Thursday, July 31, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - December 28, 1862

Richmond December 28th 1862

It has been nearly three months since I wrote in my diary, and how much has happened since then.

Papa and Matsy succeeded in running the blockade on the 12th of October. They wrote from Bermuda, and sent us a box of shoes from there. We have since heard, through the Yankee papers, of their safe arrival in England.

I came down here the first of November to make Will a visit of a week or two.

On the 19th of November the whole Yankee army moved down and occupied the heights opposite Fredericksburg. Our forces fronting them on this side of the Rappannack [Rappahannock].

In a few days Gen' Burnside gave notice to the women and children to leave the town that he would shell it in sixteen hours.

Mama and the children came down in a calico car and were put out at Milford Depot with five hundred others. The kind and hospitable people of Carolina sent their carriages and wagons to the cars for the refugees and opened their houses to them. Uncle Jourdan had upwards of thirty at his house.

The sick and aged were brought out of town on beds. Mrs. Randolph had a baby but two days old when she was moved. The scene at the cars is described as very touching.

On the 13th of December [1862] God blessed us with a great victory at Fredericksburg. Upwards of eighteen thousand of the enemy were killed. We lost but one thousand. Even the Yankees acknowledge it to be a great defeat.

The battle took place in and around the town. The streets were strewn with the fallen enemy, the houses were broken open, sacked and used for hospitals, and their dead were buried in almost every yard.

Dr. Nichols was there – came as an amateur with his friend Gen’ Hooker – he occupied Uncle John’s house (where his wife has been most hospitably entertained for weeks at a time) drank up Uncle J’s wine, used his flour and ate up Ellen Mercer’s preserves.

I cannot find words to express my disgust and horror of the man who is so lost to all sense of delicacy, and so cold blooded and heartless as to come – not at the stern call of duty, [but for the love of it - underlined] – to gloat over the desolated homes of people whom he once called friends, and who are relations and [friends - crossed out] connections of his wife’s.

Mr. Corbin was here last night and gave us some account of the appearance of things at home. Almost every house had six or eight shells through it, the doors are wide open, the locks and windows broken and the shutters torn town. Two blocks of buildings were burned to the ground. Our house was used as a hospital. Mr. Corbin says every vessel in the house even the vegetables dishes and cups are filled with blood & water – there are large pools of gore on the floor. The table in the parlour was used as an amputating table and a Yankee (Byron Pearce of N.Y.) is buried at the kitchen door.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - October 11, 1862

Saturday October 11th [1862]

During the siege of Vicksburg our Commander wanted flannel cartridge bags for his big guns, they were useless without them. He sent to the stores but there was not a yard to be had. He then made an appeal to the men of the city to give their flannel shirts. The women heard of this and in a few hours had [crossed out many] several hundred cartridge bags ready, made of their flannel petticoats.

Received letters from Papa to day. He says they are to take out carrier pigeons, and if they get safely past the blockading squadron a paper with "all safe" on it will be tied round the necks of the birds, they will be let loose and will return to their cotes in the city.

Capt Steadman, our old neighbour and friend, commands the blockading squadron at Charleston.

A law has lately passed in Congress providing for a permanent Court martial for each of our armies. Will is applying for the appointment of Judge Advocate of one of them.

Have had another great battle at Corinth. It lasted three days, the 2nd, 3d, & 4th. We were defeated. Gen' Maury's Division suffered the most. No particulars are known yet. I wish we could hear from Johnny.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - October 8, 1862

Wednesday. October 8th [1862]

Received a letter from Papa and Matsy to day of the same date as the telegram. Matsy says "You just ought to be down here to see how active Pa is getting. The other day he had to climb down a rope to get on board ship, and he swung off and climbed down just like a boy."

Will spent the last two days with me. He has been in Carolina attending to some business for Uncle Jourdan.

I fear Will is neglectful about trying to get employment. In his letter to day Papa speaks of two laws that have passed lately, one for the increase of the signal corps and one providing for a Judge Advocate for each of our armies. either of which would suit W [illegible crossed out] particularly well, and this is the first he has heard of them.

