virginia on May 23, 1862. The following account was published in the "Christian Banner" newspaper on May 27, 1862 and is taken from page 344 of the memoirs of James Hunnicutt, publisher of said newspaper, a northern sympathizer later run out of town.

"President Lincoln and Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, visited Fredericksburg on last Friday, the 23d instant (May). They rode in a carriage drawn by four fine iron-gray horses. They crossed the Rappahannock River on the canal-boat bridge, and passed up Princess Anne Street to the Farmer's Bank, the head-quarters of General Patrick, where the carriage stopped about five minutes, and then moved off, as we were informed, to visit some camp of soldiers out of the town. A large escort accompanied the distinguished visitors. There were no demonstrations of joy, however, from any of the citizens. If they were met by the Honorable Mayor and Common Council, we have not learned the fact."

Betty Herndon Maury wrote: "Abraham Lincoln was in town on Friday [May 23, 1862]. Our Mayor did not call on him, and I did not hear a cheer as he passed along the streets. The streets are full of wagons and soldiers. "

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 13, 1862

Today, December 13, 2008, marks the 146th anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg. See the National Park Service Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania web page for a listing of events to commemorate this anniversary.

Betty Herndon Maury was not in Fredericksburg during this battle, but she had first hand accounts from those who did remain here, and she recounted what she had learned in her entry of December 28, 1862.

Monday, December 8, 2008

1884 - Will tries for Washington District Attorney

In a continuing quest for information about the post-war lives of Betty and William Maury, I have learned that in 1884 Will was on what we would now call the short list of potential nominees for the position of District Attorney for Washington, D.C. In a New York Times for January 17, 1884 Will is labeled a "Bourbon Democrat", a term defined in a Wikipedia article as having been "used in the United States from 1876 to 1904 to refer to a conservative or classical liberal member of the Democratic Party, especially one who supported President Grover Cleveland in 1884-1896. . . Bourbon Democrats represented business interests, supported banking and railroad goals, . . . opposed imperialism and U.S. overseas expansion. . . "

The New York Times article goes on to say that Maury’s nomination was opposed by the senators from Virginia, William Mahone and Harrison H. Riddleberger, who considered Maury to be of "aristocratic birth and surroundings". Mahone and Riddleberger supported the then current District Attorney, George B. Corkhill.

The Washington Post for January 22, 1884 reported that the name of Augustus S. Worthington had been sent by President Chester Arthur to the Senate for confirmation to be the successor to George Corkhill as District Attorney.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mr. Gales' Dog

I am reading again Sara (Mrs. Roger) Pryor's memoirs, Reminiscences of Peace and War. Mrs. Pryor begins by describing Washington City, as Washington DC was known then, as she knew it in the 1850s. It is a wonderful social history, and I wish I knew whether she and the Maurys knew each other then. Matthew Fontaine Maury moved his family to the Naval Observatory in 1842. His daugher Betty, of course, would have been only 15 in 1850, so it is unlikely she and Mrs. Pryor would have known each other socially. Nonetheless, the descriptions of Washington, both the physical city and the social scene, are interesting for the perspectives they provide.

I offer the following from page 4.

"If one's s steps tended to the neighborhood of 7th and D streets, nothing was more probable than a meeting with one of Washington's most noted citizens, -- the superb mastiff of Mr. Gales, the veteran editor of the National Intelligencer, as the dog gravely bore in a large basket the mail for the office. No attendant was needed by this fine animal. He was fully competent to protect his master's private and official correspondence.

"He had been taught to express stern disapprobation of Democrats; so if a pleasant walk with him was desired, it was expedient for members of that party to perjure themselves and at once announce: 'I am an "Old-Line Whig," old man,' and the dog's tail would wag a cordial welcome."

Now that extract struck a chord with me. I have just lost my wonderful golden retriever Adam to old age. I have no doubt Adam could have done all that Mr. Gales' dog is said to have done, even down to understanding that the term "Old-Line Whig" was cause to smile and wag his tail.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

John Paul Jones


The John Paul Jones house at 501 Caroline Street in Fredericksburg.




Friday, October 17, 2008

Rodman the Keeper by Constance Fenimore Woolson

Once again I recommend to those who are interested in fiction of the American Civil War the short story by Constance Fenimore Woolson called "Rodman the Keeper". It is well worth reading.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Jane Beale house



Another Fredericksburg diarist was Jane Beale who lived at 307 Lewis Street. Here is her house as it appears today, in 2008. Jane's diary spans the years 1850 to 1862.

Maury home site in Fredericksburg



Matthew Fontaine Maury and his family lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia up to 1842 when they moved to the National Observatory in Washington, D.C. The Maury home was located on Charlotte Street. It is no longer there, but a stone marks the site. The stone is flush to the ground near the post office parking lot.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Betty and Will in Richmond

The Richmond Dispatch for January 9, 1903, in an obituary reporting the death of Betty Herndon Maury (available at the Library of Congress Chronicling America web site) relates the following information about Betty and her husband Will: “Mrs. Maury was born in Fredericksburg, Va. and went with her father and mother to Washington in 1842. She lived at the national observatory of which her father was superintendent until the breaking out of the war. . . . When the war commenced [Betty and Will] came to Virginia and lived in Richmond where her husband was a member of the law firm Page & Maury. In 1878 they moved to Washington, where she died.”

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Best Sellers 1862

The Victorian Web has a list of best selling novels in the years 1862 to 1901.

1862

Margaret Oliphant's The Doctor's Family
Margaret Oliphant's The Last of the Mortimers
Henry Kingsley's Ravenshoe
Ouida's Held in Bondage
Margaret Elizabeth Braddons's Lady Audley's Secret
Bulwer-Lytton's A Strange Story (serialised in AYR) first-person narrative
Harrison Ainsworth's The Lord Mayor of London
Anthony Trollope's Orley Farm
Wilkie Collins's No Name (3 vols).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ellen Herndon Arthur - Betty's cousin

Ellen Lewis (Herndon) Arthur was Betty Herndon Maury's cousin. Ellen's father (William Lewis Herndon) and Betty's mother (Ann Hull (Herndon) Maury) were brother and sister. Ellen married Chester Alan Arthur in 1859. Chester Alan Arthur became 21st President of the United States in 1881 following the death of President James Garfield. In 1882, President Arthur appointed Betty's husband, William Arden Maury, Assistant Attorney General.



Ellen Herndon Arthur




Chester Alan Arthur in 1859

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ebbitt House - Washington DC



In the memoirs of William Arden Maury, Collections and Recollections, he mentions that he and his family lived at The Ebbitt House. He doesn't say when they lived there, other than to say "After coming back to live in Washington . . ." It seems that this is where he and Betty lived after the Civil War, although I have not yet been able to document when they returned to Washington. The Ebbitt House was located at 14th and F Streets Northwest, now occupied by the National Press Club. They later moved to 1767 Massachusetts Avenue, a house which was razed in the 1920s to be replaced by office buildings.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Winchester, Virginia - Handley Library


This is the public library in Winchester, Virginia. Unfortunately, this photo does not do justice to the beauty of the building. Winchester is a small town, a population of under 24,000, so to find such a building there was surprising. Loving libraries as I do, I wanted to see the inside, and it too was beautiful.




Sunday, September 14, 2008

George Mason



Continuing with the theme of sculptured figures at eye level, where one can get a better feel for the person depicted, I offer this photo of the sculpture of founding father George Mason at the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. I have visited his home in Virginia, Gunston Hall.

This is the river entrance of Gunston Hall. The house feels hospitable to me, warm and friendly. On the property there is a small family cemetery, the final resting place of George Mason, his wife Ann, and other family members. I was moved by the inscriptions recording the deaths of James and Richard Mason who died at the age of six weeks in 1772, to be followed by their mother's death three months later.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Abe and Tad Lincoln in Richmond



Inspired by a photo of a figure of John Cabot in Bristol, England at Random Distractions, I offer a photo of Abe and Tad Lincoln at the Treadegar Iron Works in Richmond, Virginia. They visited Richmond in April 1865 after the end of the American Civil War and just 10 days before Abe Lincoln was assassinated.

A Walk in Fredericksburg


The Toll House on Sophia Street


Circuit Court House on Princess Anne Street.

After a stressful week at work, I decided to devote today to relaxing activities. I went for a walk in Fredericksburg, which I always enjoy. In spite of the horrors of war which took place on the streets of this charming little town during the American Civil War, there is a sense of peace here which I would not expect, given the sense of unease I have always experienced in Manassas, another area which also experienced two horrendous Civil War battles.

The second photo above shows the Circuit Court building on Princess Anne Street. It was built in the 1850s and was designed by the same architect who designed the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, DC, and St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.

