In the Confederate service.
A record Exhibiting a signal display of courage and genius.
's career in the Confederate army is history.
The niche assigned him in the temple of fame is a high one.
It is in more than one respect unique.
A distinguished soldier of the Confederacy
remarked to the writer recently, that had General Maury
achieved in the East
the things which he achieved in the Army of the West, his final rank would have been higher and his fame greater.
As it is, he is known to the student of Confederate history as one of the bravest, one of the most skillful, and one of the hardest fighters
in the Southern
His heroic defence of Mobile
, in the spring of 1865, against the land attack of Canby
and the attack of the great Farragut
by sea, is alone sufficient to give him a lasting place in history.
and General Maury
were old army comrades and warmest friends, but General Johnston
felt he had been improperly treated in having General Lee
assign officers to his army.
He claimed to outrank Lee
. General Maury
was much embarrassed by the view which General Johnston
took of General Lee
's action, and, with the former's permission, returned to Richmond
and requested assignment elsewhere.
, after General Maury
returned to Richmond
, wrote to Mr. Davis
, protesting against the injustice of General Lee
's action and the then existing state of affairs.
He said he would raise no protest until after the achievement of the independence of the Confederacy
, when he would use all proper means to have his rank rightfully established.
The gauntlet thus thrown down was accepted by Mr. Davis
. General Maury
always said this caused the ultimate removal of Johnston
from the command of the Army of the Tennessee, and, as many thought, the downfall of the Confederacy
's request for a different post was answered with an assignment to the Army of Fredericksburg
, under General Holmes
, at Brooke's Station.
After the victory of Manassas
, both armies lay quiescent for many months.
had had no opportunity for active service when, in February, 1862, he was made chief of staff to General Earle Van Dorn
, in command of the Trans-Mississippi Department.
This distinguished honor illustrates the confidence reposed in General Maury
at headquarters in Richmond
Fought with great men.
It is impossible to go into detail regarding the career of General Maury
in the Confederate army.
It is interwoven with the history of the great men who led the Southern
armies in the West
—with the great Albert Sidney Johnston
; with Forrest
, the unique and wonderful; the brilliant, but unfortunate, Van Dorn
; with Leonidas Polk
, the ‘Fighting Bishop
’; with Stephen D. Lee
—with a dozen other men whose names are famous in the history of the greatest war of the world.
was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general for conduct in the Alcorn campaign.
His first command in the field was of the famous Missouri
brigade, at Corinth
, and in the affair at
On the evacuation of Corinth
, May 31, 1862, he was assigned to command the rear guard of the Army of the West.
The next day he was assigned to the command of the First division of that army, with which he subsequently fought at Iuka
, Hatchie-Bridge and Vicksburg
's division of the Army of the West went into action at Corinth
4,600 strong, on October 4, 1862.
After three days of fighting, it was reduced to 1,200 men, who held Ord
's corps in check, repulsing every attack from 9 A. M. to 3 P. M., and saved Van Dorn
's army and trains.
In April, 1863, General Maury
was ordered to take command of the Department of East Tennessee
While in this command he received a dispatch to this effect: ‘ General Van Dorn
was killed here to-day.
Representing the wishes of his whole corps of cavalry, we desire to know if you will accept its command.’
This was signed by all the generals, including Governor Ross
, of Texas
, and General Frank Armstrong
This, the highest compliment ever paid General Maury
, he found proper to decline.
His defence of Mobile.
Soon afterwards he was transferred to the Department of the Gulf, which he defended until the battle of Mobile
closed the war between the States, on April 12th.
The fighting began March 26, 1865, against Canby
's army of three corps of infantry, a heavy force of artillery, and Farragut
conducted the defence with great skill, destroying twelve of Farragut
On the 12th of April, pursuant to his orders from General Lee
, General Maury
marched out the remnant of his little army, now reduced to a division of 4,500 men. As he marched out with the rear guard, a flag of truce was sent out to the fleet, to apprise the enemy that he might enter Mobile
, without firing a shot into the town.
On the 14th of May, he and his army were paroled.
's life after the war was that of many a soldier of the Confederacy
The close of the war found him penniless.
He has often remarked upon how little fitted he was by education and training to be a man of business.
He was fond of borrowing General Dick Taylor
's opinion of the education of officers of the United States army: ‘Take a boy of sixteen from his mother's apron-strings, shut him up under
constant surveillance at West Point
, send him out to a two-company post upon the frontier, where he does little but play seven--up and drink whiskey at the sutler's, and by the time he is forty-five years old, he will furnish the most complete illustration of suppressed mental development of which human nature is capable.’
Though without business training or inclination for business life, General Maury
went to work with a will.
Being a graduate of the University
and of West Point
, he decided to establish a classical and mathematical academy for boys at Fredericksburg
, where he lived.
Though he always spoke in humorous depreciation of the school, it succeeded.
