Saturday, February 2, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 28, 1861

Sunday July 28th [1861]

The more we learn of that victory last Sunday the greater it seems to be.

We took fifty odd cannon and four hundred wagons, each one filled with stores and provisions of various kinds and several thousand stand of arms new in their cases which were brought to arm the loyal citizens of Richmond. Their army was most completely equipped in every respect. They had blacksmiths shops and medicine wagons along.

They never seemed to contemplate a defeat and the arrogance and heartlessness of their preparations for victory are almost beyond conception. Many gentlemen and ladies came from Washington to witness the battle. Elegant dinners had been prepared at Fairfax C.H. and Centerville by French cooks, where they meant to regale themselves after their victory. Our soldiers found the tables set and many baskets of champaigne and wine.

Abraham Lincoln professes to conduct this war on the most humane and merciful principles. Yet he has declared all medicines and surgical instruments contraband of war, a thing never before heard of among civilized people. And now having deprived us, as far as in his power, of all means of attending to our own sick and wounded he leaves his poor soldiers to our care. They have never sent back for any of their wounded, or to bury their dead. Our soldiers buried them in trenches, fifty and sixty at a time. Uncle Charley says that not one of the bodies he saw had shoes on. Our men took them. They were right. We have no leather.

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