WARTIME VIEW OF GENERAL DABNEY H. MAURY

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Item Code: 1138-376

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Vignette bust-view of Maury in a double-breasted frockcoat with general’s collar insignia.

Contrast and clarity are excellent. Paper and mount have light scattered surface dirt.

Reverse is blank but does have some biographical information in modern pencil. There is also some collector information in pencil at bottom.

From the collection of the late William A. Turner.

Dabney Herndon Maury was born at Fredericksburg, Virginia, May 20, 1822, the son of Capt. John Minor Maury, United States Navy, whose wife was the daughter of Fontaine Maury.

He was educated at the classical school of Thomas Harrison, Fredericksburg, studied law at the University of Virginia, and was graduated at West Point in 1846, with the rank of brevet second lieutenant in the Mounted Rifles.

A theater for active service in his profession was awaiting him in Mexico, where he was at once ordered.  He conducted himself with soldierly valor in this war, particularly at the siege of Vera Cruz and the battle of Cerro Gordo, where he was severely wounded, and received the brevet of first lieutenant for gallantry.

In further recognition of his services, he was presented with a sword by the citizens of Fredericksburg and the legislature of Virginia.  For several years subsequent to the Mexican War he was detailed for service at the United States Military Academy, first as assistant professor of geography, history and ethics, and afterward as assistant professor of infantry tactics.

In 1852 he was transferred to frontier duty in Texas, in which he continued, with promotion to first lieutenant, until 1858, when he was appointed superintendent of the cavalry school at Carlisle, Pa.  From April 15, 1860, until the outbreak of the Civil War he was assistant adjutant-general, with the rank of brevet captain, in New Mexico.

He promptly acted with his State in 1861, and was commissioned captain, corps of cavalry, C. S. A., to date from March 16th.  Subsequently he was promoted colonel, was appointed adjutant-general of the army at Manassas, and when Gen. Earl Van Dorn was assigned to command the Trans-Mississippi department, early in 1862, he became his chief of staff and adjutant-general.

In his report of the battle of Elkhorn Tavern, General Van Dorn wrote: "Colonel Maury was of invaluable service to me both in preparing for and during the battle.  Here, as on other battlefields where I have served with him, he proved to be a zealous patriot and true soldier; cool and calm under all circumstances, he was always ready, either with his sword or pen. "

Maury was promptly promoted brigadier-general.  He accompanied Van Dorn to the consultation with A. S. Johnston and Beauregard at Corinth previous to the battle of Shiloh, and subsequently was transferred with the main Confederate force east of the Mississippi, where his service was afterward given.

When Price took command of the Army of the West at Tupelo, he commanded one of its two divisions, including the brigades of John C. Moore, W. L. Cabell and C. W. Phifer, and the cavalry of F. C. Armstrong.  Little of Maryland, commanding the other division, fell at Iuka, where Maury was held in reserve, and afterward served as rear guard, repelling pursuit.

About a fortnight later he commanded the center in the battle of Corinth, against Rosecrans, and gallantly engaged the enemy, who was driven from his intrenchments and through the town.  During the subsequent retirement he defended the rear, fighting spiritedly at Hatchie's Bridge.

He was promoted major-general in November, 1862, and on December 30th, arrived before Vicksburg from Grenada, to support S. D. Lee, who had repulsed Sherman's attack at Chickasaw Bayou, and was assigned to command of the right wing.  He continued in service here, his troops being engaged at Steele's Bayou and in the defeat of the Yazoo Pass Expedition, until he was ordered to Knoxville, April 15th, to take command of the Department of East Tennessee.

A month later he was transferred to the command of the District of the Gulf.  In this region, with headquarters at Mobile, he continued to serve until the end of the war.  During the siege of Atlanta, in command of reserve troops, he operated in defense of the Macon Road.

In August, 1864, in spite of a gallant struggle, the defenses of Mobile Bay were taken, and in March and April, 1865, Maury, with a garrison about 9,000 strong, defended the city against the assaults of Canby's army of 45,000 until, after heavy loss, he retired without molestation to Meridian.

But the war was now practically over, and on May 4th, his forces were included in the general capitulation of General Taylor.

Subsequently he made his home at Richmond, Va.  He has given many valuable contributions to the history of the war period, and in 1868 organized the Southern Historical Society, the collections of which he opened to the government War Records Office, securing in return free access to that department by ex-Confederates.

In 1878 he was a leader in the movement for the reorganization of the volunteer troops of the nation, and until 1890 served as a member of the executive committee of the National Guard Association of the United States.

In 1886 he was appointed United States minister to Columbia, a position he held until June 22, 1889.  Maury died in Peoria, Illinois on January 11, 1900 and is buried in Confederate Cemetery, Fredericksburg, Virginia. [AD] [ph:L]

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