Our army is at Winchester, and McClellan is on the south side of the Potomac near Harpers Ferry.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - October 2, 1862

Thursday October 2nd [1862]

Papa has not sailed yet. The Hero made two attempts to get out and failed. The second night she got aground. Papa and Matsy returned to Charleston in a row boat. Were out from 11 o'clock till 3. Our sentinels fired on them. Matsy heard the bullet and dodged.

Papa wrote us that he had decided to send M back. I telegraphed to him to take me. He replied that there were no accommodations for me, and that he had decided again to take M. They were to go to Bermuda. Do not know when they will sail.

This delay greatly increases the danger for the enemy will hear of his going and use every endeavour to catch him.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 29, 1862

Monday September 29th [1862]

Have just received a letter from Papa dated Charleston 24th. He expected to sail that night in the 'Hero' a British steamer. Matsy writes too, and sends Ma a lock of Papa's hair. If the enemy does not catch them they will land at Halifax and take the first English from New York.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 27, 1862

Saturday September 27th [1862]

There was a bloody battle at Sharpsburg in Maryland on the 17th. We remained upon the field for twenty four hours after the fight and then recrossed to this side of the Potomac. We cannot understand why. [Crossed out: The next day a] All of the forces on both sides were engaged in this battle.

On the 19th a division of the enemy crossed over to Shepherdstown. Jackson captured or killed the whole of them. The Potomac was dammed up with their bodies.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 21, 1862

Sunday. September 21st [1862]

My dear husband went down to Richmond this morning. He has made another application for a commission in the army and has gone to further it as much as he can.

I wish I could be more patient and gentle. I have so much to regret and repent of when he leaves me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 19, 1862

Friday 19th September [1862]

Dick and Sue have been staying at Mr. Harts. They came here to day to spend some time with us.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 18, 1862

Thanksgiving Day, September 18, 1862
For more on why this day was called Thanksgiving Day, see Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations.

[A newspaper clipping has been pasted in the diary here but is unreadable in the copy the transcriber is working from.]

Since our President issued this eloquent proclamation we have still more to be thankful for. On Monday the 15th eight thousand of the enemy surrendered at Harpers Ferry. We have taken that place with all the arms ammunition, commissary and ordnance stores accumulated there.

[ The following sentence was crossed out in the original: God be praised. We have driven all the Yankees out of Virginia except a few in the "Pan handle".]

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 15, 1862

Monday 15[th September 1862]

We were all together once more for a few days last week -- all but my dear Johnny. He is in Tupello with cousin Dabney.

Papa and Matsy left this morning for Richmond. They expect to sail for England in a week or ten days. Papa is not ordered on any very important duty.

I am afraid Will will not be able to resume his duties as Receiver here. This part of the country is in too unsettled a state now.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 14, 1862

Fredericksburg. Sunday 14th [September 1862]

We came up yesterday with Dick and Sue.

Our army has crossed the Potomac!! Lee's headquarters are at Frederick city. The joy and enthusiasm of our soldiers at getting into Maryland is beyond description. They crossed near Leesburg, fording waist deep. The Maryland regiments went first singing "Maryland -- My Maryland" and when they reached the other shore the bands struck up Dixie.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 11, 1862

Thursday 11th [September 1862]

Dick and Sue arrived here tonight on their way up to Fredericksburg.

Have been in bed for the last three days with violent toothache.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - September 7, 1862

Sunday, September 7th [1862]

Papa and Mama arrived here yesterday and left this morning for Fredericksburg. Uncle Jourdan and aunt Betsey are so kind and hospitable. They loaded the carriage down with potatoes, tomatoes and peaches for them all at home.

Will and I hope to go up the middle of this week. He has some business to attend to for Uncle Jourdan and Mr. White, and as soon as that is done we will go

Monday, July 14, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 31, 1862

Sunday August 31st [1862]

Papa writes me, as a profound secret, that he is going abroad as soon as he gets his children out of Fredericksburg. He wants no one to know it until he is gone, for fear the Yankees will catch him. He talks of taking Matsy with him. I hope he will take me. I can be of more service.

