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154
		The Evacuation of
affectation of military mystery.     (I will say
here, as an appropriate opportunity, that I believe
the ignorance as to the enemy s doings and intentions
  nay as to the topography of the country,   among
the Union generals was extraordinary            Heintzel-
man absolutely snuffled out to me, just before
our departure from Old Point, for Yorktown:  We
shall find nobody there, Mr Gunn, nobody there!
they ll all be gone!  and this was what he hoped
and expected   what Mc Clellan wanted!
How the result stultified these strategical warriors
everybody knows: with but a few exceptions I
have learned utterly to disrespect the whole of them.
They were as full of spites and jealousies as a par-
cel of actors; in the majority of cases actuated
by petty ambitions and vanities, not patriotism.
Only the poor common soldiers showed well; they
were honest.       Whatever might be assumed
afterwards by the Commander-in-chief and his
partisans, I had no doubt at the time that the
thing was a surprise and a humiliating one: had
not the battle of Williamsburg come so quick on the
heels of it this would have been more generally ad-
mitted.     Indeed, as subsequently appeared, the
enemy had intended to abandon Yorktown on our first
appearance, and would have done so but for our
ridiculous falling to digging and  regularly investing 
the place, when it was determined to reinforce
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Nineteen: page one hundred and seventy-five
Description:Regarding the evacuation of Yorktown by Confederate forces.
Date:1862-05-04
Subject:Battle of Williamsburg (Va.); Civil War; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Heintzelman, Samuel Peter; McClellan, George B.; Military; 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.