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						139
		 Farenhold s. 

[photograph]
  Farenhold s House, on the York River, with part of Fede-
ral Battery, No 1.

[newspaper clipping continued: first column]
turesque creek or stream with steep banks, beyond
which we could see the white tents of our troops
(where are they not on this peninsula, I wonder?) in
relief against the wet, green foliage.  Further on,
at the verge of the fields, the shot and shell and can-
non piled there reminded one of a navy yard.  Be-
hind, all was flat, open country, stretching away to
the York River.
  Under the fickle April sky, with a huge slate-col-
ored cloud growing darker every minute on the 
western horizon, and  looking like a foul bombard
that would shed its liquor,  the prospect was cheer-
less enough.  The earth seemed drenched; at every
step through the swampy fields our horses plashed
fetlock deep in water.  The fences were broken or
removed for firewood; the corn-stalks rotten; great
and small pools lay here and there and everywhere.
I observed that only about half an acre of land had
been plowed.  Straight across this dreary land-and-
water-scape, the road led directly to an ugly, formal
house, beyond a blossoming cherry orchard, the
ground of which had been further utilized by the
planting of corn.  This house was the goal of our 
journey.
  A wooden building (like all the houses hereabout),
painted of a reddish brown, under a sub-structure of
whitewashed brick, with a tall chimney and protect-
ing lightning rod at either end, it stands upon the
shore of the York River, its rear commanding a
distant view of Gloucester and Yorktown.  From the
porch, or better still, from the upper windows, we
saw both distinctly by the aid of a field glass, even
to the houses, the Rebel flags, and a wharf and long
building at Gloucester Point, from which locality as

[newspaper clipping continued: second column]
from its besieged neighbor on the nearer shore, we
were about two miles distant.  To the left, close
by, and between us and Yorktown, was Wormley
Creek, a pretty stream, with several green islets in
it, almost worth of the name of river.  I have
alluded to its picturesque appearance inland in a 
preceding paragraph.  On the other side of the York 
River the shore presented a mere woody fine, with
tall trees, pre-eminent in one particular spot.
  The river looked broad and black and lonely, on
the occasion of our visit, with only a few rods visible
in it, denoting the existence of oyster-beds, and far
away to the right five Union gunboats.  As we
gazed, the threat of the huge slate-colored cloud was
fulfilled, and a smart shower drove us into the house
for shelter; nor us alone, for the place and grounds
swarmed with Uncle Sam s blue-coats.  We found
the house quite dismantled; a skeleton four-poster in
the hall, broken hoops, barrels, tools, a rusty old
safe and a tree in a tub, huddled together in the
basement, and soldiers  names scrawled in pencil or 
charcoal over the whitewashed walls of the disfur-
nished chambers.  There were also loyal inscrip-
tions, coarse anti-Secession cariatures and a Goddess
of Liberty (of worse anatomical symmetry than
those ornamenting our National currency) executed
in a similar medium.  To which artless performances
the aforementioned blue-coats immediately applied
themselves, reading, laughing at, admiring or increas-
ing them.
  After strolling through the house from attic to
basement, I directed my steps to one of the adjacent
negro huts of which there were many those for
house-servants on the right, there occupied by field-
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nineteen: page one hundred and fifty-four
Description:Newspaper clipping written by Gunn for ''The New York Tribune,'' regarding a visit to Farnhold's House.
Date:1862-04-23
Subject:Civil War; Drawing; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Military; New York tribune.; Peninsular Campaign (Va.); Siege of Yorktown (Va.)
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.