But teaching was not at all to General Maury
's tastes, and when offered a lucrative position with an express company at New Orleans, he accepted.
After he had been in the employ of the company for some time he resigned to embark in the manufacture of rosin and turpentine in St. Tammany Parish, La.
For a year General Maury
succeeded profitably in his new enterprise, but owing to the embarrassments of the old army friend who was advancing him money for the business, he was unable to carry it on successfully.
continued the enterprise until he had lost nearly every cent.
Originated the Southern Historical Society.
He went to New Orleans with only $2.50 in his pocket.
He went to the office of an old friend, General Simon B. Buckner
, to whom he told his plight.
told him the office of secretary of the Southern
Hospital Association had just been created the previous night, at a salary of $125 a month.
He asked General Maury
if he would accept it.
“As that is just $125 more than my present income, of course I will accept,” replied General Maury
He received the appointment.
The salary was soon increased to $200 a month.
It was in New Orleans, in 1868, that General Maury
set on foot a plan for the systematic collection of Southern war records, which resulted in the formation of the Southern Historical Society.
In August, 1873, at a convention held at the White Sulphur Springs
, the domicile of the society was removed to the Capitol
, and General Maury
was made Chairman
of the Executive Committee.
National guard Association.
During the contest of Tilden
for the presidency, and
soon after the great labor riots in Baltimore
, General Maury
called a meeting in Richmond
for the purpose of taking steps to improve the militia of the State
At this meeting the coopera-tion of other States was invited.
Many accepted, and the National Guard Association of America
was formed as a result.
A further result was the securing from Congress of a small annual appropriation for the purpose of arming the State
always said this meeting aroused such vital interest in the subject in every State that the United States
now has the most efficient national militia in the world.
In 1885, General Maury
was appointed United States
envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the United States
by Mr. Cleveland
He remained at Bogota
until after the election of Mr. Harrison
Made his home in Richmond.
Since his return from the United States
, General Maury
had resided with relatives in this city and with his son, Mr. Dabney H. Maury, Jr.
, at Peoria, Ill.
Few men and women in Richmond
are unfamiliar with his rather small, spare, but stiffly erect figure.
All who knew him loved him. General Maury
angry was something few persons ever saw. He was the soul of good fellowship.
He was a man with a heart—a big one in a small body.
He was an inveterate story-teller.
His long life and his varied experiences prevented his stories from ever growing tiresome.
Offer from the Lottery.
His frankness and his honesty were probably his most striking characteristics.
The latter is splendidly illustrated by an incident of General Maury
's life after the war, one which he often told.
He was in very destitute circumstances, and had no idea whither to go to find the dollar.
One afternoon he received a letter in an official-looking envelope.
He broke the seal and found it was from the Louisiana State Lottery Company, offering him a salary of $25,000 per year if he would accept the position of president of the company.
“The temptation was a terrible one,” said General Maury
. ‘To say that it was otherwise would be to say I was more than human.
I was almost penniless, and there was no prospect of my being otherwise.
Twenty-five thousand a year was wealth which to me seemed fabulous.
I did not say anything to any one concerning the proposition.
When I went to bed I could not sleep.
I tossed and
turned for hours, trying to make up my mind.
Finally just before dawn, I resolved to decline the offer.
I had never done anything which was not honest, and I determined that it was too late to begin.
in my old age. Sleep was easy to me then, and it was late when I awoke.
Almost as soon as I did so I arose, and writing a letter of refusal of the company's offer, posted it. I have never regretted it.’
Interest in Spanish war.
was in every fibre a soldier.
He not only had the personal courage requisite, but despite his whimsical manner of disparaging the army as an occupation, it was plain to see he was by nature a man who loved and was fitted for army life.
All his stories were of war; all his recollections of incidents of battle and adventure in the field.
When war broke out with Spain
, the old fellow would go to the Governor
's office every day and ask the influence of Governor Tyler
in securing appointment to the army.
The old warhorse scented battle once again, and wished to drink once more of the excitement of war.
was a man of the simplest tastes.
He abhorred anything which favored of display.
About five years ago he was taken ill in this city, and it was feared his death was not distant.
He spoke to a friend concerning his wishes as to the funeral.
“There must be no pomp,” he said.
‘Let the services be simple.
Let the coffin be hauled to the railroad station on a caisson, followed by a few of my old comrades.
I want my body to be sent to the old family burying-ground, at Fredericksburg
, that I may sleep with my people.’
There was general sorrow in Richmond
last night at the news of General Maury
At no other place was the expression more general or hearty than at the Westmoreland Club
, where he spent much of his time when in Richmond
He was a great favorite with the members of the club.
A fine painting of the General
adorns the walls of the club-house, and in the Lee Camp gallery
is another, given by the Westmoreland.
The old soldier has well earned the rest upon which he has entered, and his sleep will be dreamless and sweet in the bosom of the old State for whom he risked all save honor, and lost all save honor and life.