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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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[Gunn s handwriting]
F. Leslie s Illustrated.     January 18, 1861.

A very cocky little personage.

[newspaper clipping, including engraving of Edward Serrell]
MAJOR EDWARD W. SERRELL, OF THE N. Y. ENGINEERS. FROM A PHOTOGRAPH IN
THE POSSESSION OF HIS WIFE.

  MAJOR EDWARD W. SERRELL.
THIS eminent engineer was born Nov. 5th,
1828, in the city of New York, where his
father is well known as an engineer and
architect of repute.  In his boyish days
the subject of our present sketch unmis-
takeably marked the bent of his genius.
In his 12th year he entered the Mechanics 
School.  After studying for one or two
terms, his youthful fancy veered towards
a farmer s life, but, with the usual fickle-
ness of genius, it suddenly turned towards
the sea, and, under the vague inspiration
of becoming a Decatur or a Dacres, he
applied to President Van Buren to carry
out his design; fortunately his mother
overruled him, and he was sent to Pro-
fessor Leggett s mathematical school.  At
14 he entered upon his career, and for
three years was employed with his elder
brothers in surveying.  He was also em-
ployed in laying out the Atlantic Dock,
Brooklyn, and afterwards was engaged in
New Hampshire on the Northern Rail-
road.  Our space will not allow us to 
detail his various works, till he was ap-
pointed Chief Engineer of the Niagara Sus-
pension Bridge at Lewiston.  He next
superintended the erection of a similar
work at the city of St. John, New Bruns-
wick.  In 1856 he turned his especial at-
tention to building the Hoosic Tunnel
in Massachusetts.  In 1857 the compli-
ment was paid him of being sent for by
the Corporation of Bristol, in England,
to build a bridge over the Avon.  The
military experience of Col. Serrell com-
menced before his 18th year.  At that
time he joined the ranks of the 8th regi-
ment, New York State Militia, rose rapidly
through the different grades until he was
made the engineer officer of Gen. Hall s
staff, with the rank of Major.
  When the present rebellion broke out,
he offered his services to the Federal
Government, and was appointed Colonel
of Engineers on the 26th July, 1861.  He
is now with his regiment at Port Royal, 
S. C.
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eighteen: page one hundred and forty-one
Description:Newspaper clipping and engraving regarding Edward Serrell.
Date:1862-01-18
Subject:Civil War; Frank Leslie's illustrated news.; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Leggett, Professor; Serrell; Serrell, Edward W.; Serrell, Edward W., Mrs.; Serrell, Mrs.; Van Buren, Martin
Coverage (City/State):New York, [New York]; Port Royal, South Carolina
Scan Date:2010-06-14

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Eighteen
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 life, the shooting of Sergeant Davenport by Captain Fitz James O'Brien for insubordination, and Frank Bellew's marital troubles.
Subject:Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Civil War; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Marriage; Military; Publishers and publishing; 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 2010 Missouri History Museum.
Source:Page images, transcriptions, and metadata of the Thomas Butler Gunn diaries have been provided by the Missouri History Museum.