DABNEY H. MAURY
Dabney Herndon Maury, who hailed from Virginia, attained the rank of colonel and served as chief of staff to Earl Van Dorn during the Pea Ridge Campaign. After the war, he was noted for founding the Southern Historical Society. This abridged selection on his close relationship with Van Dorn and the battle of Pea Ridge, or Elk Horn Tavern, was originally published in the Southern Society Historical Papers under the title "Recollections of Earl Van Dorn."
General Earl Van Dorn was, in the opinion of the writer, the most remarkable man the State of Mississippi has ever known. My acquaintance with him began in Monterey in the fall of 1846. He was aide-de‐ camp then to General Persifor F. Smith, and was one of the most attractive young fellows in the army. He used to ride a beautiful bay Andalusian horse, and as he came galloping along the lines, with his yellow hair waving in the wind and his bright face lighted with kindliness and courage, we all loved to see him. His figure was lithe and graceful; his stature did not exceed five feet six inches; but his clear blue eyes, his firm-set mouth, with white, strong teeth, his well-cut nose, with expanding nostrils, gave assurance of a man whom men could trust and follow. No young officer came out of the Mexican war with a reputation more enviable than his. After the close of that war he resumed his duties and position in the infantry regiment of which he was a lieutenant.
In 1854 the Second Cavalry was organized, and Van Dorn was promoted to be the major of the regiment. He conducted several of the most important and successful expeditions against the Comanches we have ever made, and in one of them was shot through the body, the point of the arrow just protruding through the skin. No surgeon was at hand. Van Dorn, reflecting that to withdraw the arrow would leave the barbed head in his body, thrust it on through, and left the surgeon little to do.