Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
Previous Issue Next Issue
Previous Page Next Page
0 matches
	     Evacuation of Yorktown!

[newspaper clipping: first column]
From Our Special Correspondent.
         CAMP BEFORE YORKTOWN, Va., May 3, 1861 9. p. m.
  Apparently, the Rebels are becoming impatient 
as we are.  They favored us yesterday, with an in-
termittent discharge of shot and shell along their
lines, fro mthe center to the extreme right, lasting
from early morning until toward 4 p. m.  Some of
their shots fell in, some over our camps, others in
dangerous proximity to the headquarters fo Gen.
Heintzelman.  One dropped immediately behind,
and within a few feet of the tent of the telegraph
operators, where it excavated a hole of three or four
feet deep, and then burst, its fragments tearing the
canvas, but doing no other injury.  Of course, the
incident created no little sensation among the officers
and gentlemen present.
  Perhaps the only person who betrayed no symp-
tom of apprehension was the General himself.  He,
as self-possessed and courageous as when upon the
battle-fields of Mexico, or during the disastrous day
of Bull Run, remained seated in his chair, with bet-
ter fortune than upon the latter occasion, only rising
subsequently to satisfy himself as to the safety of
the members of his staff.  The shell was from an 8-
inch columbiad.
  At about 2 p. m. a big gun, the sonorous roar of
which has identified it to our men, burst in essaying
a shot.  The explosion was plainly visible to our
soldiers, including an aide-de-camp of General Mc-
Clellan.  A crowd of men gathered upon the Rebel
earthworks, and two ambulances appeared after-
ward, evidently to carry away the wounded.
  At an earlier hour a rumor prevailed that a shot
from the Rebels had destroyed our Observatory,
killing two men.  It was not credited at headquar-
ters, and has proved erroneous.
  A shell burst in front of our Battery No. 1, near
Farenholt s house, striking the parapet immediately
below one of the embrasures.  Beyond knocking the
earth about and partly destroying the embrasure, it
did no mischief.
  On Thursday night, or rather yesterday morning,
the 5th New-Jersey, the 2d New-York Fire Zouaves,
and the 70th New-York (beter known as the 1st

[newspaper clipping: second column]
Regiment of the Excelsior Brigade), being on picket
duty, two of the latter were wounded by a frag-
ment of a shell Frank Dell of Company F so
seriously as to necessitate amputation of the leg.  He
was in the act of getting over the parapet of one of
our intrenchments in order to relieve a picket placed
about 150 yards in advance, when the shell burst
near him.  It also struck William Elliott of Company
I in the foot, mutilating one or two of his toes.  Both
men, it is confidently expected, will survive.
  Two other members o the regiment were
knocked down by the concussion of a shell, which
almot buried them in the earth, inflicting no further
injury.  Another shell passed harmlessly within a
couple of yards of the head of Dr. Brown, the
  The 70th, by the by, are well pleased at the pros-
pect of the arrival of their former commander, Dan-
iel E. Sickles.  They regard his appointment as an 
act of simple justice.
  Gen. Hamilton departed for Washington yester-
day, being superseded by Gen. Philip Kearney in
the command of his division.  The cause of Gen.
Hamilton s dismissal it is nothing else is stated as
  In response to an order by the Commander-in-
Chief, detailing the regiments under Gen. Hamilton
for fatigue and picket-duty, that gentleman first
obeyed, and then dispatched a note to Gen. McClel-
lan, representing that his men had been, from the
time of their arrival before Yorktown, notoriously
overworked, to the serious detriment of their health
and efficiency; thast other divisions had been com-
paratively absolved from such labor.  For this note
an apology was demanded.  While disclaiming any
intention of discourtesy, Gen. Hamilton persisted in
his remonstrances.  The result is his removal and
the substitution of Gen. Kearney.  I know no officer
who was more deservedly popular with his men, as
among those of his own rank, than Gen. Hamilton,
and his dismissal has assuredly not diminished his
  The army is getting impatient for the word to ad-
vance.  I have heard that it will be given on Mon-

[Gunn s diary continued]
climax!    I had been told, yesterday, by old
Heintzelman that the bombardment would begin
on the morrow or, at furthest, Tuesday, when I
should heard such a cannonading as had never yet
occurred on this continent: the officers generally,
were congratulating themselves on it, with but mild
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nineteen: page one hundred and seventy-four
Description:Includes newspaper clipping written by Gunn for ''The New York Tribune,'' regarding the bombardment of the Union camp by Confederate shells at Yorktown.
Subject:Brown, Dr.; Civil War; Dell, Frank; Elliott, William; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hamilton, Charles Smith; Heintzelman, Samuel Peter; Journalism; Kearny, Philip; McClellan, George B.; Military; New Jersey Infantry Regiment, 5th; New York Infantry Regiment, 2nd; New York Infantry Regiment, 70th; New York tribune.; Peninsular Campaign (Va.); Sickles, Daniel Edgar; Siege of Yorktown (Va.)
Coverage (City/State):Yorktown, Virginia
Scan Date:2010-06-17


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.