Sunday, June 29, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 13, 1862

Sunday 13th July [1862]

Started to church this morning but heard on the road that the Yankees were at the Bowling Green. This is the second time they have been there within the last three days. They took several prisoners. I am so thankful that Will and Dick left when they did.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 10, 1862

Thursday 10th July [1862]

Heard yesterday that Mama and Sue are at Ridgway. The old woman was determined not to be outdone by her daughters. Bless her heart. I should have liked to see her running the blockade. What a happy meeting they will all have up there. I suppose Dick was married yesterday evening.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 9, 1862

Wednesday 9th July [1862]

Heard yesterday that the Yankees had been within seven miles of us the night before. We persuaded Will and Dick to leave yesterday evening. If Sue comes I am to take her up to Albemarle to Dick. I think she must be there now or she would have been here ere this.

Will has gone back to Richmond to that most disheartening of all occupations, waiting and waiting and trying to get something to do. But I will not complain, so many blessings have been granted us lately. We have passed a happy, happy ten days together and ought to feel strengthened and elevated and ready for the work set before us.

Uncle Jourdan is a kind good friend. He insists that I shall stay here until we can see our way a little clearer.

McClellan with the remains of his army is at Sandy Point, at the junction of the Chickahominy and James rivers, is protected by his gun boats on two sides and is receiving reinforcements. He certainly must be the greatest liar that ever lived. He tells the Yankee nation that he has accomplished a most difficult and daring undertaking – that he has changed his base of operations in the face of the enemy and driven him back at every encounter!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 7, 1862

Monday 7th July [1862]

Much to my surprise and pleasure my dear brother Dick arrived here yesterday morning. He left Richmond with Nanny and Molly. They have gone on to Fredericksburg with D's servant. Dick will wait here until he hears where Sue is, and whether she will come down and be married here. If she is in Fredericksburg I am sure she will come. There is a probability of her having gone to Albemarle as she heard D was there a week ago.

Dick's wound is healing though he is still very helpless. I dress his arm and cut up his meals.

I cannot help feeling anxious about Will and Dick being so near the enemy picketts. If the authorities in Fredericksburg hear that Major Maury is here they may send down a party to capture him and Will. They slept out in the woods last night so as to be able to make their escape if the Yankees should come. Papa thinks that they are running a great risk to venture so far out of our lines.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 5, 1862

Saturday July 5th [1862]

This has been a most anxious and exciting week and even now I am afraid to boast of the great deeds that have been done, and the fields that have been won by our brave soldiers in the past ten days.

Jackson came down from the valley with a portion of his forces and got in McClellan's rear. We commenced the attack on Wednesday (25th) at Mechanicsville and God has blessed us with a series of glorious victories since then. We have had six or seven bloody battles and the enemy has been driven to the James River near Charles City thirty miles below Richmond. Some of his army have escaped in transports. We still hope to cut the rest off.

It is said that McClellan has shown great generalship in preventing his retreat from becoming a rout. For ten days he has been fighting and falling back with a victorious army close upon his heels.

Everything is in too excited and uncertain a state yet for me to give any incidents of the battle, or even the names of them. We do not know how many of our brave men are killed or how many the enemy have lost. We only know that McClellan's great army of one hundred and fifty thousand men completely equipped and thoroughly drilled has been beaten and dispersed, that we have taken six thousand prisoners and six Generals and hope yet to capture a large portion of his forces. The country is full of deserters and stragglers. Many have escaped to the lower side of the James river.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 29, 1862

Sunday 29th June [1862]

Will has shaved off the beard and looks handsome again. I do not object to the shirt.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 28, 1862

Saturday 28th June [1862]

Uncle Jourdan's

Here I am at last safe and sound with my dear husband. Oh! how thankful I am to be with him again once more. Had many difficulties and adventures in getting here. Left Mr. White's Thursday afternoon, but when we reached the Matapony [Mattaponi] -- a distance of seventeen miles -- we found that it was impossible to ford it. Willy White and I concluded that we would have to ask for the hospitality of some of the people in the neighborhood for the night. We disliked it very much for they were all strangers to us. However Mr. Gravitt received us most kindly and hospitably. Found a party of gentlemen there who had been waiting for two days to cross the river. They were on their way to Maryland to get arms and percussion caps for our army.

Spent a very pleasant day at Mr. Gravitt's and forded the river in the afternoon in the Marylanders waggon. It was higher and safer than our buggy.

