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		 California Joe. 
count,  he said,  but he hated to be drun out of
it.          They brought out a bake oven and put it
up once, to shield the gunners, he added of the 
rebels.   The had wounded his instrument   he hoped
they hadn t spoiled her!       Berdan praised him,
called my attention to his remarks and the look-
ers on laughed admiringly.   The sharpshooter s

[newspaper clipping]
   The Philadelphia Ledger of Nov. 8 has this
interesting paragraph:  Mr. Truman Head, whose
exploits as a sharpshooter have attained him wide
celebrity in the army, where he is known as Califor-
nia Joe, arrived in this city on Thursday evening.
He is on his way home to California, his right eye
having become impaired by too frequently and con-
stantly scrutinizing the countenances of rebels
through a telescope, with rifle attached.  Mr. Head
accepted an invitation to be present at the Cooper
Shop Refreshment Saloon last evening, where he cre-
ated much interest.  He is an intelligent looking man,
of dark complexion, regular features, full beard and
long curly hair, and is apparently about 50 years of
age.  Contrary to what might be supposed, he is gen-
tle in his deportment and deplores the taking of life.
He is one of Berdan s sharpshooters, and during the
campaign on the Peninsula was constantly employed,
using his rifle with almost mathematical precision.
His plan of operation was to take his food with him
in the morning, and seek a favorable position, from
which he would shoot during the entire day, only
ceasing at night, after closing the existence of all
rebels on whom he could draw bead.  Recently, while
thus engaged, his rifle was struck by a ball, which
glanced and scraped his nose and cheek, leaving a
deep scar, but doing him no further injury.  By the
advice of a physician he has, for the present, retired
from active duty, having received a brief furlough, at
the expiration of which he will resume his services. 

[Gunn s diary continued]
talk, indeed, was almost
as racy as that of Natty Bum
or Ralph Stackpole, though
he evidently exaggerated his
manner in consequence of
ther having an audience.   I
put him in the Tribune,
in a letter of which I have
no copy, together with my
experiences of the past day
  or more.        Truman Head
was a man of property;
according to Berdan he had willed all of his
money to the widow s and orphans accruing to the
regiment.         A dark ride back to the Hospi-
tal tents, where Aiken shared the low shelter
tent of Heichhold, in the rear of his living one.
  12.  Saturday.   A ride to the camp in the
wood, on the borders of which we were located,
in company with Skilton.  To the 87th New York
and the 63rd Penn.     Near Col Hays tent, lay the
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nineteen: page one hundred and thirty-three
Description:Describes sharpshooter ''California Joe.''
Date:1862-04-11
Subject:Aiken, Captain; Berdan, Hiram; Civil War; Firearms; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hays, Alexander; Head, Truman (California Joe); Heichhold, A.P.; Journalism; Military; New York Infantry Regiment, 87th; New York tribune.; Peninsular Campaign (Va.); Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, 63rd; Siege of Yorktown (Va.); Skilton, Julius A.; United States Sharpshooters Regiment, 1st
Coverage (City/State):[Yorktown, Virginia]
Scan Date:2010-06-17

 

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.