I went into Riverby Books on Caroline Street where I bought Barren Ground by Ellen Glasgow and another copy of In This Our Life by the same author. I then took a picnic to the City Dock at the end of Sophia Street where I ate, started reading In This Our Life, and reveled in the peace of the Rappahannock River. George Washington's boyhood home, Ferry Farm, is across the river not far from City Dock; and there is a house across Sophia Street from the dock which was the toll keepers house in centuries past.
Re-reading the beginning of In This Our Life reminded me of how important trees seem to have been to Virginians of the 19th century. There is a wonderful movie version of this novel starring Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland. It is shown on Turner Classic Movies from time to time, and it is well worth watching.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Blog Worth Visiting

One of the great joys of the internet is being able to connect with others around the world. One of my favorite blogs is called Random Distractions. A "bookish blog" from England, it is a meeting place for many who enjoy English literature, both past and present. It also sports beautiful photos of places I will probably never be able to visit in person, most recently of Lyme Regis which I associate with Jane Austen.

Betty and Will After the War

The House on Caroline Street has now finished publishing the online version of Betty Herndon Maury's Civil War diary. I have begun doing research to annotate the diary and have had a wonderful time chasing down facts and checking the reliability of the information Betty was getting about battles.

I am especially looking for information about Betty's life after the war. She and Will moved to Washington DC at some point. It's a bit difficult to pin down exactly when they moved there, as the Washington Post (the source of much of my post-war information about Betty and Will) did not begin publishing until 1877. I do know that they lived at 1767 Massachusetts Avenue in Washington. The house no longer exists, having been torn down to make way for office buildings.

It was surprisingly difficult to learn where and when Betty died. When my efforts failed, I turned to the reference section of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, and they were eventually able to locate a death notice for Betty. She died in January 1903. The death notice referred to her as "a woman of forceful character and intellect", which brought a smile to my face. Now who do you suppose supplied that description?

The death notice did not say where Betty was buried, but once again thanks to the wonderful reference section at CRRL I learned that Will is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington. Believing there was a good chance Betty would be buried near her husband, I went to the cemetery and found their grave. Nannie Belle was there too! Nannie Belle never married. She went on to write some articles for Cosmopolitan Magazine. At some point she moved to an apartment building in Washington, also now gone.

That's where I am in my research. I will update the blog from time to time with more information about Betty, Will, Nannie Belle, and Alice, the baby born to Betty after the conclusion of the diary.

In addition, though, I am going to devote space in the blog to other things, beginning with the Virginia novelist Ellen Glasgow.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - February 18, 1863

February 18th [1863]

Cousin Hite and Mr. McGruder scarcely speak to us. They have never asked where we are going or what we intend to do or expressed the slightest interest in us. It is all a mystery we cannot imagine what has caused the change.

I have written to aunt Betsey Woolfolk telling her of our troubles, of how homeless and forlorn I feel and asking then to let me come there as a boarder. Of course Will will have to stay in town.

[Note in another person's handwriting: Repeats part of the last two entries, then goes on to say: The lady that presented the diary to the Library of Congress Mrs. James Parmelee - the daughter of Betty Herndon Maury - was born in 1863. Her mother, Mrs. Maury, was expecting to be confined when she stopped writing in her diary - in 1863.

Alice Maury (Parmelee) was born in Charlottesville, Va. She died in Washington, D.C. 1940 (Sept.) -- Her husband James Parmalee died in April 1931, leaving her an estate valued at $2,998,911.00 Her father became Judge W. A. Maury.]

End of transcription of the Diary of Betty Herndon Maury.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - February 17, 1863

February17th [1863]

Will received a written notice from Mr. McGruder yesterday to leave at the end of the month. It is a great surprise and mortification to us. We have had no falling out, no difficulty with him or cousin Hite -- or any one in the house. everything has been smooth and pleasant up to this time. I had had an express understanding with her that we were to remain until after May. It was at her suggestion that I engaged a nurse, and with her consent that I brought the furniture here from Fredericksburg and now when Richmond is crowded to excess and it is impossible to get comfortable -- even decent lodgings at any price for us to be turned out of doors. No one will be willing to take us when told that I expect to be confined in a month or two. It is most unchristian and uncharitable treatment.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - February 15, 1863

February 15th [1863]

Another letter from Papa of the 29th December [1862]. He is rejoicing over our Fredericksburg victory, has just received the first Yankee accounts of it and even they admit [crossed out: that they have sustained] a great defeat. His letters have to be so guarded and constrained that they are unlike him. He speaks of Mama as his friend and all of his children as Mr. and Miss. Speaks of them as his her children and not his. I know how hard it goes with him to write in that way when his heard is overflowing with love and affectionate anxiety for us all. Says Matsy is an unspeakable comfort to him, that he is a little man and a gentleman.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - February 12, 1863

February 12th [1863]

We have received letters from Papa from London of dates to the 20th December [1862]. He did send us a large case of goods by the Princess Royal. It cost between three and four hundred dollars in gold and is worth nearly four times as much in our money. If we had lost as much two years ago I would have thought it a great calamity but now we see and feel so much real trouble that we cannot let the loss of a few dollars trouble us much especially when we hear that all of our dear ones are safe and well. The loss will fall heaviest on Papa. Many of the things were Christmas gifts from him. Bless his heart. I think more of his disappointment than of ours. He writes in low spirits does not know where we all are, has not heard from home since he left – and sees no prospect of his return before the end of the war. He seems to be full of anxiety about Dick and Dave. Says he has no fears as to their gallantry in their devotion to the cause but that he does feel nervously anxious about their personal welfare.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - February 1, 1863

February 1st [1863]

The Princess Royal, an English vessel, was captured a few days ago while attempting to run the blockade into Charleston. The papers say that the Captain escaped with valuable dispatches from Commander M. F. Maury. I hope he has letters for us. We fear that Papa sent us a box of goods by the same opportunity. We all gave him commissions to execute in England.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - January 31, 1863

January 31st [1863]

Mrs. De Jarnette of Caroline has been on a visit to Washington (saw the blockade of the Rappa[ha]nnock at night) and through the influence of some Yankee friends was allowed to return with a quantity of baggage!! She brought a trunk from Mother containing things for cousin Sally, cousin Martha and myself. There were 25 pairs of shoes in the trunk and about twenty dresses and many other things too numerous to mention We sent mother lists of what we most needed last summer and she has just been able to get us the things. She sent Nannie Belle a Christmas gift of the most beautiful crying doll I ever saw. It was dressed in white with red ribbon trimmings and red shoes and a red riding hood on.

Judge Hallyburton has allowed Will two thousand dollars for his services as Receiver while he was in Fredericksburg. It is a great comfort to feel that we have that much ahead and owe no man anything.

We see through the Yankee papers that Papa and Matsy have reached England in safety. I miss Papa so much. I miss his [crossed out: presence] guiding influence and advice in the family even though we were not always with him.

Cousin Lewis, and several other Navy officers have been sent to England, we believe to take command of the vessels that our Government is fitting out there.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - January 30, 1863

January 30th [1863]

Mama and the children are boarding at the Old Mansion with Mr. White. Cousin Sally [crossed out: and the children] is there too.

I’ve been very busy lately getting some of Mama’s furniture down from Fredericksburg and trying to fix up our room more comfortably. We have the back parlour and cousin Hite had no chamber furniture to put in it except a bedstead and washstand. I have added a bureau, wardrobe, lounge and some other little things which make it look much more comfortable and home like.

If I live until next May I expect to have another little baby. Cousin Hite has been very kind in expressing her willingness to have me here then and to do what she can for me. I told her how grateful I felt and how highly I appreciated her kindness.

Our board here is two hundred dollars a month!! but that is less than we would have to pay at any boarding house in town.

I do not know where the money is to come from to meet all our additional expenses in the spring. But the Lord will provide I feel sure. Will gets a little employment here sometimes through his friend Mr. Ould but nothing permanent or constant.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - January 27, 1863

January 27th 1863

After repeating her prayers last night, Nannie Belle said “Mama does God make the angels stop singing and playing on their harps to listen to me?”

Her aunt Eliza told her the other day that we were all made of dust. She wanted to know this morning if God kept shapes of children and babies to put the dust in and make them.

She is the most singularly nervous child I ever saw. A band of music is a perfect terror to her. She shrinks from going out and is afraid to go to sleep for fear of dreaming bad dreams. God bless my precious child and make her strong and well soon. I see more and more plainly every day by how slender a thread her life hangs.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - December 28, 1862

Richmond December 28th 1862

It has been nearly three months since I wrote in my diary, and how much has happened since then.

Papa and Matsy succeeded in running the blockade on the 12th of October. They wrote from Bermuda, and sent us a box of shoes from there. We have since heard, through the Yankee papers, of their safe arrival in England.

I came down here the first of November to make Will a visit of a week or two.

On the 19th of November the whole Yankee army moved down and occupied the heights opposite Fredericksburg. Our forces fronting them on this side of the Rappannack [Rappahannock].

In a few days Gen' Burnside gave notice to the women and children to leave the town that he would shell it in sixteen hours.

Mama and the children came down in a calico car and were put out at Milford Depot with five hundred others. The kind and hospitable people of Carolina sent their carriages and wagons to the cars for the refugees and opened their houses to them. Uncle Jourdan had upwards of thirty at his house.

The sick and aged were brought out of town on beds. Mrs. Randolph had a baby but two days old when she was moved. The scene at the cars is described as very touching.

