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	  A Night with Ayres  Battery
this military village which contrasted favorably 
in every respect with the wretched hovels or misera-
ble  shelter-tents  in which the Army of the Poto-
mac had shivered through the winter.        The fires
were still burning; for the enemy had occupied
the place in force overnight.    We got a corn-
cob pipe or two, found a dog, took a ride through
out the entrenchments, then rejoined our compani-
ons.     Capt. Ayres took up his quarters at a 
deserted church or meeting-house, amid a chaos
of logs and felled trees, with a homely graveyard
in the rear.           The interior presented a bare
aspect, two windows at the narrow ends, four
length wise, an old-fashioned ricketty gallery at
one of the former, ascended by a broken wooden
staircase; only a sounding board remained of
the pulpit, between the four windows, the torn
woodwork below revealing the lath and plaster of
the walls.          These were scribbled over with in-
numerable inscriptions in charcoal, among which
the  Letcher Guards  and  Maggie    the last
in gigantic characters   were prominent.   I noti-
ced also roughly drawn cartoons of  Old Abe, 
hanging on a gallows, with the devil in waiting.
Evidently Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and
Virginian soldiers had left records there.  The
floor was littered with grain and corn-cobs, but
not unclean.        Here we made ourselves at
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nineteen: page one hundred and four
Description:Describes a deserted church or meeting house in which Captain Ayres' battery took up quarters.
Date:1862-04-04
Subject:Army of the Potomac (Union); Ayres, Romeyn Beck; Civil War; Drawing; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Lincoln, Abraham; Military; Peninsular Campaign (Va.)
Coverage (City/State):[Newport News, Virginia]
Scan Date:2010-06-14

 

Volume
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nineteen
Description:Includes Gunn's descriptions of his experiences as a war correspondent for ""The New York Tribune"" in Virginia while traveling with the Army of the Potomac during the Peninsular Campaign; the Siege of Yorktown; the Battle of Williamsburg; his departure from Alexandria on the steamer Kent; the ruins of Hampton, Virginia, after it was burnt by John B. Magruder; touring the gunboat Monitor; the death of Fitz James O'Brien from a gunshot wound; Jim Parton's temporary separation from Fanny Fern; and seeing Robert E. Lee's house in Virginia.
Subject:Civil War; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Marches (U.S. Army); Marriage; Medical care (U.S. Army); Military; Military camp life; Peninsular Campaign (Va.); Prisoners of war (Confederate); Siege of Yorktown (Va.); Slavery; Slaves; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Washington, District of Columbia; Alexandria, Virginia; Hampton, Virginia; Yorktown, Virginia; Williamsburg, Virginia
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.