I fear the children will not be able to get out of Fredericksburg.

I’ve been deep in the mysteries of wool dying, spinning and weaving lately. Am trying to have the cloth made for a suit of winter clothes for Mr. Maury.

Cousin Anne Morris says she would like to see Mother’s shocked look when he makes his appearances in Washington in a home spun suit and a home made hat. Aunt Betsy replied “Well she oughtn’t to look shocked, she ought to think he has a jewel of a wife to be able to turn her hand to such things when necessary.”

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 24, 1862

Old Mansion August 24th [1862]

Mr. White moved his family down here about two weeks ago. His home is within the enemies lines and they were making constant depredations upon him. All of his negroes except one old woman have left him.

Nannie Belle and I came here to day to spend a week or ten days.

I am at a loss what to do, or where to go when I leave here. I cannot afford to board in Richmond, and I shrink from going to the Bowling Green tavern without a friend.

I begin to feel anxious too about my winter wardrobe. Nannie Belle and I left Fredericksburg in a buggy with one small trunk of summer clothes. I expected to go back in a month or two and now I have not one article of winter clothing, and no chance of getting any that I can see. But the Lord will provide. Matt. 6 chap. 25 to 34 ver.

The approach of cool weather increases my longing for a home. Oh that my husband had some employment, and we could be together in a happy home of our own again once more. My heart aches for a home.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 22, 1862

Friday August 22nd [1862]

McClellan and his whole army have evacuated the James river. Part left in transports, the remainder marched across the county to Fortress Monroe. It is supposed they are all going to Fredericksburg. Both sides are concentrating there rapidly.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 18, 1862

Monday August 18th [1862]

Hurrah for domestic manufactures, and a fig for the Yankees. We can do without them. Have just completed a hat of plaited wheat straw for Mr. Maury. I made it every bit myself and it looks elegant. I’ve been hard at work on it for the last three days.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 15, 1862

Friday August 15th [1862]

My dear husband spent last Tuesday and Wednesday with me. The visit was so short it hardly repaid me for the pain of parting.

Jackson had a battle on the with a part of Pope’s army near Culpepper C.H. He drove them back and captured 400 prisoners, 3 colors, and 5,302 small arms.

General Burnside with all of his army is in Fredericksburg.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 11, 1862

Monday August 11th [1862]

Last week General Stewart with fifteen thousand men made a raid to within three miles of Fredericksburg. He captured ninety odd prisoners. It is a significant fact that there were officers among them.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 4, 1862

[Monday] August 4th [1862]

Children take much more notice of grown persons conversation than we suppose they do. Nannie Belle and Sally Woolfolk were playing ladies the other day. Sally dressed herself up in the babies musquito net for a shawl and came to call upon Nannie Belle.

Sally – “Good morning, ma’am, how are you to day?”

N.B. – “I don’t feel very well. All my niggers have run away and left me.”

I heard Nannie Belle say to Sally a few days ago, “Upon my word an' honour Sir there are no letters and papers in this trunk atall." She remembered what I had said to the Yankee officer on our way out of Fredericksburg.

Since Gen’ Pope’s wicked order Mr. Randolph – our secretary of war – has issued a retaliatory order that all commissioned officers of Pope’s army that are taken prisoner shall not be treated as prisoners of war, but put in irons and held as hostages for our citizens that have been arrested in Fredericksburg and the neighboring counties.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - August 2, 1862

Saturday August 2nd [1862]

Jourdan Roper came down last night with his father’s horses. The Yankees were at the Bowling Green. Early this morning Mr. John William prepared to start with twenty five of the best negroes and some of the horses. He told the servants he was going to take them to Hanover and sent them to get their clothes. But while we were at breakfast every one ran off. It is touching to see the distress of those that remain. Patsy’s only son, and all of Dunmore’s children left. He was sent out this morning to try to find them, and tell them to come back, that their master would not send them away. He returned this evening and told us, with the tears streaming down his cheeks, that he could not find one. Three of the women left young babies. There are nine little children left motherless.

Two of the servants came back since night. The rest we suppose have gone to the Yankees. Mrs. John William tracked them above the Bowling Green.

