Friday, February 29, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 11, 1861

Wednesday [11 September 1861]

Got a letter from Will this morning. The most satisfactory one I ever received from him. Says he has a faint hope of the Receivership. There are two other applicants from here, Mr. Rowe and Mr. Chew.

Last night I got one of Mrs Temple’s servants to come over and stay with me. I was afraid to be here by myself till one o’clock, when Cousin John comes in.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 10, 1861

Tuesday [10 September 1861]

Dick is here. Came Saturday. He talks of being married about the middle of October. He is a Major of Virginia Volunteers and wants to be married before he is ordered away.

Will went down to Richmond this morning. The Sequestration Act, lately passed by our Congress, provides for a board of three to ajudicate claims brought before it and also for a Receiver in each Judicial District. He has gone to apply for one or the other office. God grant he may be successful. I do not see how we can live unless he gets some office.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 6, 1861

Friday 6th [September 1861]

Received a letter from Papa this morning. Says the Governor has given him a commission for Dick. Dick was in the Provisional Army which is to be disbanded shortly.

Mrs Parker and Georgie have gone back to Washington via Nashville.

Made Nanny Belle a rag baby last night. She is more delighted with it than with the finest wax doll. It is the first time that I ever took the time or trouble to devote an hour solely to her amusement.

Will’s piece on ‘Our Flag’ came out in to day’s Enquirer.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 5, 1861

Thursday [5 September 1861]

Cousin Robert has written to Will to say he must take us to board with him this winter. I have written to ask cousin Hite if she will take us.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 2, 1861

Monday 2nd [September 1861]

A battle seems to be hourly expected. Our forces are very near Alexandria. Our pickets are close to the enemy’s. God grant our arms may be victorious.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 1, 1861

St. George's Church, Fredericksburg, Virginia

Sunday September 1st 1861

Took Nannie Belle to church for the first time. She behaved very well. Dr. Sparrow preached.

Fort Hatteras N.C. and eight hundred of our men have been taken by General Butter with four thousand troops and twenty guns. Do not know how many ships he had. The expedition started from Fortress Monroe about a week ago.

Our forces fought until their ammunition gave out. Capt Baron was taken prisoner with them.

What a fuss and parade the Yankees will make over this, as they did over Col’ Pegram’s surrender to six or eight times his number in Western Virginia.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 31, 1861

Saturday 31st [August 1861]

I am afraid there is no chance of getting my trunk. Every thing and every body that leaves Washington is searched and examined.

I am not at all reconciled to the idea of losing all my good and handsome clothes. I never expect to have another velvet cloak. Have not a single thick dress here except an old brown silk that I have turned and trimmed round the bottom with a black satin puffing. It looks very nice and will be my Sunday dress.

Every thing in the South in the way of dry goods and groceries are very high and continue to increase in price. Sugar is twenty five cents per pound and tea $2.50. Cotton is twelve cents a spool.

However grain, meat and vetetables are reasonable in price and we can do without tea and coffe until we whip the Yankees.

Sent supper to five sick soldiers last night.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 30, 1861

Friday 31st [sic, August 1861]

Richard Wallach a black republican has been made mayor of Washington in place of Mr. Berret.

A guard has been placed in Mrs Phillips house and in Mrs Greenhow’s.

One of my sick soldiers turns out to be a black man servant in one of the regiments. Sent them some breakfast this morning.

It is about impossible to get change now. We have Corporation notes for fifty cents and it is very hard to buy twenty five cents worth of any thing. The shop men have resorted to the expedient of giving due bills. The following is a copy of one I received yesterday.

No. 7
Cunningham’s Cash Dry Goods Store.
Due the Bearer
25 cts
William H. Cunningham & Co.
August 30th 1861

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 29, 1861

Thursday 30th [sic, August 1861]

Raining hard all day. Nanny Belle and I spent the day at uncle John’s. They were much surprised to see us in such weather but I was too lonesome to stand it down here any longer. On my way home saw two sick soldiers in an old carriage house lying on the floor. I sent them some tea and bread.

