“Our house was a hospital”

Betty Herndon Maury (1835-1903). Diary entry, December 28, 1862. Betty Herndon Maury Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

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 the windows broken and the shutters torn down. Two blocks of buildings were burned to the ground. Our house was a hospital. Mr. Corbin says every vessel in the house even the vegetable 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.

This blog complements the Library of Congress exhibition, “The Civil War in America.” This series of posts chronicles the sacrifices and accomplishments of those—from both the North and South—whose lives were lost or affected by the events of 1861–1865. To learn more about the object featured in this blog entry, visit the online exhibition.