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	A queer Temptation.
turnal posting expeditions an absurd temp-
tation after beset me.        There was, adjacent
to the Custom-house, a clumsy old Spanish
cannon, which had been dubbed Old Secession,
in consequence of its having been fired in celebra-
tion of the 20th of December s doings.    Now I
was immensely tempted to spike Old Secession
and if I could have procured a rat-tailed file
or a good long nail, I veritably believe I should
have done it.    The common stood all alone, often
on a wet, black night, a blow with a stone
would have done it effectually.   There would have
been such a devil of a row about it on discovery,
talk of traitors in the camp and what not and
it would have made a capital item in a letter.
This Old Secession was always fired in celebra-
tion of any event considered favorably to the
Southern cause, as the secession of another state.
I was certainly not actuated by any special en-
mity to the dominant idea or sympathy for the
other side, the temptation was simply from the
absurdity and risk.         Akin to it was one which,
like that which beset the fellow who wanted to
ostracize Aristides, prompted me to announce
my real business in Charleston amid all the
throng at the hotel or to hurrah for Lincoln.
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Fifteen: page seventy
Description:Describes an old cannon dubbed by Charlestonians as ''Old Secession.''
Subject:Gunn, Thomas Butler; Lincoln, Abraham; Secession
Coverage (City/State):Charleston, [South Carolina]
Scan Date:2010-05-08


Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Fifteen
Description:Describes Gunn's experience as a correspondent for ""The New York Evening Post"" in Charleston, South Carolina, in the aftermath of South Carolina's secession from the federal government, including a conflict between A.H. Colt and Mr. Woodward, a visit to Sullivan's Island, John Mitchel's tale of assisting with the lynching of an abolitionist, attending a celebration in honor of Benjamin Mordecai, Will Waud's arrival in Charleston, the scene in Charleston the day the ''Star of the West'' was fired upon by the Morris Island battery, pistol and rifle practice with various Charlestonians, a rumor in New York about his having been tarred and feathered in Charleston, a visit to the quarters of the ''Richland Rifles,'' witnessing a slave auction, and a visit to Colonel Bull's home.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Books and reading; Civil War; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Military; Publishers and publishing; Secession; Slavery; Slaves; Travel
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Charleston, South Carolina
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 2010 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.