On the 13th of December [1862] God blessed us with a great victory at Fredericksburg. Upwards of eighteen thousand of the enemy were killed. We lost but one thousand. Even the Yankees acknowledge it to be a great defeat.

The battle took place in and around the town. The streets were strewn with the fallen enemy, the houses were broken open, sacked and used for hospitals, and their dead were buried in almost every yard.

Dr. Nichols was there – came as an amateur with his friend Gen’ Hooker – he occupied Uncle John’s house (where his wife has been most hospitably entertained for weeks at a time) drank up Uncle J’s wine, used his flour and ate up Ellen Mercer’s preserves.

I cannot find words to express my disgust and horror of the man who is so lost to all sense of delicacy, and so cold blooded and heartless as to come – not at the stern call of duty, [but for the love of it - underlined] – to gloat over the desolated homes of people whom he once called friends, and who are relations and [friends - crossed out] connections of his wife’s.

Mr. Corbin was here last night and gave us some account of the appearance of things at home. Almost every house had six or eight shells through it, the doors are wide open, the locks and windows broken and the shutters torn town. Two blocks of buildings were burned to the ground. Our house was used as a hospital. Mr. Corbin says every vessel in the house even the vegetables dishes and cups are filled with blood & water – there are large pools of gore on the floor. The table in the parlour was used as an amputating table and a Yankee (Byron Pearce of N.Y.) is buried at the kitchen door.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - October 11, 1862

Saturday October 11th [1862]

During the siege of Vicksburg our Commander wanted flannel cartridge bags for his big guns, they were useless without them. He sent to the stores but there was not a yard to be had. He then made an appeal to the men of the city to give their flannel shirts. The women heard of this and in a few hours had [crossed out many] several hundred cartridge bags ready, made of their flannel petticoats.

Received letters from Papa to day. He says they are to take out carrier pigeons, and if they get safely past the blockading squadron a paper with "all safe" on it will be tied round the necks of the birds, they will be let loose and will return to their cotes in the city.

Capt Steadman, our old neighbour and friend, commands the blockading squadron at Charleston.

A law has lately passed in Congress providing for a permanent Court martial for each of our armies. Will is applying for the appointment of Judge Advocate of one of them.

Have had another great battle at Corinth. It lasted three days, the 2nd, 3d, & 4th. We were defeated. Gen' Maury's Division suffered the most. No particulars are known yet. I wish we could hear from Johnny.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - October 8, 1862

Wednesday. October 8th [1862]

Received a letter from Papa and Matsy to day of the same date as the telegram. Matsy says "You just ought to be down here to see how active Pa is getting. The other day he had to climb down a rope to get on board ship, and he swung off and climbed down just like a boy."

Will spent the last two days with me. He has been in Carolina attending to some business for Uncle Jourdan.

I fear Will is neglectful about trying to get employment. In his letter to day Papa speaks of two laws that have passed lately, one for the increase of the signal corps and one providing for a Judge Advocate for each of our armies. either of which would suit W [illegible crossed out] particularly well, and this is the first he has heard of them.

Our army is at Winchester, and McClellan is on the south side of the Potomac near Harpers Ferry.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - October 2, 1862

Thursday October 2nd [1862]

Papa has not sailed yet. The Hero made two attempts to get out and failed. The second night she got aground. Papa and Matsy returned to Charleston in a row boat. Were out from 11 o'clock till 3. Our sentinels fired on them. Matsy heard the bullet and dodged.

Papa wrote us that he had decided to send M back. I telegraphed to him to take me. He replied that there were no accommodations for me, and that he had decided again to take M. They were to go to Bermuda. Do not know when they will sail.

This delay greatly increases the danger for the enemy will hear of his going and use every endeavour to catch him.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 29, 1862

Monday September 29th [1862]

Have just received a letter from Papa dated Charleston 24th. He expected to sail that night in the 'Hero' a British steamer. Matsy writes too, and sends Ma a lock of Papa's hair. If the enemy does not catch them they will land at Halifax and take the first English from New York.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 27, 1862

Saturday September 27th [1862]

There was a bloody battle at Sharpsburg in Maryland on the 17th. We remained upon the field for twenty four hours after the fight and then recrossed to this side of the Potomac. We cannot understand why. [Crossed out: The next day a] All of the forces on both sides were engaged in this battle.

On the 19th a division of the enemy crossed over to Shepherdstown. Jackson captured or killed the whole of them. The Potomac was dammed up with their bodies.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 21, 1862

Sunday. September 21st [1862]

My dear husband went down to Richmond this morning. He has made another application for a commission in the army and has gone to further it as much as he can.

I wish I could be more patient and gentle. I have so much to regret and repent of when he leaves me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 19, 1862

Friday 19th September [1862]

Dick and Sue have been staying at Mr. Harts. They came here to day to spend some time with us.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 18, 1862

Thanksgiving Day, September 18, 1862
For more on why this day was called Thanksgiving Day, see Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations.

[A newspaper clipping has been pasted in the diary here but is unreadable in the copy the transcriber is working from.]

Since our President issued this eloquent proclamation we have still more to be thankful for. On Monday the 15th eight thousand of the enemy surrendered at Harpers Ferry. We have taken that place with all the arms ammunition, commissary and ordnance stores accumulated there.

[ The following sentence was crossed out in the original: God be praised. We have driven all the Yankees out of Virginia except a few in the "Pan handle".]

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 15, 1862

Monday 15[th September 1862]

We were all together once more for a few days last week -- all but my dear Johnny. He is in Tupello with cousin Dabney.

Papa and Matsy left this morning for Richmond. They expect to sail for England in a week or ten days. Papa is not ordered on any very important duty.

I am afraid Will will not be able to resume his duties as Receiver here. This part of the country is in too unsettled a state now.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 14, 1862

Fredericksburg. Sunday 14th [September 1862]

We came up yesterday with Dick and Sue.

Our army has crossed the Potomac!! Lee's headquarters are at Frederick city. The joy and enthusiasm of our soldiers at getting into Maryland is beyond description. They crossed near Leesburg, fording waist deep. The Maryland regiments went first singing "Maryland -- My Maryland" and when they reached the other shore the bands struck up Dixie.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 11, 1862

Thursday 11th [September 1862]

Dick and Sue arrived here tonight on their way up to Fredericksburg.

Have been in bed for the last three days with violent toothache.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 7, 1862

Sunday, September 7th [1862]

Papa and Mama arrived here yesterday and left this morning for Fredericksburg. Uncle Jourdan and aunt Betsey are so kind and hospitable. They loaded the carriage down with potatoes, tomatoes and peaches for them all at home.

Will and I hope to go up the middle of this week. He has some business to attend to for Uncle Jourdan and Mr. White, and as soon as that is done we will go

Monday, July 14, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 31, 1862

Sunday August 31st [1862]

Papa writes me, as a profound secret, that he is going abroad as soon as he gets his children out of Fredericksburg. He wants no one to know it until he is gone, for fear the Yankees will catch him. He talks of taking Matsy with him. I hope he will take me. I can be of more service.

I fear the children will not be able to get out of Fredericksburg.

I’ve been deep in the mysteries of wool dying, spinning and weaving lately. Am trying to have the cloth made for a suit of winter clothes for Mr. Maury.

Cousin Anne Morris says she would like to see Mother’s shocked look when he makes his appearances in Washington in a home spun suit and a home made hat. Aunt Betsy replied “Well she oughtn’t to look shocked, she ought to think he has a jewel of a wife to be able to turn her hand to such things when necessary.”

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 24, 1862

Old Mansion August 24th [1862]

Mr. White moved his family down here about two weeks ago. His home is within the enemies lines and they were making constant depredations upon him. All of his negroes except one old woman have left him.

Nannie Belle and I came here to day to spend a week or ten days.

I am at a loss what to do, or where to go when I leave here. I cannot afford to board in Richmond, and I shrink from going to the Bowling Green tavern without a friend.

I begin to feel anxious too about my winter wardrobe. Nannie Belle and I left Fredericksburg in a buggy with one small trunk of summer clothes. I expected to go back in a month or two and now I have not one article of winter clothing, and no chance of getting any that I can see. But the Lord will provide. Matt. 6 chap. 25 to 34 ver.

The approach of cool weather increases my longing for a home. Oh that my husband had some employment, and we could be together in a happy home of our own again once more. My heart aches for a home.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 22, 1862

Friday August 22nd [1862]

McClellan and his whole army have evacuated the James river. Part left in transports, the remainder marched across the county to Fortress Monroe. It is supposed they are all going to Fredericksburg. Both sides are concentrating there rapidly.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 18, 1862

Monday August 18th [1862]

Hurrah for domestic manufactures, and a fig for the Yankees. We can do without them. Have just completed a hat of plaited wheat straw for Mr. Maury. I made it every bit myself and it looks elegant. I’ve been hard at work on it for the last three days.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 15, 1862

Friday August 15th [1862]

My dear husband spent last Tuesday and Wednesday with me. The visit was so short it hardly repaid me for the pain of parting.