We have heard no more of the Yankees.

Got a letter from Mr. Maury yesterday evening. Papa and Mama are in Richmond. They are very uneasy about the rest of the family in Fredericksburg since Gen’ Pope’s order. Papa wants to get them away from there. He has written to Gen’ McClellan about it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 30, 1862

Wednesday July 30th [1862]

General Pope has issued an order requiring all male citizens within his lines to take the oath of allegiance, or to leave his limits under penalty of being shot if they return. The Yankees have also passed a new confiscation bill seizing the property of all who refuse to take the oath.

Uncle Jourdan was prepared to run this morning with the larger portion of his negroes, horses and other valuables but has concluded to wait a few days and see if ‘Stone Wall’ Jackson will not whip Pope in that time.

We have to be very cautious and careful in speaking of these things, for if the negroes had any suspicion that they were to be carried away they would run off.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 29, 1862

Tuesday July 29th [1862]

My husband is thirty years old today. God grant him many happy returns.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 27, 1862

Uncle Jourdan’s Sunday July 27th [1862]

Aunt Betsy, Nannie Belle and I went to Dr. Morris’s last Tuesday. I went on to Richmond to bring Mr. Maury back that we might make a little visit together. I took him completely by surprise. He did not know me. The day after my arrival in Richmond we heard that the enemy had made another raid upon the Central Road and had sent a scouting party to within a few miles of Dr. Morris’s. Mr. Maury thought it would be running a risk for him to go to that neighbourhood, so he persuaded me to stay with him ‘till Friday.

Cousin Lucy P. returned to Dr. Morris’s with me and we all came back here to day.

Had to cross a river in a little row boat on my way down to Richmond. When we got to the river we found that the boat was on the other side. So Mr. Williamson (to whom I had just been introduced) requested me to go back into the woods while he swam across and got it. I did so, and he called me when he was ready.

Papa only got off to Albemarle last Monday. He has been detained in Richmond on a Court Martial. I was much disappointed not to see him . . . but comforted myself by thinking what a happy time he and Mama and Mr. & Mrs. “Major” are having together.

Dick and Sue were married on the 17th. They had great trouble about the license. D. had to send his servant up to Fredericksburg to get her guardians certificate that she was of age before he could get it.

Lincoln has appointed Gen’ Pope as commander in chief of all the forces around Fredericksburg and in the Valley of Virginia.

The ladies of Fredericksburg have sent eight hundred dollars to Richmond for the benefit of our wounded soldiers.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 20, 1862

Sunday 20th [July] 1862

I wish I was one of the women of Richmond. They have made for themselves a name that will be handed down with praise and honour for many generations. During the battles that were fought around Richmond, in which their dear ones were engaged – while they could see the flash and hear the cannon all day long – there was no screaming, or shrieking or running about the streets. They waited quietly until the dead and wounded were brought in – some of them to their doors – and then busied themselves in doing all that a woman can do to alleviate the sufferings and minister to the wants of our wounded. Sunday – the fourth day of the fight – none of the churches were opened. The ministers went around to the different houses encouraging the women to set to work and make beds, pillows and sheets for the hundreds of wounded that were still being brought in.

Many of the ladies have private hospitals. Six or eight, who live near each other, will together rent a house in their neighbourhood and fill it with wounded or sick soldiers (sometimes as many as fifty) and feed and nurse them themselves.

It is not just now that the women of Richmond are showing their heroism and patriotic devotion. They have been doing all that they could do ever since the war began, on many occasions sending their dinners untasted to the tired and hungry soldiers who had just arrived.

But I do not believe Richmond has done more than any other city in the Confederacy would have done had she the same opportunities

Many take the soldiers to their own house to nurse.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - July 19, 1862

Saturday 19th July [1862]

The Yankees come to Bowling Green every day for a few hours. They have not been any distance this side yet, but we expect them daily.

It has been almost two weeks since my dear husband left, and I have received but one letter from him written, the day after he arrived in Richmond. The Yankee visits have, of course interrupted all mail communication with the South. We are dependant upon private opportunities.