Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 7, 1861

Wednesday 7th [August 1861]
We hear that the reason General Johnson has not moved on to Alexandria and Washington is for the want of provisions and wagons.

After the battle at Bull run, Doctor Nichols was requested to go and assist in tending the wounded. He was there Friday and Saturday and stayed Sunday to see us whipped. In the rout he over took two surgeons who were flying. So we infer that he lost no time in getting back to Washington. Wonder how Ellen stood it? The first time they had been separated since their marriage. Oh! How I wish he had been taken prisoner. Not that I wish him any harm but I would like our brother in law to see something of the mind and spirit of the people here.

All our troops fought bravely at Manassas but the Virginians eclipsed them all. Their praise is in everybody’s mouth their valour and courage beyond all praise.

One regiment laid flat on their faces for an hour and forty five minutes and at the right moment rose – charged and carried every thing before them. Thirty eight were killed while they lay in that position. Shot in the head. One ball killed seven but they never moved. The men said it seemed at least five hours that they lay there. It was a part of Jacksons Brigade.

During the fight some of the South Carolina troops wavered. Col’ Bee implored them to stand and said “Men look at Jackson’s Brigade. It stands like a stone wall.” Since then he has had the enviable title of Stone Wall Jackson.”

Have been busy for the last two days helping Nanny make a tent. It is right hard work.

I am so selfish. Have been building a great many castles to day. Making peace and fixing myself in a happy home after the wards. Wonder if we will ever have a home of our own again.

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