Jackson had a battle on the with a part of Pope’s army near Culpepper C.H. He drove them back and captured 400 prisoners, 3 colors, and 5,302 small arms.

General Burnside with all of his army is in Fredericksburg.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 11, 1862

Monday August 11th [1862]

Last week General Stewart with fifteen thousand men made a raid to within three miles of Fredericksburg. He captured ninety odd prisoners. It is a significant fact that there were officers among them.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 4, 1862

[Monday] August 4th [1862]

Children take much more notice of grown persons conversation than we suppose they do. Nannie Belle and Sally Woolfolk were playing ladies the other day. Sally dressed herself up in the babies musquito net for a shawl and came to call upon Nannie Belle.

Sally – “Good morning, ma’am, how are you to day?”

N.B. – “I don’t feel very well. All my niggers have run away and left me.”

I heard Nannie Belle say to Sally a few days ago, “Upon my word an' honour Sir there are no letters and papers in this trunk atall." She remembered what I had said to the Yankee officer on our way out of Fredericksburg.

Since Gen’ Pope’s wicked order Mr. Randolph – our secretary of war – has issued a retaliatory order that all commissioned officers of Pope’s army that are taken prisoner shall not be treated as prisoners of war, but put in irons and held as hostages for our citizens that have been arrested in Fredericksburg and the neighboring counties.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 2, 1862

Saturday August 2nd [1862]

Jourdan Roper came down last night with his father’s horses. The Yankees were at the Bowling Green. Early this morning Mr. John William prepared to start with twenty five of the best negroes and some of the horses. He told the servants he was going to take them to Hanover and sent them to get their clothes. But while we were at breakfast every one ran off. It is touching to see the distress of those that remain. Patsy’s only son, and all of Dunmore’s children left. He was sent out this morning to try to find them, and tell them to come back, that their master would not send them away. He returned this evening and told us, with the tears streaming down his cheeks, that he could not find one. Three of the women left young babies. There are nine little children left motherless.

Two of the servants came back since night. The rest we suppose have gone to the Yankees. Mrs. John William tracked them above the Bowling Green.

We have heard no more of the Yankees.

Got a letter from Mr. Maury yesterday evening. Papa and Mama are in Richmond. They are very uneasy about the rest of the family in Fredericksburg since Gen’ Pope’s order. Papa wants to get them away from there. He has written to Gen’ McClellan about it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 30, 1862

Wednesday July 30th [1862]

General Pope has issued an order requiring all male citizens within his lines to take the oath of allegiance, or to leave his limits under penalty of being shot if they return. The Yankees have also passed a new confiscation bill seizing the property of all who refuse to take the oath.

Uncle Jourdan was prepared to run this morning with the larger portion of his negroes, horses and other valuables but has concluded to wait a few days and see if ‘Stone Wall’ Jackson will not whip Pope in that time.

We have to be very cautious and careful in speaking of these things, for if the negroes had any suspicion that they were to be carried away they would run off.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 29, 1862

Tuesday July 29th [1862]

My husband is thirty years old today. God grant him many happy returns.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 27, 1862

Uncle Jourdan’s Sunday July 27th [1862]

Aunt Betsy, Nannie Belle and I went to Dr. Morris’s last Tuesday. I went on to Richmond to bring Mr. Maury back that we might make a little visit together. I took him completely by surprise. He did not know me. The day after my arrival in Richmond we heard that the enemy had made another raid upon the Central Road and had sent a scouting party to within a few miles of Dr. Morris’s. Mr. Maury thought it would be running a risk for him to go to that neighbourhood, so he persuaded me to stay with him ‘till Friday.

Cousin Lucy P. returned to Dr. Morris’s with me and we all came back here to day.

Had to cross a river in a little row boat on my way down to Richmond. When we got to the river we found that the boat was on the other side. So Mr. Williamson (to whom I had just been introduced) requested me to go back into the woods while he swam across and got it. I did so, and he called me when he was ready.

Papa only got off to Albemarle last Monday. He has been detained in Richmond on a Court Martial. I was much disappointed not to see him . . . but comforted myself by thinking what a happy time he and Mama and Mr. & Mrs. “Major” are having together.

Dick and Sue were married on the 17th. They had great trouble about the license. D. had to send his servant up to Fredericksburg to get her guardians certificate that she was of age before he could get it.

Lincoln has appointed Gen’ Pope as commander in chief of all the forces around Fredericksburg and in the Valley of Virginia.

The ladies of Fredericksburg have sent eight hundred dollars to Richmond for the benefit of our wounded soldiers.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 20, 1862

Sunday 20th [July] 1862

I wish I was one of the women of Richmond. They have made for themselves a name that will be handed down with praise and honour for many generations. During the battles that were fought around Richmond, in which their dear ones were engaged – while they could see the flash and hear the cannon all day long – there was no screaming, or shrieking or running about the streets. They waited quietly until the dead and wounded were brought in – some of them to their doors – and then busied themselves in doing all that a woman can do to alleviate the sufferings and minister to the wants of our wounded. Sunday – the fourth day of the fight – none of the churches were opened. The ministers went around to the different houses encouraging the women to set to work and make beds, pillows and sheets for the hundreds of wounded that were still being brought in.

Many of the ladies have private hospitals. Six or eight, who live near each other, will together rent a house in their neighbourhood and fill it with wounded or sick soldiers (sometimes as many as fifty) and feed and nurse them themselves.

It is not just now that the women of Richmond are showing their heroism and patriotic devotion. They have been doing all that they could do ever since the war began, on many occasions sending their dinners untasted to the tired and hungry soldiers who had just arrived.

But I do not believe Richmond has done more than any other city in the Confederacy would have done had she the same opportunities

Many take the soldiers to their own house to nurse.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 19, 1862

Saturday 19th July [1862]

The Yankees come to Bowling Green every day for a few hours. They have not been any distance this side yet, but we expect them daily.

It has been almost two weeks since my dear husband left, and I have received but one letter from him written, the day after he arrived in Richmond. The Yankee visits have, of course interrupted all mail communication with the South. We are dependant upon private opportunities.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 13, 1862

Sunday 13th July [1862]

Started to church this morning but heard on the road that the Yankees were at the Bowling Green. This is the second time they have been there within the last three days. They took several prisoners. I am so thankful that Will and Dick left when they did.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 10, 1862

Thursday 10th July [1862]

Heard yesterday that Mama and Sue are at Ridgway. The old woman was determined not to be outdone by her daughters. Bless her heart. I should have liked to see her running the blockade. What a happy meeting they will all have up there. I suppose Dick was married yesterday evening.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 9, 1862

Wednesday 9th July [1862]

Heard yesterday that the Yankees had been within seven miles of us the night before. We persuaded Will and Dick to leave yesterday evening. If Sue comes I am to take her up to Albemarle to Dick. I think she must be there now or she would have been here ere this.

Will has gone back to Richmond to that most disheartening of all occupations, waiting and waiting and trying to get something to do. But I will not complain, so many blessings have been granted us lately. We have passed a happy, happy ten days together and ought to feel strengthened and elevated and ready for the work set before us.

Uncle Jourdan is a kind good friend. He insists that I shall stay here until we can see our way a little clearer.

McClellan with the remains of his army is at Sandy Point, at the junction of the Chickahominy and James rivers, is protected by his gun boats on two sides and is receiving reinforcements. He certainly must be the greatest liar that ever lived. He tells the Yankee nation that he has accomplished a most difficult and daring undertaking – that he has changed his base of operations in the face of the enemy and driven him back at every encounter!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 7, 1862

Monday 7th July [1862]

Much to my surprise and pleasure my dear brother Dick arrived here yesterday morning. He left Richmond with Nanny and Molly. They have gone on to Fredericksburg with D's servant. Dick will wait here until he hears where Sue is, and whether she will come down and be married here. If she is in Fredericksburg I am sure she will come. There is a probability of her having gone to Albemarle as she heard D was there a week ago.

Dick's wound is healing though he is still very helpless. I dress his arm and cut up his meals.

I cannot help feeling anxious about Will and Dick being so near the enemy picketts. If the authorities in Fredericksburg hear that Major Maury is here they may send down a party to capture him and Will. They slept out in the woods last night so as to be able to make their escape if the Yankees should come. Papa thinks that they are running a great risk to venture so far out of our lines.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 5, 1862

Saturday July 5th [1862]

This has been a most anxious and exciting week and even now I am afraid to boast of the great deeds that have been done, and the fields that have been won by our brave soldiers in the past ten days.

Jackson came down from the valley with a portion of his forces and got in McClellan's rear. We commenced the attack on Wednesday (25th) at Mechanicsville and God has blessed us with a series of glorious victories since then. We have had six or seven bloody battles and the enemy has been driven to the James River near Charles City thirty miles below Richmond. Some of his army have escaped in transports. We still hope to cut the rest off.

It is said that McClellan has shown great generalship in preventing his retreat from becoming a rout. For ten days he has been fighting and falling back with a victorious army close upon his heels.

