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.

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