Will looks horrid in a dark calico shirt and a heavy beard.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - evening of June 25, 1862

Wednesday evening [June 25, 1862]

Dick wants Sue to join him any where within our lines that is most convenient to her that they may be married. I promised to leave a note here for her advising her what she had best do.

This afternoon we heard a shouting across the river. The boys ran down and found it was a negro man from Fredericksburg with a note for cousin Finella from Sue asking for my promised letter. The river was too high for George to ford so Willy White swam across and brought the note in his mouth. I wrote advising her to meet me at the Bowling Green next Friday or Saturday and we can take our chances together of finding Dick. I doubt whether she comes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 25, 1862

Wednesday June 25th [1862]

At Mr. White’s – twelve miles from Fredericksburg. Monday afternoon Willy White came to our house to say that my dear husband was at his father’s and he had come to take me out to him. In less than half an hour Nannie Belle and I were ready to start. When we had gotten about three miles from town we were overtaken by a party of Yankee cavalry that had pursued us to search for letters. They asked my name – where I came from – and where I was going and when I gave my word of honor that we had no letters or papers of any kind they allowed us to go on. They seem to hear of everything. I was very much afraid they had been informed that Will was here and would come out to take him.

We were out in a dreadful storm and got wet through and through. Had to ford a river – the bridge had been burnt by our army on its retreat – and could only get along with the assistance of two negro men Mr. White had sent to meet us. The descent to the river was perpendicular it seems like a miracle that we got down safely.

When we arrived I was much relieved to find that Will had gone to Uncle Jordan Woolfolk’s. Mr. White thought he would be running a great risk to stay here all night and had persuaded him to go, promising that he would send me down the next day. But the storm of that night has caused such a freshet in the rivers that it will be impossible for us to go for several days yet. All the bridges have been destroyed and we can only cross by fording. It is a great disappointment to be detained here. I do not know where Will is all this time or where I can find him.

Cousin Finnella and Mr. White are as kind and hospitable as they can be, and at any other time I should enjoy a visit here very much.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 22, 1862

Sunday June 22nd [1862]

Mrs. Dickerson came up to day to take Nanny down to Old Mr. Corbin’s. She and Mrs. Dick Corbin intend to start for Richmond tomorrow in Mrs. Dickerson’s carriage to see their husbands. Mama was opposed to Nanny’s going, but I thought she ought not to let such a chance slip. They hope to get back in a week or ten days. The town is as full of soldiers as usual, but there are no pickets out on this side of the river. Mr. Berlin, a man who brought letters up from Richmond a few days ago, was to have been their escort, but he was pursued and arrested yesterday after he left town. Nanny took eight dozen lemons with her for some of our wounded and sick soldiers. It will be a great treat. They have not seen any tropical fruits for more than a year.

Runaway negroes from the country around continue to come in every day. It is a curious and pitiful sight to see the foot sore and weary looking corn field hands with their packs on their backs and handkerchiefs tied over their heads – men, women, little children and babies coming in in gangs of ten and twenty at a time. They all look anxious and unhappy. Many of them are sent to the north. We hear that there is great want and suffering among those in Washington. Many are shipped direct for Hayti from here.

The town is intensely Yankee and looks as though it never had been any thing else. Yankee ice carts go about selling Yankee ice. Yankee news boys cry Yankee papers along the streets. Yankee citizens and Yankee Dutchmen have opened all the stores on Main Street. Some of them have brought their families and look as if they had been born and bred here and intended to stay here until they died. One man has built him a house!!

The different currencies are very confusing. A pair of shoes are worth so much in specie, so much more in Yankee paper – and double their real value in Virginia money. Uncle John had occasion the other day to buy some northern paper and had to give one hundred per cent for it.

Have heard nothing from our forces near Richmond lately. McClelland’s army is on both sides of the Chickahominy about six miles from Richmond, and extending in a semicircle around two sides of the city. General Stuart made a most daring dash the other day with two thousand of our cavalry. They passed through the enemies lines to their rear, burnt several loaded transports on the Pamunky and many loaded wagons, took many horses and mules and prisoners. We only lost one man killed and two wounded and were gone between two and three days. They were greeted with shouts and cheers by the country people as they galloped along. One old woman rushed out to her gate and shouted out above all the clatter and din “Hurrah my Dixie boys – & drive the blue coated Yankee varmints away.”