Everything is in too excited and uncertain a state yet for me to give any incidents of the battle, or even the names of them. We do not know how many of our brave men are killed or how many the enemy have lost. We only know that McClellan's great army of one hundred and fifty thousand men completely equipped and thoroughly drilled has been beaten and dispersed, that we have taken six thousand prisoners and six Generals and hope yet to capture a large portion of his forces. The country is full of deserters and stragglers. Many have escaped to the lower side of the James river.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 29, 1862

Sunday 29th June [1862]

Will has shaved off the beard and looks handsome again. I do not object to the shirt.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 28, 1862

Saturday 28th June [1862]

Uncle Jourdan's

Here I am at last safe and sound with my dear husband. Oh! how thankful I am to be with him again once more. Had many difficulties and adventures in getting here. Left Mr. White's Thursday afternoon, but when we reached the Matapony [Mattaponi] -- a distance of seventeen miles -- we found that it was impossible to ford it. Willy White and I concluded that we would have to ask for the hospitality of some of the people in the neighborhood for the night. We disliked it very much for they were all strangers to us. However Mr. Gravitt received us most kindly and hospitably. Found a party of gentlemen there who had been waiting for two days to cross the river. They were on their way to Maryland to get arms and percussion caps for our army.

Spent a very pleasant day at Mr. Gravitt's and forded the river in the afternoon in the Marylanders waggon. It was higher and safer than our buggy.

Will looks horrid in a dark calico shirt and a heavy beard.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - evening of June 25, 1862

Wednesday evening [June 25, 1862]

Dick wants Sue to join him any where within our lines that is most convenient to her that they may be married. I promised to leave a note here for her advising her what she had best do.

This afternoon we heard a shouting across the river. The boys ran down and found it was a negro man from Fredericksburg with a note for cousin Finella from Sue asking for my promised letter. The river was too high for George to ford so Willy White swam across and brought the note in his mouth. I wrote advising her to meet me at the Bowling Green next Friday or Saturday and we can take our chances together of finding Dick. I doubt whether she comes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 25, 1862

Wednesday June 25th [1862]

At Mr. White’s – twelve miles from Fredericksburg. Monday afternoon Willy White came to our house to say that my dear husband was at his father’s and he had come to take me out to him. In less than half an hour Nannie Belle and I were ready to start. When we had gotten about three miles from town we were overtaken by a party of Yankee cavalry that had pursued us to search for letters. They asked my name – where I came from – and where I was going and when I gave my word of honor that we had no letters or papers of any kind they allowed us to go on. They seem to hear of everything. I was very much afraid they had been informed that Will was here and would come out to take him.

We were out in a dreadful storm and got wet through and through. Had to ford a river – the bridge had been burnt by our army on its retreat – and could only get along with the assistance of two negro men Mr. White had sent to meet us. The descent to the river was perpendicular it seems like a miracle that we got down safely.

When we arrived I was much relieved to find that Will had gone to Uncle Jordan Woolfolk’s. Mr. White thought he would be running a great risk to stay here all night and had persuaded him to go, promising that he would send me down the next day. But the storm of that night has caused such a freshet in the rivers that it will be impossible for us to go for several days yet. All the bridges have been destroyed and we can only cross by fording. It is a great disappointment to be detained here. I do not know where Will is all this time or where I can find him.

Cousin Finnella and Mr. White are as kind and hospitable as they can be, and at any other time I should enjoy a visit here very much.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 22, 1862

Sunday June 22nd [1862]

Mrs. Dickerson came up to day to take Nanny down to Old Mr. Corbin’s. She and Mrs. Dick Corbin intend to start for Richmond tomorrow in Mrs. Dickerson’s carriage to see their husbands. Mama was opposed to Nanny’s going, but I thought she ought not to let such a chance slip. They hope to get back in a week or ten days. The town is as full of soldiers as usual, but there are no pickets out on this side of the river. Mr. Berlin, a man who brought letters up from Richmond a few days ago, was to have been their escort, but he was pursued and arrested yesterday after he left town. Nanny took eight dozen lemons with her for some of our wounded and sick soldiers. It will be a great treat. They have not seen any tropical fruits for more than a year.

Runaway negroes from the country around continue to come in every day. It is a curious and pitiful sight to see the foot sore and weary looking corn field hands with their packs on their backs and handkerchiefs tied over their heads – men, women, little children and babies coming in in gangs of ten and twenty at a time. They all look anxious and unhappy. Many of them are sent to the north. We hear that there is great want and suffering among those in Washington. Many are shipped direct for Hayti from here.

The town is intensely Yankee and looks as though it never had been any thing else. Yankee ice carts go about selling Yankee ice. Yankee news boys cry Yankee papers along the streets. Yankee citizens and Yankee Dutchmen have opened all the stores on Main Street. Some of them have brought their families and look as if they had been born and bred here and intended to stay here until they died. One man has built him a house!!

The different currencies are very confusing. A pair of shoes are worth so much in specie, so much more in Yankee paper – and double their real value in Virginia money. Uncle John had occasion the other day to buy some northern paper and had to give one hundred per cent for it.

Have heard nothing from our forces near Richmond lately. McClelland’s army is on both sides of the Chickahominy about six miles from Richmond, and extending in a semicircle around two sides of the city. General Stuart made a most daring dash the other day with two thousand of our cavalry. They passed through the enemies lines to their rear, burnt several loaded transports on the Pamunky and many loaded wagons, took many horses and mules and prisoners. We only lost one man killed and two wounded and were gone between two and three days. They were greeted with shouts and cheers by the country people as they galloped along. One old woman rushed out to her gate and shouted out above all the clatter and din “Hurrah my Dixie boys – & drive the blue coated Yankee varmints away.”

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 19, 1862

Thursday June 19th [1862]

Received such a precious budget yesterday of dates as late as the 13th of this month. Dick is getting on well though his arm is broken. Papa, Will and all are still in Richmond. Papa has been engaged in putting the obstructions in James river. We thought he must have had the superintendence of them because of their efficiency.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 12, 1862

Thursday 12th June [1862]

Jackson is doing great things. He has whipped three of the Yankee Generals on three successive days. Windham, Fremont, and Shields on the 7th, 8th, & 9th. He is somewhere between Winchester and Staunton. We get our information from the Yankee papers and they give a very subdued and confused account of things. Say that they were outnumbered five to one – had to retire &c. &c. And we interpret it that they were well whipped.

Memphis is in the hands of the enemy and they say that Charleston and Savannah are too. Do not know whether it is true.

When the enemy first came here we put all of our silver, including the New York service presented to Papa, at Mr. Goolrick’s, the English Vice Consul, that it might be under the protection of the British flag. Since our new military governor came the house has been searched and the flag and several boxes taken away. Fortunately ours escaped them. Nanny and I went there to day opened the box and smuggled the contents away under our shawls and in a basket. They were informed by a negro woman. The Governor says that Mr. G is not an authorized Vice Consul.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 8, 1862

Sunday 8th June [1862]

Such good news! Sue has just brought us a Richmond paper of the 3d giving further particulars of the battle. It says "the 'immortal 24th' was commanded by Major Richard L. Maury, the officers above him having been wounded in the battle at Williamsburg. His horse was shot under him and he was wounded in the arm while leading a charge on foot. They drove back two of the enemy's regiments. The Dispatch states that his wound is slight, that he is with his friends in Richmond doing well.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 7, 1862

Saturday 7th [June 1862]

Have just read a Richmond paper of last Monday giving an account of the battles of Saturday and Sunday 31st [May] and 1st [June]. We were victorious on both days. Took the enemy's camp and drove him back three miles. The 24th Pa was in the battle.

The fight on Saturday lasted until night. We had thirty thousand engaged. The enemy fifty. On Sunday we drove them back to their second line of entrenchments, and then stopped about four o'clock. There were about fifty thousand engaged on both sides that day. The editor blames the Generals for not following up our advantages. Why did they stop at four o'clock?

The difference between the tone of this paper and the Yankee trash that we have been reading lately is very striking. There was no bombast, no boasting, and no exaggeration in this paper.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 4, 1862

Wednesday 4th June [1862]

All the Yankee bridges were washed away to day by the freshet.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 3, 1862

Tuesday 3d [June 1862]

There has been a battle near Richmond on the 31st and 1st. The Yankees claim the victory. We have only their account of it. They say that Early's brigade was in the fight. God grant that my brother is spared.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 1, 1862

Sunday June 1st [1862]

I succeeded, after two trials, in getting a pass for Mr. White to bring Molly in and sent a man with it yesterday. He returned this morning. Molly is not at Mr. Whites though he expected her for some days. He thinks she is in Charlottesville.

The Old Mansion establishment was broken up when the enemy came here. Cousin Charles and family and aunt Eliza went to Richmond. Do not know where they are now. Cousin Nanny and her children went to Tennessee to be near Cousin Dabney.

The Yankee papers say that we have evacuated Corinth.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 30, 1862

Friday 30th [May 1862]

A few days ago, I believe on the 25th, Ewell and Edward Johnson with a part of Jackson's command attacked Banks routed him and drove him out of Winchester, Martinsburg, and Harpers Ferry and across the Potomac. There has been a panic in Washington in consequence. The militia in the different states has been called out to protect the Capitol. They think Jackson will attempt to get there. I have no idea that he will.

