Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - October 9, 1861

Wednesday 9th [October 1861]

Molly went up to see Sue Crutchfield yesterday evening. She had received a letter from Dick. He had been in a skirmish and shot a Yankee.

I wrote to Hon’ Charles M. Conrad yesterday asking him if he could do any thing to get these orders to Papa recalled. I never saw him and do not know what influence he has. At any rate the letter can do no harm. He is Chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs.

Hon. Charles M. Conrad

Dear Sir

I believe you know that my Father, Commander M. F. Maury, has been ordered to Cuba to pay for some arms & that have been purchased there. A duty for which any officer of the Army or Navy is as well qualified as he.

The Secretary of War, not having an Army officer to spare, asks for a Navy officer and Father is ordered, this showing that in Mr. Mallory’s judgment he can better be spared than any other officer of the Army or Navy.

He is here waiting a summons by telegraph to go to New Orleans and leave in a yacht for Cuba. We have a steam man of war there that has been waiting for months, and in vain, to get out to sea.

Even if he should reach Havana safely, the chances are few for his getting back. The Yankee Consul there, Mr. Shoefeldt, will at once inform his Government that Father is there and what for. So that he will be watched.

Cannot you do some thing to get these orders recalled?

We his children would never shrink from his going on any duty that was as honourable as it was dangerous. But these orders seem to be given to mortify him and put him out of the way.

He knows nothing of this letter.

We expect the telegram every day.

Yours truly,
Betty H. Maury

Signed it with my maiden name because I thought he might give it more attention if he thought I was a pretty young girl. Am afraid the letter is not courteous enough.

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