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sought the embrace of death s half brother Sleep, the man above died.
   No more for him this world with its joys, sorrows and thoughts.   All will rise in
the morrow to their labours;   he by that simple, strange, awful act hath become su-
perior to all of them.   The poorest clown does a great act in dying;   day commonplace
till Great Death renders its spirit-sister wiser than All of us.             A tall fellow
was the man;   ( on the morrow I saw his body)  not thirty; and Tipperary born.
No kith nor kin here to mourn for him; little I trow do those who knew him, a child;
picture him lying with rigid cold face in the silent midnight room.  He had deserted
from the British Canadian service, (common enow); and meeting his old Colonel in 
Broad-
way had, mechanically saluted him   it had been drilled into him.  That is all I know
of the man, save his name   Fabin.
  19.  Monday.  Reading Lamartine s  Gironde  &c  till Barth and I crossed
first to Brooklyn, then New York. Met Anderson.  /    A solitary ramble on the
Battery while Barth visited the Margaretta.   Joining me, we went to Robinson,
and from thence to Canal.   Homer Hall out with us, we parting with him in Brooklyn,
and re-erasing to the Island, I having desire to witness a military funeral. Snug din-
ner, shaver bath &c.      A plain red-brown hued coffin, with escort of soldiers in blue
arriving at the Hospital gate; a little procession formed, the band play a sad tune,
and they march on to the little, fenced-in, sea-side burial ground, wherein the fresh
tall grass blades quiver in the sunlight.  Forming around a shallow grave, the comman-
ding officer reads aloud and uncovered, (as are the spectators) the beautiful burial 
service.
That done, to the words of command, three several volleys are fired over his grave;
and then, to a lively, quick step the men defile off.       Anon we encountered
Creesey, another, and an auld Scotsman, who had looked on Napoleon, talked of 
Nelson
and been far in his joureneyings.     He, getting keys took us to Castle Williams
(the old park-pie-resembling fort. )   Mounting to the summit, not forgetting a glance at
a furnace for heating common-shot red hot below, we from this stern, still Bellona s
temple looked out, mounted on the huge cannon, which guard the ramparts.     A fair
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Two: page one hundred and five
Description:Describes attending a military funeral on Governors Island.
Date:1851-05-18
Subject:Barth, William; Creecey; Duff, Margaretta; Fabin; Funeral rites and ceremonies; Governors Island (New York County, N.Y.); Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hall, Homer; Military
Coverage (City/State):New York, [New York]; Tipperary, [Ireland]; Brooklyn, [New York]
Coverage (Street):Broadway; Canal Street; Robinson Street
Scan Date:2011-02-07

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Two
Description:Includes descriptions of Gunn's attempts to find drawing work among New York publishers, brief employment in an architectural office, visits to his soldier friend William Barth on Governors Island, boarding house living, drawing at actor Edwin Forrest's home at Fonthill Castle, and sailing and walking trips taken with friends.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Books and reading; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Military; Publishers and publishing; Religion; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York
Note:Thomas Butler Gunn was born February 15, 1826, in Banbury, England, and came to New York in 1849. During the Civil War he worked as a correspondent for the New York Tribune and the New York Evening Post. He returned to England in 1863, and died in Birmingham in April 1903. The collection includes twenty-one volumes of his diaries, including newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, sketches, and various other items inserted by Gunn. Diary entries date from July 7, 1849, to April 7, 1863, and include his experiences with the New York publishing and literary world, his descriptions of boarding houses, his travels throughout the United States, and his experiences traveling with the Federal army as a Civil War correspondent.
Publisher:Missouri History Museum
Rights:Copyright 2011 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.