We learn all this from the Yankee papers. They say it is the only defeat they have had since the battle of Manassas!!! and they have made the best of it I am sure.

What a contrast between the papers of this week saying that the Capitol is in imminent danger --- and those of a few days before speaking of the rebellion as crushed and almost extinct.

The army that advanced from here a few days ago have returned, and gone towards Winchester to cut off Jackson, or attack him in the rear. When they passed through here the men looked very quizzical. One of them called up to us at the window "Never mind --- we are coming back in a few days."

We can hear nothing from the enemies near Richmond except that the enemy have Hanover C.H.

The James river, they say, is impassable to their gun boats. We have blocked it up completely. Why does not Johnson attack McClelland while this army is away? What is he waiting for? for McClelland to intrench himself as he did at Yorktown? Surely he has him far enough away from his gun boats now? are the questions in everybody's mouths. This suspicion is terrible. It is very hard to wait in patient ignorance.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury

Sunday 25th [May 1862]

We hear that Molly has left Richmond and is on her way home. That she is twelve miles from here at Mr. White's.

Abraham Lincoln was in town on Friday [May 23, 1862]. Our Mayor did not call on him, and I did not hear a cheer as he passed along the streets. The streets are full of wagons and soldiers.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 22, 1862

Thursday 22nd [May 1862]

Received a long letter from my dear husband yesterday, of the 14th, telling me of Tom's safe arrival in Richmond, and of his adventures while in the enemy's lines. After the battle at Williamsburg Tom went, with several other surgeons, under a flag of truce to attend to our wounded that had fallen into the enemy's hands. He was treated with great courtesy and took several juleps with Gen' McClelland who sent his love to Cousin Dabney Maury. A Yankee General (Hancock) told Tom that "Immortality" ought to be inscribed upon the banner of the 24th Va. (Dick's) and the 5th N.C. for their great bravery in that charge.

Nannie Belle was playing on the pavement yesterday evening when a soldier accosted her and asked if she would not go down the street with him and let him buy her some candy. She replied "No I thank you. Yankee candy would choke me." He seemed much amused.

Two soldiers are now tied back to back to a tree in front of the Court House with a board over their heads on which is written "For entering private houses without orders."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 20, 1862

Tuesday May 20th [1862]

Received three budgets of letters yesterday from the dear ones in Richmond. The latest date was a week ago. They give glowing accounts of Dick’s gallantry. He distinguished himself in that brave charge in the battle at Williamsburg. His praise is in everybody's mouth. He sent Papa his maiden trophy, a sword captured from a Yankee Captain. During the charge his cap was shot away and he was struck on the sword belt by a bullet nearly knocking him from his horse. The term of his commission expires this month but since the battle he has been re-elected by the men.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 18, 1862

Sunday 18th [May 1862]

The soldiers are working the foundry as usual to day.

All have gone to church but me. We think it right that some one of us should always be at home now as a sort of protection to the house.

My heart is heavy for our cause and for our dear ones in Richmond. Have heard nothing from them for more than five weeks. God bless them and keep them where ever they may be.

We heard that the Nashville had got into some port in South Carolina laden with arms and ammunition &c. &c. and that she had got safely out again. God grant that Papa may have gone in her. It would take such a load off my heart to hear that he was safe in Russia or France. His occupation here is gone now. He could be of more service there. The terrors of his falling into the hands of the enemy and being hung are ever before me.

My dear dear husband. Where is he and has he obtained any employment yet? My heart yearns towards him. Will I ever see him again. With God all things are possible. God help us to trust in thee and we shall never be confounded.

Sunday night [18 May 1862]

Have heard such good news from a Washington paper of to day. Five or six of the iron clad boats, the Galena and the Monitor among the number, were repulsed at Fort Darling seven miles from Richmond, and driven back yesterday. This is an official dispatch to the Department at Washington.

This afternoon we saw a Confederate officer on horseback, blindfolded, led by a mounted Federal officer and surrounded by a guard, on his way to headquarters. He came under a flag of truce. We cannot hear what for. It was so refreshing to see him and to see our gray uniform again. Mama wanted to say “God bless you” but was afraid to venture.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 17, 1862

Saturday 17th [May 1862]

Saw an old Richmond paper this morning giving an account of the battle near Williamsburg. Part of Gen’ Early’s Brigade made a charge which is said to be the most gallant known in history. Eleven hundred men made the charge, and nearly five hundred were left on the field.

I thank God that my brother is spared. There was a list of the killed and wounded in the 24th Va. regiment, signed by Richard L. Maury, Major commanding. The officers above him were killed or wounded and he was in command of the Regiment and led a part of that gallant charge.

The Yankees are working Mr. Scott’s Foundry. The town is full of them full to overflowing. Their flags are every where and over every thing. Over the foundry and over the bank, over the bridges and over the stores. Stretched in lines across the streets and tacked onto the trees. Stuck in the soldiers guns and tied on to the horns of their oxen!

General Arthur, Ellen Herndon’s husband, was in town yesterday. I met him on the street but did not speak to him. I could not shake hands with a man who came as an invader to desolate our homes and kill our brothers and husbands.

Besides the soldiers there are many Yankee citizens and Dutchmen in town.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 16, 1862

Friday 16th [May 1862]

Fast day. General Patrick will not allow the church to be opened to day. The ladies are to meet at the charity school this afternoon.

Matters are getting worse and worse here every day with regard to the negroes. They are leaving their owners by the hundred and demanding wages. The citizens have refused to hire their own or other peoples slaves, so that there are numbers of unemployed negroes in town.

Old Dr. Hall agreed to hire his servants but the gentlemen of the town held a meeting and wrote him a letter of remonstrance telling him that he was establishing a most dangerous precedent, that he was breaking the laws of Virginia and was a traitor to his state. So the old man refused to hire them and they all left him.

Ours have gone except one girl, about fifteen, Nanny’s Molly. We clean up and take it by turns to assist and direct in the cooking. It is a great relief to get rid of the others they were so insolent and idle, and Jenny was a dangerous character. She boasted that she had brought the soldiers here to get the swords and threatened to tell that our name was Maury and that we had brought things here from the Observatory.

Two run away negroes applied yesterday for hire. Many little difficulties have occurred since the Yankees have been here, between white people and negroes. In every case the soldiers have interfered in favor of the negroes.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 13, 1862

Tuesday 13th [May 1862]

We have evacuated Norfolk and Portsmouth and destroyed the Navy Yard. The enemy have possession there. That is what the troops here were cheering for last Sunday.

I am much struck with the superior discipline of these Yankee soldiers over ours. I have not seen a drunken man since they have been here. They are much healthier too and are not coughing constantly during drill as our Dixie boys used to do.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 11, 1862

Sunday May 11th [1862]

We claim the victory in both battles at Williamsburg on the 5th and at West Point on the 7th. We fought under great disadvantages, our army being on the retreat. I think it shows very poor Generalship for us always to fight under disadvantages.

Saw twelve of our soldiers brought in as prisoners this evening. Have been hearing nothing but the drum and trumpet all day and now the troops are making night hideous with their cheers. The soldiers in and around the town have been huzzaing for the last half hour. Each cheer strikes to my heart like the knell of some dear one.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 10, 1862

Saturday May 10th [1862]

Saw the enemy’s signal lights last night on the court house tower and the answering ones from the hills across the river. They are not stationary but constantly moving in different figures and shapes. They looked beautiful and so mysterious. This morning they are signaling with different coloured flags.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 9, 1862

Friday May 9th [1862]

We hear to day that there has been a battle at Williamsburg. Both sides claim the victory. Gen’ Early’s Brigade was in the fight. He was wounded. My brother, my dear brother where is he? The whole of our army is falling back towards Richmond. Early’s Brigade covered the retreat.

The last accounts are that there is a more extended fight going on in New Kent County. The enemy have landed at West Point.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 7, 1862

Wednesday May 7th [1862]

This morning three officers rode up to the house and one of them sent in his name as Mr. Gregory. Said he was going to Washington next week, had I anything to send. I sent word ‘No’. It was not Alice’s husband, for I peeped through the blinds at him.

The British flag was hoisted to day over the Vice Consul’s. It was no sooner raised than a company of soldiers marched up to the house and demanded that secession flag to be given up. Mr. Goolrick told them to look again that it was the British ensign. They begged his pardon and left.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 5, 1862

Monday night May 5th [1862]

Well the Yankees have been here to search for arms. Three came and sent up word that they wanted to see Mrs. Maury. I went down. The head one said “We have been informed that arms are concealed here and want to get them.” I said “There are several swords here. Come and take them. They have been put in the parlour to prevent the house from being searched.” I gave them to him five old swords __ and then asked him if he intended to go upstairs. He said “No__ your word is sufficient that these are all.”
One of our servants told that they were here. They are getting very insolent and unbearable. We did not attach much value to the swords but it was a very humiliating feeling to have to give them up. The soldier was full of apologies all the time but I gave no heed to them.
New Orleans is in possession of the enemy. The forts below the city have surrendered. The troops in fort Jackson mutinied and spiked some of the guard. The Louisiana, our big iron clad steamer, was unmanageable and was blown up by her commander, McIntosh, who had an arm and leg blown off.
Surely the Lord has hidden his face from us. All the cotton and shipping in the city and at Baton Rouge was burnt ___ about 22,000 bales. The people are loyal.
Our forces have fallen back from Yorktown.
The gun boats on the Pamunkey that Papa was having built, and his navy yard there have had to be broken up and abandoned. The enemy have left him no water now to build upon. His occupation is gone. Oh! that Congress had given him the appropriation sooner. The gun boats would have been done by this time and their service would have been invaluable. But it is all for the best I am sure. Maybe he could not have plated his vessels with iron and then he would have been defeated and captured.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 4, 1862

Sunday May 4th [1862]

Gov Seward, Secretary Staunton and two or three Senators were in town yesterday evening with several Generals, McDowell among the number.