Heard yesterday that Mrs Phillips Mrs Givin and Mrs Greenhow of Washington were arrested.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 28, 1861

Wednesday [28 August 1861]

The liberty of the press and the liberty of speech has been denied to the people of the north. Three or four papers in New York and Pennsylvania have been suppressed by order of the Administration because they advocated peace. Major Berrat of Washington has been arrested because he refused to take the oath of allegiance to Lincoln.

Received a note from Mrs Page. She admired our flag very much and proposes that we shall have a motto. I must tell her that National flags never have a motto.

Ellen Goodwin has undertaken eighty over coats for a Georgia company. Seventeen of them are done.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 27, 1861

Tuesday 27th [August 1861]

Aunt Mary went down to Farley Vale with Nanny yesterday. There is no one in the house now but cousin John, Will and myself.

Robert cooks for us and aunt Eliza’s little black John helps me to clean up.

I have a right lonesome time in this dismal old house. Will is with cousin John all the time. Spends the day in his office, and sits with him in his room till twelve or one o’clock at night. And cousin John is the prosiest and the most tiresome old man in Fredericksburg. Every body concurs in that opinion. Will is in the office now reading him the papers.

I have my baby, and a novel and a paper of candy. What more could any reasonable woman want? The fact is I must learn to care less for him and more for other people. My ambition has been to be his chosen friend and companion and associate but I have failed most signally. The material is in me to make some body a good wife, but it has never been brought out. Maybe I have failed because I have made my ambition my idol.

Saw cousin Dabney Sunday night. Cousin Jack is here. He was thrown from his horse the other day while riding with his sweetheart and broke his collar bone.

Major Wrightman was killed in the last battle in Missouri.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 25, 1861

Sunday [25 August 1861]

Papa, Mama and the children left yesterday for Albermarle.

I got a note from them last night. They were at the Junction, had failed to make the connection.

While amusing the children with a hand car Papa had wrenched his lame leg in some way and made it very painful. He could not bear his weight on it. Mama said if it got worse by the morning they would return.

Aunt Mary, Nanny and I were very busy yesterday packing Mama’s china and glass, silver and house linen & & ready to be moved where ever it may be wanted.

Wish I knew where or when we are going.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 22, 1861

Thursday [22 August 1861]

Was busy yesterday copying for Pa, and making a shirt for a soldier at the hospital.

Hear yesterday that McClelland has put ten thousand men along the Maryland bank of the Potomac to prevent any more passing across the river. Good bye to my trunk. I never expect to see it now.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 21, 1861

Wednesday 21st [August 1861]

The Flag meeting was held yesterday. I was made President. Mrs Hart secretary and Ellen Mercer French wrote the petition to Congress. It is simply and beautifully written. Everyone that has heard it admires it.

An account of the meeting will be published in the papers tomorrow.

A committee was appointed to have the memorial printed with a circular letter addressed to the ladies of the Confederacy asking them to hold similar meetings to petition Congress.

The flag was hoisted over the gentlemen’s reading rooms where we held our meeting and was the admiration of every one.

The battle near Springfield, Missouri was a great victory. About twenty five hundred of the enemy killed and wounded. Hurrah for our side. Hurrah for the right.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 18, 1861

Sunday 18th [August 1861]

Papa and Will came last night. The latter has had a charming visit in Raleigh.

We expect to break up here this week. Mama and the children are going to cousin Frank Minors. Nanny will return to Farley Vale, and I do not know where Will and I will go. He wants to get some business in Richmond if possible, something to support us this winter.

I have sent for my trunk from Washington. Wonder if I will get it safe. It is running a great risk. Have offered to pay twenty five dollars to get it here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 17, 1861

Saturday 17th [August 1861]

Upwards of two thousand soldiers passed through here yesterday on their way to Brooks Station. Three thousand went the day before and more are coming to day. What can it all mean? General Holmes has more than twelve thousand men in his command now.