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 19, 1862

Thursday June 19th [1862]

Received such a precious budget yesterday of dates as late as the 13th of this month. Dick is getting on well though his arm is broken. Papa, Will and all are still in Richmond. Papa has been engaged in putting the obstructions in James river. We thought he must have had the superintendence of them because of their efficiency.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 12, 1862

Thursday 12th June [1862]

Jackson is doing great things. He has whipped three of the Yankee Generals on three successive days. Windham, Fremont, and Shields on the 7th, 8th, & 9th. He is somewhere between Winchester and Staunton. We get our information from the Yankee papers and they give a very subdued and confused account of things. Say that they were outnumbered five to one – had to retire &c. &c. And we interpret it that they were well whipped.

Memphis is in the hands of the enemy and they say that Charleston and Savannah are too. Do not know whether it is true.

When the enemy first came here we put all of our silver, including the New York service presented to Papa, at Mr. Goolrick’s, the English Vice Consul, that it might be under the protection of the British flag. Since our new military governor came the house has been searched and the flag and several boxes taken away. Fortunately ours escaped them. Nanny and I went there to day opened the box and smuggled the contents away under our shawls and in a basket. They were informed by a negro woman. The Governor says that Mr. G is not an authorized Vice Consul.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 8, 1862

Sunday 8th June [1862]

Such good news! Sue has just brought us a Richmond paper of the 3d giving further particulars of the battle. It says "the 'immortal 24th' was commanded by Major Richard L. Maury, the officers above him having been wounded in the battle at Williamsburg. His horse was shot under him and he was wounded in the arm while leading a charge on foot. They drove back two of the enemy's regiments. The Dispatch states that his wound is slight, that he is with his friends in Richmond doing well.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 7, 1862

Saturday 7th [June 1862]

Have just read a Richmond paper of last Monday giving an account of the battles of Saturday and Sunday 31st [May] and 1st [June]. We were victorious on both days. Took the enemy's camp and drove him back three miles. The 24th Pa was in the battle.

The fight on Saturday lasted until night. We had thirty thousand engaged. The enemy fifty. On Sunday we drove them back to their second line of entrenchments, and then stopped about four o'clock. There were about fifty thousand engaged on both sides that day. The editor blames the Generals for not following up our advantages. Why did they stop at four o'clock?

The difference between the tone of this paper and the Yankee trash that we have been reading lately is very striking. There was no bombast, no boasting, and no exaggeration in this paper.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 4, 1862

Wednesday 4th June [1862]

All the Yankee bridges were washed away to day by the freshet.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 3, 1862

Tuesday 3d [June 1862]

There has been a battle near Richmond on the 31st and 1st. The Yankees claim the victory. We have only their account of it. They say that Early's brigade was in the fight. God grant that my brother is spared.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - June 1, 1862

Sunday June 1st [1862]

I succeeded, after two trials, in getting a pass for Mr. White to bring Molly in and sent a man with it yesterday. He returned this morning. Molly is not at Mr. Whites though he expected her for some days. He thinks she is in Charlottesville.

The Old Mansion establishment was broken up when the enemy came here. Cousin Charles and family and aunt Eliza went to Richmond. Do not know where they are now. Cousin Nanny and her children went to Tennessee to be near Cousin Dabney.

The Yankee papers say that we have evacuated Corinth.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 30, 1862

Friday 30th [May 1862]

A few days ago, I believe on the 25th, Ewell and Edward Johnson with a part of Jackson's command attacked Banks routed him and drove him out of Winchester, Martinsburg, and Harpers Ferry and across the Potomac. There has been a panic in Washington in consequence. The militia in the different states has been called out to protect the Capitol. They think Jackson will attempt to get there. I have no idea that he will.

We learn all this from the Yankee papers. They say it is the only defeat they have had since the battle of Manassas!!! and they have made the best of it I am sure.

What a contrast between the papers of this week saying that the Capitol is in imminent danger --- and those of a few days before speaking of the rebellion as crushed and almost extinct.

The army that advanced from here a few days ago have returned, and gone towards Winchester to cut off Jackson, or attack him in the rear. When they passed through here the men looked very quizzical. One of them called up to us at the window "Never mind --- we are coming back in a few days."

We can hear nothing from the enemies near Richmond except that the enemy have Hanover C.H.