The enemy are building a second pontoon bridge above the old Chatham bridge.

Gen’ Van Ranseller was at church to day. He sat in the Mayor’s pew and the Mayor sat in the gallery.

Mr. Randolph has omitted the prayer for our President and for the success of our cause ever since the enemy have been here. Papa and Will say that such time serving is unworthy of the place and the people. I think there is something to be said on both sides.

Received letters yesterday. Johnny had gotten back safe. Papa says “Dave saw the Yankee pickets, and the Yankee pickets saw Dave. Dave ran from the Yankee pickets, and the Yankee pickets ran from Dave.” We hear this evening that our forces are evacuating Yorktown.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 1, 1862

Thursday May 1st [1862]

New Orleans has fallen. Commadore Farragut wrote a letter to the Mayor demanding the surrender of the city and that the Confederate and State flags should be hauled down. The Mayor replied that our forces had left the city. There were no armed men there it was useless to surrender and there was not a man within his limits so base as to pull down the flags to which they had vowed allegiance.

The enemy has advanced with mighty strides in the last few months but hope is strong with in us yet.

Thursday night [May 1, 1862]

Such a treat and such a trial too have we had this evening. Just before dusk, as we were all seated around the fire in Mama’s room we heard a light tap at the door, and in walked Johnny, my dear brother Johnny. Cousin Dabney has applied for him as his aid de camp. He expects to start for the west in a day or two and came to tell us good bye. He looked so handsome. It was a precious visit, but at such a risk. The enemy have had guards out for the last few days in search of our stragglers.

He came in with five others, but they stopped on the outskirts of town.

One can realize what the enemy is, and how near he is when our own dear ones are in danger of their lives when they come to their homes and have to hide around corners and steal away after dark like guilty wretches.

Mrs. Hart was here. Johnny left his horse round the corner. She hurried away to have it fed at her stable.

The Secretary of War tells Will that he is appointing no officers of Artillery below the rank of Major. W had applied for a first Lieutenantcy and says he is too ignorant of military duties to apply for an office of any greater responsibility.

He is now at a loss. does not know what to do.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - April 30, 1862

Wednesday 30th April [1862]

Went down yesterday evening to see the bridge of canal boats that the Yankees are building at the lower wharf. The boats are laid close together side by side. The length of the boat being the width of the bridge. Eight boats are in place and it already reaches more than half way across the river. The soldiers on the bridge and the surrounding boats were shouting and talking to the colored men and women on the wharf.

The Generals made a requisition upon town yesterday for tools to build the car bridge. The mayor replied that as our authorities had seen fit to destroy the bridges we would not assist in building one.

There are several Artillery companies stationed on the hills above the bridge to protect it.

It is reported that New Orleans has fallen. Papa writes us that if it has not it soon will. It is only a question of time that New Orleans, Charleston, Savannah, Norfolk, Memphis, and all our towns situated on navigable waters, must fall. They cannot stand against the enemies iron clad boats.

Cousin Martha Maury is Treasurer of the Ladies Gun Boat Association of Richmond. She has upwards of ten thousand dollars. Molly raised twenty dollars at her school. The girls at Mr. Powells school made upwards of five hundred sand bags for the Government last Saturday and Easter Monday.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - April 27, 1862

Sunday 27th [April 1862]

Our pickets have succeeded in getting of a large quantity of their stores from here.

Received a budget of letters from the dear ones in Richmond to day.

We hear that the Yankees have set a strong guard at the Depot to night. “They have locked the stable door after the horse has gone.” Our pickets got off a loaded freight train last night.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - April 25, 1862

Friday 25th April [1862]

Five steam boats and twenty canal boats came up here this evening. We suppose the canal boats are to make a bridge of.

The negroes are going off in great numbers, and are beginning to be very independent and impudent. We hear that our three are going soon. I am afraid of the lawless Yankee soldiers, but that is nothing to my fear of the negroes if they should rise against us.

Mamsey came back yesterday. She left Farley Vale with Mr. Corbin on Friday and went to Richmond. Papa and Mr. C. induced her to come back here and stay with Mama. Mr. Corbin has been ordered to Norfolk. His arm is still in a sling.

Ten of Mr. Corbin’s servants ran off last Friday. The farm, servants, stock and all are now in the hands of the enemy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - April 23, 1862

Wednesday 23rd April [1862]

Count Mercier, the French Minister, has been in Richmond for the last week. He expresses great surprise at the spirit and unanimity of our people. Says the Yankees have no idea of it. They think the rebellion is nearly crushed.

He is about to return to Washington and will tell his Government and Mr. Seward that a reconstruction of the Union is impossible. We suppose he came to find out exactly how matters stand.

Prince Napoleon has invited Papa, through Count Mercier, to come to France to live. I wish he would go for a time. I feel so miserable when I think of him falling into the hands of the Yankees.

The enemy have not yet crossed the river. A good many soldiers are in town every day, unarmed.

Our pickets have contrived to get off several waggon loads of their tents and baggage from here in the last few nights. They hide in the different houses until dark.

Got a letter from our dear Dick. He had been in a skirmish with the enemy and was complimented [and was complimented (crossed out)]by Gen’ Early for the way in which he conducted it. He thinks there will be no general engagement at Yorktown, and Papa is of the same opinion, unless we bring it on at once which is doubtful. What a ruinous policy we are pursuing. While the enemy is making a feast there, he will advance upon Richmond from some other point.

If we succeed in this struggle it will be in spite of our Generals. The man for the times has not yet been developed.

The enemy could not have a stranger position than they have on these Stafford hills with the river and town in front of them.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - April 20, 1862

Sunday 20th [April 1862]

I was called out of church to day to see one of our scouts who was on the hill at Mr. Harts and would carry letters to Richmond for us. It was a pleasure to see him and give him the letters myself. He promised to deliver them in person.

We can see the Yankees and their tents across the river. They received a reinforcement of ten thousand last night.

One can scarcely realize that the enemy are so near and that we are in their hands. Every thing is quiet. The stores have been closed for the last three days and the streets are deserted except by negroes. They go by in parties of ten or twenty, with their baskets and bags, on their way to the different Commissary depots to get the provisions that are being distributed. I have seen some coming back laden with bacon and kicking a barrel of flour along.

I heard the Yankees this evening with their full brass band playing ‘Yankee Doodle’ and ‘the star spangled banner’. I could not realize that they were enemies and invaders. The old tunes brought back recollections of the old love for them. It was a sad and painful feeling.

Nanny and Mr. Corbin are in Richmond.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - April 19, 1862

Saturday, 19th [April 1862]

The truth must be told. Fredericksburg has surrendered to a force that is afraid to come and take it! The town raised three white flags, to show that they were trebly submissive I suppose.

I believe the town Council did send quite a spirited letter over with their flag of truce Saying that our army had retired [and - crossed out] they were forced to surrender and wanted to submit quietly, but that candour required them to state that the people were good and legal citizens of the state of Virginia and of the Confederate States.

Gen’ Augur told our Commissioner that he could make no terms with them and promised but little. Said that Gen’ McDowell was coming to command in person.

Some of our cavalry pickets came into town to day for a few minutes. Those who had letters ready gave them to them to mail at their camps. Thought they were Yankee horsemen when we first saw them.

We are going to write tonight to be ready in case any more should venture in.

The enemy have cannon planted on the hills commanding the town. No train or body of troops can come or go but individuals can leave easily.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Photos - Rocky Lane, Rappahannock River


Rocky Lane leading from Caroline Street to what is now known as City Dock
Fredericksburg, Virginia
This is probably the route Betty Herndon Maury walked to the Rappahannock River on April 18, 1862. See Diary entry for that date.



View of the Rappahannock River from City Dock, the end of Rocky Lane, Fredericksburg, Virginia, as it appeared in 2007.



1885 view from Fredericksburg to a spot called The Ferry across the Rappahannock River
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, March 1885, page 607




Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - April 18, 1862

Good Friday, April 18th [1862]

Last night we heard that the enemy were four miles from Falmouth. did not know their strength. Our forces went across the river to meet them. I believe they had a short skirmish in the night.

While we were dressing we saw great columns rising from the river and soon learned that the army were in strong force, that our troops had retreated to this side of the river and fired the bridges.

