Saturday, December 15, 2007

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 16, 1861

Sunday 16th [June 1861]

Papa came up from Richmond yesterday evening. He brings us the good news of the secession of Missouri – or rather that her Governor has ordered out fifty thousand troops to repel the invaders which is a virtual secession. The Arkansas regiments are sent to assist them.

The bridges at Harpers Ferry have been burnt by our troops. All the valuable machinery has been removed from there and Pa thinks they mean to evacuate the place and take a stand nearer Winchester, where they cannot so easily be surrounded and cut off.

General Holmes was here just now. He thinks that because the bridges have been burned it by no means follows that they intend to evacuate Harpers Ferry.

Mr. Corbin came up this morning. He has been with his company to Mathias point. Says there is no battery there.

There is great jealousy between the Virginian and Confederate forces. Papa thinks that the Confederate officers and politicians want to usurp too much power and are unjust towards many of the Virginia soldiers. I hope Tom will be able to keep his place.

Sixty of the Federal troops landed on our side of the Potomac the other night and broke up all the boats and skiffs on this side of the river. That is the only way the Marylanders can come over to join us. Ten or fifteen come every day. It is owing to the Richmond Dispatch and the Examiner that these things are known at the North. They publish a great many things in their papers that ought not to be known North of the Potomac and injure the cause a great deal. The other day the Dispatch told of a woman who had brought fifty thousand caps under her hoops to the soldiers at Harpers Ferry. Of course she can never do it again now.

Papa’s post as one of the Governor’s council is to be abolished tomorrow. We do not know what will become of him then.

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