General Lyons and Ben McCullack have had a battle in Missouri. Our arms were victorious. Our arms were victorious. Gen’ Lyons was killed.

Charles J. Faulkner – Ex Minister to Paris – has been arrested in Washington.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 16, 1861

Friday [ 16 August 1861]

The girls left this morning. We enjoyed their visit very much, and I think they enjoyed theirs. We have no house servant and cleaned up their room and ours every day.

Papa has proposed that the ladies of Fredericksburg shall hold a meeting and send a petition to Congress for a new flag. He suggests a blue ground with a cross of eleven stars near the staff. This is simple and suitable. We claim to be a people under God’s special protection and providence now and we can call it the “Southern Cross”.

We were busy yesterday afternoon making a model. I think the blue ground is rather dark and incline to a white flag with red stars.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 15, 1861

Thursday [15th August 1861]

Mrs Parker told us that she and Mother had been attending to the wants of the prisoners in Washington.

They are in the “old capitol”, a brick building on Capitol Hill. One of them Mr Lewis sent Mother word that he was a relation of the Maury’s. When Mr. Carlisle heard it he sent him twenty five dollars. The ladies send them clothes and comforts of every kind. Mother has washing done for six.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 14, 1861

Wednesday 14th [August 1861]

Got through yesterday better than I expected. Mrs Parker was very entertaining. She brought over a good deal of money in a buckskin belt around her waist, and many letters sewed up in her corset.

She gave us a very amusing account of Dr. Nichols flight after the battle at Manassas. He was in a buggy with a member of Congress. The terror of the flying army was beyond description. Many attempted to get in the Doctor’s buggy. A poor little negro boy climbed in twice crying “O Master take me in or they will kill me” and he whipped him out both times. Such is their love for the poor oppressed negro. What Southern master would have done such a thing?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 13, 1861

Tuesday 13th [August 1861]

Mrs Parker arrived here last night. She is on her way to Richmond to see her daughter Georgia. She left Washington Friday came across the Potomac in an open boat at night. I have invited her to dine here to day. Oh! me. I wish the day was over.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 11, 1861

Sunday 11th [August 1861]

There is a talk of breaking up here and going to cousin Frank’s in Albemarle. We cannot get a cook and Robert behaves so badly we can’t stand him much longer.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 9, 1861

Friday 9th [August 1861]

Papa came up last night and brought Belle and Puss Maury and their cousin Betty Greenhow.

Rebecca has left us at last so we have to do the house work as well as the entertaining.

General Beauregard wrote to Richmond the other day to say that the fruits of our great victory were lost for the want of transportation and provisions. He could not follow up the enemy. Oh! for a more efficient Cabinet. One regiment at Manassas was without food for twenty four hours.

Matthew Fontaine Maury Portrait in Salem MA

Today's (2-7-08) Free Lance-Star has an article about a portrait of Matthew Fontaine Maury (Betty Herndon Maury's father) in Salem, Massachusetts which has been turned to the wall since the Civil War. Thanks to the effort of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, that portrait will be facing out again. Congratulations to the Mary Washington Branch of APVA for a job well done!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Manassas Battlefield

This is a photo of Manassas Battlefield showing Henry House Hill, where Judith Henry, a bedridden widow who refused to leave her house, died in July 1861.

Stonewall Jackson monument at Manassas Battlefield.


A short break from the Diary of Betty Herndon Maury.

A while back I wrote about Morrisville, Virginia, wondering why there were so many signs on Rt. 17 saying "miles to Morrisville". I drove to Morrisville several times trying to figure out what was there that required so many signs saying how much farther it was to Morrisville. Now I have an answer, courtesy of John Puckett:

"I understand your confusion at finding Morrisville just a wide spot in the road, but there is significance to the village. Fauquier County was formed out of Prince William County in 1759. At this time Fauquier’s population formed around Elk Run Church just a few miles from the main route from Falmouth and Fredricksburg. The first Court of Fauquier County meet near the junction of March Road (#17) and Frogg’s Road (#806) and Morrisville was the first county seat. Later the courthouse was moved north to a more central location of the county (Warrenton)."