I went down to the river and shall never forget the scene there. Above were our three bridges, all in a light blaze from one end to the other and every few minutes the beams and timbers would splash into the water with a great noise. Below were two large steam boats, the Virginia and the St. Nicholas, all wrapt in flames. There were two or three rafts dodging in between the burning vessels containing families coming over to this side with their negroes and horses.

Our troops went off quietly telling us good bye as they passed along.

The streets have been filled with waggons and drays and men and women in carriages and buggys leaving the town. But all have gone now and the streets are deserted.

The stars and stripes are floating in Falmouth. Some say the enemy is eight and some ten thousand strong. Our town council has met and sent over a flag of truce asking them to come quietly and not to shell the town, that we have no forces here. They can take possession when ever they choose. We expect them every hour. They can wade across the river just above Falmouth, or cross in rafts below.

The Commissary stores left here are to be given to the people at one o’clock.

Mr. Corbin was thrown from his horse two days ago and dislocated his arm. He is at Moss Neck and cannot be moved. Nanny went down to him yesterday. I am afraid he will be caught.

Received a letter from Dick a few days ago. He is in the trenches not two hundred yards from the enemy.

We heard that the fighting had commenced at Yorktown. I doubt it. The enemy does not intend to attack us. If there is a battle we must bring it on.

No cars came up this morning of course. It will be dreadful to be cut off from all tidings of those that are nearest and dearest to us.

Note: April 18, 1862 is the day John Washington walked away from Fredericksburg to freedom. Read his account of this and subsequent days in A Slave No More.

Jane Howison Beale also describes the events of April 1862 in Fredericksburg in her Journal. This book is currently sold out but may be available again at some point through the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The House on Caroline Street Web Page

This is to announce that The House on Caroline Street has created a web page for the publication of related items concerning Virginia in the Civil War. The first article to be published there is an article originally published in Appleton's magazine on July 6, 1872: War Days in Richmond by Constance Cary Harrison, also known as Mrs. Burton Harrison. To view this article, click on the title above or here.

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - April 17, 1862

Thursday, 17th April [1862]

My dear husband went to Richmond to day. It goes very hard with me to part with him. We may be separated for years and maybe for ever. God only knows.

He has applied for a Lieutenantcy in the artillery service.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - April 13, 1862

[Sunday] April 13th, 1862

All of our forces have left except one Brigade commanded by Gen’ Field. They are here as out posts and scouts and expect to retire when ever the enemy come to take possession.

We have piles of tarred lumber all along the bridges ready to burn them when ever occasion requires it. There were two forts on this river but both have been dismantled.

Papa came up yesterday in an extra. It is his last visit I reckon..

It was Grant's army that Gen’ Beauregard whipped on the 6th. On the 7th Grant was reinforced by Gen’ Buell and after a short fight Beauregard retired to Corinth. They retook the stores that had been taken the day before. Beauregard has telegraphed to the Department for reinforcements. Gen’ Van Dorn joined him. Papa has had a telegram from cousin Dabney at Corinth on the 8.

We are expecting hourly to hear of a great battle at Yorktown. The enemy is one hundred and twenty thousand strong. Do not know how many troops we have. Nearly all of our Manassas army and the army from here are there. Dick and Sam are both there.

Dick has not been court martialed and has been released from arrest and resumed his command by order of Gen’ Joe Johnson. Gen’ J. commands our troops at Yorktown.

Nanny and Mr. Corbin are still at Farley Vale. Do not know what he is thinking about not to bring his servants away. It will be a severe loss to Papa as well as to him if he loses all there. Papa went security for him when he bought the farm and has been urging him to move the servants for the last two weeks.

I cannot help feeling hurt at Will’s determination to leave me here to the Yankees when I am willing to follow him every where. I think he will regret it.

Most of our army stores have been removed from here. Mr. Scott has a great many thousand dollars worth of cotton. They have been carrying that away to day.

Papa has ordered the boat yards on the Rappahannock to be abandoned. There is one here and one a few miles below. They are to destroy all they cannot take away.

Fort Pulaski near Savannah has fallen.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - April 8, 1862

Tuesday, 8th [April 1862]

We have had a grand a[nd] glorious victory in Tennessee but our commander in chief Gen’ A. S. Johns[t]on was killed, Gen’ Beauregard’s official dispatch says.

Battle of Shiloh Sunday 6th [April 1862]

We this morning attacked the enemy in front of Pittsburg, and after a severe battle of ten hours, thanks be to the Almighty, gained a complete victory, driving the enemy from every position.

This has been a most exciting day. From breakfast time until dark there has been one continuous stream of soldiers, four abreast, on the march to Yorktown.

Poor fellows. I felt so sorry for them. It has been raining hard all day, and they were wet to the skin but they all looked bright and cheerful, kept looking to us and calling out “good-bye ladies, far well, ladies”. Mama gave them all the bread she had in the house. This evening we had a pot of coffee made and gave some of them a can of hot coffee as they passed along. They seemed to enjoy it so much. We gave a few some dinner. More than ten thousand left to day. God bless them and make them successful.

We hear that McClellan and most of his Potomac army are in the Peninsula and that the grand battle is to be there.

We have but a small force in this vicinity, two brigades not full, and they have gone over to the other side of the river.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - April 6, 1862

Note: For another perspective on the events in Fredericksburg in these days, see A Slave No More by David W. Blight, which has the text of a memoir by John Washington of Fredericksburg.

[Sunday] April 6th [1862]

Since our forces have fallen back to this side of the Rappa[ha]nnock and Fredericksburg has become an outpost, we are continually subject to alarms of the approach of the enemy.

Last Thursday night [April 3, 1862] a courier came in to inform Gen’ Smith that they had driven in our pickets and were in force at Stafford C.H. It turned out to be only a marauding party.

Gen’ Stone Wall Jackson had a fight near Winchester a few days ago. The enemy out numbered us three to one. They certainly did not gain the victory. We claim it. Both sides fell back after the fight.

Will went to Richmond last Monday [March 31, 1862] to carry the Government money he holds as Receiver. He took his trunk down, has left only a few clothes here that he can put into a carpet bag and run with whenever the enemy are near. It is his duty to remain as long as there is any property here for him to attend to. He has decided that I shall stay with Mama and the children. I am very unwilling to remain.

Every one who travels about here has to get a passport. This is one Will got when he came up from Richmond last Thursday [April 3, 1862].

We have been without butter for several days. It is impossible to get any. The last we heard of was one dollar a pound. However we do not mind it if we can only whip the Yankees and conquer a peace. Goods of every kind are of course very scarce. Most of the stores are closed. Ten cent calicoes are not to be had at fifty cents. We never see a piece of silver however small, and are reduced to all sorts of devices to make change. I bought a spool of cotton the other day. It cost 39 ½ cts. I gave the shop man half a dollar. He handed me in change this five cent stamp and a row of pins.

Many of the churches through out the South are giving their bells to make cannon. Our church has offered hers.

The ladies of Richmond are building an iron clad gun boat to be presented to the Government for the protection of city.

Have heard nothing from cousin Dabney for a long time. This order to the troops is the last.

The milit[i]a are coming into town every day.


The Battle in the West

The following is a copy of the spirited order issued by Gen. Van Dorn to the gallant troops who were engaged in the recent battle in North-western Arkansas.

Headquarters of the Trans: Miss: District.Van Buren, Ark., March 16, 1862

The Major General commanding this district desires to express to the troops his admiration of their conduct during the recent expedition against the enemy.

Since leaving camp in Boston Mountains, they have been incessantly exposed to the hardships of a winter campaign and have endured such privations as troops have rarely encountered.
In the engagements of the 6th, 7th, and 8th instant, it was the fortune of the General commanding to be immediately with the Missouri division, and he can therefore bear personal testimony to their gallant bearing. From the noble veteran who has led them so long, to the gallant S. Churchill Clark who fell while meeting the enemy’s last charge, the Missourians proved themselves devoted patriots and staunch soldiers. They met the enemy on his chosen positions and took them from him. They captured four of his cannon and many prisoners. They drove him from his field of battle and slept upon it.

The victorious advance of McCulloch’s division upon the strong position of the enemy’s front was inevitably checked by the misfortunes which now sadden the hearts of our countrymen throughout the Confederacy. McCulloch and McIntosh fell in the very front of the battle and in the full tide of success. With them went down the confidence and hope of their troops. No success can repair the loss of such leaders. It is only left to us to mourn their untimely fall, emulate their heroic courage, and avenge their death.

You have inflicted upon the enemy a heavy blow; but we must prepare at once to march against him again. All officers and men must be diligent in perfecting themselves in knowledge of tactics and camp discipline. The regulations of the army upon this subject must be rigidly enforced. Officers will recite daily in tactics, and all must drill as many times daily as other duties will permit. In every company the prescribed roll calls will be made. The arms will be daily inspected, and a careful attention will be given to a neat police of the camp.

Commanders of Brigades will publish and strictly enforce these orders,

By order of Major General Earl Van Dorn,
Dabney H. Maury, A. A. G.