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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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[loose newspaper clipping]
      IN 1860-61.  By Abner Doubleday, Brevet Major-
     General, U. S. A.  New York : Harper & Brothers
     Publishers.  1876.
  The author of this book was, at the time of the stir-
ring events it narrates, a captain in the United States
Army, and the next highest in command to Colonel
Gardner before he was relieved, and after that to the
famous Major Anderson.  He was, he says, the only
abolitionist among the officers, and the only one to-
wards whom the rabid secessionists of Charleston had
any personal ill-will.  He dissented very strongly
from the timid policy of Major Anderson, and, had he
been in command, it is very likely not only that Sum-
ter would not have capitulated, but that the city of
Charleston itself might have been retained by the
U. S. forces.
  The distaste which Major Anderson felt for the con-
test with his countrymen even when he was absolutely
forced into it, is illustrated by his thanking God,
when some one told him, after the surrender, that his
shots had caused but little damage.
  There were numerous ludicrous events connected
with the siege; one of these is narrated as follows:
 The South Carolina officers, at this period, spent
much of their time in discussing military problems.
One of these, which was afterward referred to us for
solution, occasioned us much amusement.  All cannon
balls used in the army, and exposed to the weather,
are coated with a varnish of coal-tar to protect them
from rust.  Many of those we left behind, at Fort Moul-
trie, were in piles near the guns, and when the carriages
were burned, the tar melted, ran down in streams and
coagulated in lumps.  It was immediately reported 
that before leaving we had taken great pains to tar
the balls to render them useless.  The problem which
puzzled the military savants of Charleston was to de-
termine in what way cannon balls were ruined by tar.
Some months afterward, when we evacuated Fort
Sumter, one of the officers, who had been much inter-
ested in this subject, took Seymour aside and asked
him confidentially if he had any objection to tell him
why we tarred our balls, assuring them most earnestly
that they could scrape it all off.	           H. A. R.
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Seventeen: page two hundred and forty-five
Description:Newspaper clipping regarding a 1876 memoir about the occupations of Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter immediately before the Civil War.
Subject:Anderson, Robert; Civil War; Fort Moultrie (S.C.); Fort Sumter (Charleston, S.C.); Gardner, Colonel; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Harper and Brothers (New York, N.Y.); Military; Seymour
Coverage (City/State):Charleston, South Carolina
Scan Date:2010-06-15


Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Seventeen
Description:Includes Gunn's descriptions of the scene in New York at the commencement of the Civil War; his visits to military camps in and around New York City as a reporter for ""The New York Evening Post;"" boarding house living; a bridal reception at the Edwards family's residence in honor of the marriage of Sally Edwards and Thomas Nast; a visit to the Heylyn and Rogers families in Rochester; and his trip to Paris, Ontario, to visit George Bolton and the Conworths.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Civil War; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Marriage; Military; Publishers and publishing; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Paris, Ontario, Canada ; Rochester, 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 2010 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.