The James river, they say, is impassable to their gun boats. We have blocked it up completely. Why does not Johnson attack McClelland while this army is away? What is he waiting for? for McClelland to intrench himself as he did at Yorktown? Surely he has him far enough away from his gun boats now? are the questions in everybody's mouths. This suspicion is terrible. It is very hard to wait in patient ignorance.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury

Sunday 25th [May 1862]

We hear that Molly has left Richmond and is on her way home. That she is twelve miles from here at Mr. White's.

Abraham Lincoln was in town on Friday [May 23, 1862]. Our Mayor did not call on him, and I did not hear a cheer as he passed along the streets. The streets are full of wagons and soldiers.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 22, 1862

Thursday 22nd [May 1862]

Received a long letter from my dear husband yesterday, of the 14th, telling me of Tom's safe arrival in Richmond, and of his adventures while in the enemy's lines. After the battle at Williamsburg Tom went, with several other surgeons, under a flag of truce to attend to our wounded that had fallen into the enemy's hands. He was treated with great courtesy and took several juleps with Gen' McClelland who sent his love to Cousin Dabney Maury. A Yankee General (Hancock) told Tom that "Immortality" ought to be inscribed upon the banner of the 24th Va. (Dick's) and the 5th N.C. for their great bravery in that charge.

Nannie Belle was playing on the pavement yesterday evening when a soldier accosted her and asked if she would not go down the street with him and let him buy her some candy. She replied "No I thank you. Yankee candy would choke me." He seemed much amused.

Two soldiers are now tied back to back to a tree in front of the Court House with a board over their heads on which is written "For entering private houses without orders."

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 20, 1862

Tuesday May 20th [1862]

Received three budgets of letters yesterday from the dear ones in Richmond. The latest date was a week ago. They give glowing accounts of Dick’s gallantry. He distinguished himself in that brave charge in the battle at Williamsburg. His praise is in everybody's mouth. He sent Papa his maiden trophy, a sword captured from a Yankee Captain. During the charge his cap was shot away and he was struck on the sword belt by a bullet nearly knocking him from his horse. The term of his commission expires this month but since the battle he has been re-elected by the men.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 18, 1862

Sunday 18th [May 1862]

The soldiers are working the foundry as usual to day.

All have gone to church but me. We think it right that some one of us should always be at home now as a sort of protection to the house.

My heart is heavy for our cause and for our dear ones in Richmond. Have heard nothing from them for more than five weeks. God bless them and keep them where ever they may be.

We heard that the Nashville had got into some port in South Carolina laden with arms and ammunition &c. &c. and that she had got safely out again. God grant that Papa may have gone in her. It would take such a load off my heart to hear that he was safe in Russia or France. His occupation here is gone now. He could be of more service there. The terrors of his falling into the hands of the enemy and being hung are ever before me.

My dear dear husband. Where is he and has he obtained any employment yet? My heart yearns towards him. Will I ever see him again. With God all things are possible. God help us to trust in thee and we shall never be confounded.

Sunday night [18 May 1862]

Have heard such good news from a Washington paper of to day. Five or six of the iron clad boats, the Galena and the Monitor among the number, were repulsed at Fort Darling seven miles from Richmond, and driven back yesterday. This is an official dispatch to the Department at Washington.

This afternoon we saw a Confederate officer on horseback, blindfolded, led by a mounted Federal officer and surrounded by a guard, on his way to headquarters. He came under a flag of truce. We cannot hear what for. It was so refreshing to see him and to see our gray uniform again. Mama wanted to say “God bless you” but was afraid to venture.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - May 17, 1862

Saturday 17th [May 1862]

Saw an old Richmond paper this morning giving an account of the battle near Williamsburg. Part of Gen’ Early’s Brigade made a charge which is said to be the most gallant known in history. Eleven hundred men made the charge, and nearly five hundred were left on the field.

I thank God that my brother is spared. There was a list of the killed and wounded in the 24th Va. regiment, signed by Richard L. Maury, Major commanding. The officers above him were killed or wounded and he was in command of the Regiment and led a part of that gallant charge.

The Yankees are working Mr. Scott’s Foundry. The town is full of them full to overflowing. Their flags are every where and over every thing. Over the foundry and over the bank, over the bridges and over the stores. Stretched in lines across the streets and tacked onto the trees. Stuck in the soldiers guns and tied on to the horns of their oxen!

General Arthur, Ellen Herndon’s husband, was in town yesterday. I met him on the street but did not speak to him. I could not shake hands with a man who came as an invader to desolate our homes and kill our brothers and husbands.

Besides the soldiers there are many Yankee citizens and Dutchmen in town.