Thank you, John!

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.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 6, 1861

Tuesday 6th [August 1861]

Will left for Raleigh this morning.

Papa sent us a copy of his peace proposition. I did not altogether like it. But it is only a rough draft that is to be sent to the Vice President.

Wrote a long letter to Maria Hasbrouck. Told her a few facts and truths that she would never hear from the Northern papers.

No news from the armies.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 5, 1861

Monday 5th [August 1861]

Papa and Will came up from Richmond on Saturday. The latter went down some days before to see about the Prizes! There has been great misunderstanding about it. W is employed now with Mr. Lyons on the part of the officers and crew.

A black woman came here a few days ago to apply for the place of cook and gave her name as Henrietta Furgerson. The same woman who ran away with Nanny and myself in New York when N was a baby.

Will is going down to Raleigh to make a visit to Judge Badger. From the preparations he is making he must intend to spend eight or ten months at least. Never saw such a Miss Nancy.

Oh me! Wish I was more amiable and more charitable.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 3, 1861

Saturday August 3d 1861

Have been in such a state of suspense and anxiety for the past week that I have not had the heart to write.

Each day we hoped to hear that Gen. Beauregard had attacked Alexandria and Arlington Heights but each day we were disappointed. I understand that he is within a few miles of Alexandria and has been for more than a week. Why did not he attack them the day after the battle when their troops were so panic stricken and demoralized? However I reckon he knows his own business best.
Received a letter from Johnny yesterday. He says there are one thousand sick and five hundred wounded at the University and Charlottesville together.

The wounded were brought in open cars and had been exposed to the rain for twenty four hours. J. says “In spite of all their sufferings it is astonishing how they bore up. Their eyes were as bright and their voices as clear as though sound and well, not a complaint was uttered, they gloried in their wounds and he was proudest who was hardest hit.”

Johnny is sleeping on the bare floor, has given up his bed to one of them. Many of the wounded are Yankees.

In a letter received from cousin Frank last night he says “Saw Johnny on guard at one of the sick wards yesterday. When the wounded came at midnight, without any notice to the Faculty, the cadets shouldered their own beds, fixed them in the lecture rooms and then worked till after daybreak carrying the wounded from the cars.”

Got a letter from Tom at Centerville. He gives some very interesting incidents connected with the battle.

Says, “When I reached the hospital it was crowded with the wounded, whose shrieks and moans were most distressing. When I beheld Col’ Moore, Billy Allen, ‘Capt’ Lee, and others my intimate friends lying on the floor and covered with blood, the tears started from my eyes. I cannot describe the emotions I felt on that occasion.

For two long hours the enemies batteries played on our hospital, and we Doctors had to remove all the wounded and place them on the slope of a hill some distance in the rear. Even here they were not safe for several shot fell among them.

Our flag – a yellow one – was eight feet long and six wide, and could readily be distinguished with the naked eye from the point where the enemy’s batteries were. What a set of Barbarians!”

Tom is surgeon in the 1st Va. Regiment.

Cousin Dabney is Acting adjutant General with the rank of Col under Gen’ Holmes. Is at Brookes Station between here and the creek.

General McClelland has been put in command of the forces near Washington. Cousin D says he is the most able General they have when he is not drunk!!

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.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 25, 1861

Thursday [25 July 1861]

Uncle Charley and many gentlemen from here have been up to Manassas to see the battle field. He returned this evening. Says that many of the soldiers (Yankees) are still lying upon the field. Our men are burying them. Bob Minor was there. He recognized the body of Mr. Doug' Ramsey and gave it Christian burial.

We hear that the panic in Washington after the battle was terrible. The draws to the long bridge were raised to prevent all the troops in Alexandria and the fortifications between there and Washington from flying into the city.

Washington (they say) could have been taken on Monday with five thousand men. Why did not our Generals do it?