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						91
	 In a ruined Meeting-house.
home, ate a hearty meal (principally supplied
by Brigham, previously, as a present to his
future hosts) and bivouacked for the night,
on our blankets, spread upon the floor.   I sat
up, however, till 10  , writing a letter to the Trib-
une; really Brigham s task, but he suggested
my undertaking it, and I was zealous to show
myself worthy of my pay.  So sitting on the 
wooden steps of what may have been the altar
or relieving that attitude by lying, I scribbled,
the lightning illuminating the wild, windy night
outside, and the camp-fires blazing fitfully.      
At the time mentioned I had finished my task,
and crept into my blanket, where with a sack
of corn-meal for a pillow, I slept soundly.    As
the even proved, I might have spared my labor,
for to the best of my belief the letter never appear-
ed in print.        Whether Brigham didn t mail
it or whether what followed about Yorktown
eclipsed it in interest, I don t know; anyway
I haven t found it in the Tribune.     It was a
pretty complete description of the day s experiences,
and had it come to hand I am almost sure that
it would have received the baptism of printers  ink,
for as Gay wrote to me, subsequently,  The curio-
sity and anxiety of the public, about Yorktown,
was feverish. 
  5.  Saturday.   Is told in the following letter:
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nineteen: page one hundred and five
Description:Describes spending the night in a deserted church or meeting house in which Captain Ayres' battery took up quarters.
Date:1862-04-04
Subject:Brigham, William T.; Civil War; Gay, Sidney H.; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Military; New York tribune.; Peninsular Campaign (Va.)
Coverage (City/State):[Newport News, Virginia]; Yorktown, [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.