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                    Letters to the Tribune.

[newspaper clipping continued: first column]
the Marion brought us papers up to the 20th yester-
day morning.  On my way to breakfast I encoun-
tered two lady boarders at this hotel in a high state
of exultation, in consequence of the capture of the
Ariel off Cuba by the privateer Alabama.   If she
could only catch the S. R. Spaulding now,  they
tittered,  with Butler on board! x  How the 
womankind of this city do love the General, to be
sure!  Some of them have celebrated his departure
by the reproduction of  Secesh bonnets,  said arti-
cles being trimmed with red and white ribbons and
depressed in the center, in contradistinction to the
towering  pokes  decorating the fair faces of fem-
inine loyalty.  Think of the intensity of feeling that
must exist when it induces women to wear an un-
fashionable bonnet!  I know nothing more suggest-
ive or affecting.
  Notwithstanding this, Gen. Banks s administration
progresses easily, except in respect to the inevitable
labor encountered by him and his officers.  Always
a hard-working, early-rising man, the General has
now his hands full; I think the applications to him
on all sorts of questions might exhaust the patience
of an official Job.  Happily, he possesses the faculty of
 making haste slowly,  and is as thorough in his
doings and decisions as Oliver Cromwell, to whom
one involuntarily likens him.  There is no good por-
trait published of Gen. Banks; his physiognomy is
essentially Puritan.  Looking at him, I have found
myself speculating how he would appear in a buff-
coat and breast plate the high-crowned regulation
hat he wears being sufficiently near the Roundhead
type to complete the picture.  His Maryland ante-
cedents in re the  cleaning out  of a Rebel Legisla-
ture and saving that State, showed that he can act
just as promptly and as summarily as  the first of 
men  in the great English Revolution.
  I have, in a previous letter, stated my opinion
that there will be need of this quality.  These
Southern people, with their Oriental civilization,
and institutions, cherish something of the Eastern
impression that kindness, conciliation, implies
weakness, originating in a fear of inflicting punish-
ment.  They hated Butler and feared him; now the
more foolish sort hope for a certain amount of impu-
nity to the treason yet latent among them.  One
hears Secesh talk in the bar-rooms and public
places, and boys saucily sing stanzas of the  Bonny
Blue Flag,  in defiance of the very civil Irish or
French policemen.  The women look askance at
Uncle Sam s blue-coats and occasionally mutter the
word  Yankee,  though I have not heard of the
projection of any feminine saliva in the direction of
uniforms or wearers.  And, lastly, the extortionate
shopkeepers exhibit a tendency to omit what grudge-
ing civility they were obliged to manifest to their
Northern customers.  That all this will correct it-
self, or be corrected in due time, I make no ques-
  Among other devices for the facilitation of com-
merce, it is under consideration whether to re-open
trade with the western bank of the Mississippi.  The 
people there are mostly disloyalists; still the advo-
cates of the proposition allege that it could be effect-
ed without risk of affording assistance to treason.
Due guarantees would be required by the Govern-
ment authorities, cotton crops being held as securi-
ties, and necessaries supplied only in the most
moderate quantities.

[newspaper clipping continued: second column]
  From up the river we have no news; everything
remaining quiescent at Baton Rouge.  In all proba-
bility I shall not have to iterate this sentence beyond
the limits of the present year.
  One regiment has been sent to Galveston, Texas.
Major Burt of Gen. Hamilton s staff leaves for that
destination to-day.  The General and the rest of his
staff are ledged in the ex-residence of a Rebel colonel
on St. Charles street, at about twenty minutes walk
from this hotel.
  December 30, 1862. News has just arrived of the
total destruction of the Baton Rouge State House by
fire, on the afternoon of Sunday, the 28th.  The con-
flagration is supposed to have arisen from a defective
flue.  It lasted throughout the evening and burnt
far into the night, nothing but the walls of the once
magnificent building remaining to mark the site on
the following morning.  Efforts were made to save
it by the soldiers under command of Gen. Grover.
They proved unavailing.		T. B. G.

[newspaper clipping]
An Armistice Proposed by a Disloyal News-
  Paper The Effect of the Removal of
  Gen. Butler Slavery in New-Orleans
  And in the Adjacent Country A Fugi-
  tive Returned How they are Treated.
From Our Special Correspondent.
     ST. CHARLES HOTEL, NEW-ORLEANS, La., Dec. 31, 1862.
  I call the attention of THE TRIBUNE to the follow-
ing brief editorial, from yesterday s National Advo-
cate of this city:
   On a former occasion we expressed the opinion that it
would be wise to make the best of our position.  It had come
upon us and we could not help ourselves that what could not
be cured must be endured that we could not expect a change
unless the brave men of the army, who had fought as men had
never before fought, should win by further progress an ac-
knowledgment of a separate Confederacy.  Their deeds of
valor having continued to prosper, now is the time for the
victors to propose an armistice.  The others cannot be ex-
pected to do this.  Let an armistice be agreed upon for the
purpose of negotiating a peace, and there will not be any
more fighting.  Humanity requires such a course.  Let all
parties triumph over their false pride and put an end to this
unfortunate war, without further bloodshed and without in-
quiring who has been to blame. 
  Herein you see it openly assumed that the Rebels
in arms against the United States Government have
humiliated it to the extent authorizing them to pro-
pose first a truce and then the recognition of their 
treason, which desired result only false pride pre-
vents us from anticipating.  Secession is indorsed
throughout, justified, and accepted as a victorious
fact.  And this, too, in a city ruled, not by Jeff. Da-
vis, but wrested from his usurped sway nine months
ago by the loyal soldiers of Abraham Lincoln, and
since then governed by his Generals.  What does
this editorial insolence imply?  I will try to tell you.
  These people, the worst of them, persist in sup-
posing that the removal of Gen. Butler and the ap-
pointment of Gen. Banks as his successor, argues a
certain amount of impunity to Treason, avowed or
latent.  They regard his proclamation as an ingen-
ious dodging of the Emancipation question, by
which they may retain their slaves, in consequence
of a dexterous juggle, pronouncing the State of
Louisiana not out of the Union, and therefore en-

[Gunn s handwriting]
     x He actually passed within six hours sail of the Alabama,
on his way North.
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Twenty-One: page one hundred and thirty-eight
Description:Newspaper clippings written by Gunn for ''The New York Tribune,'' regarding the atmosphere in New Orleans while under Union control.
Subject:Alabama (Ship); Ariel (Ship); Banks, Nathaniel Prentiss; Burt, William L.; Butler, Benjamin F.; Civil War; Clothing and dress; Davis, Jefferson; Fires; Grover, Cuvier; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hamilton, Andrew Jackson; Journalism; Lincoln, Abraham; National advocate.; New York tribune.; Songs; S. R. Spaulding (Ship); Women
Coverage (City/State):New Orleans, Louisiana; Galveston, Texas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Coverage (Street):St. Charles Street
Scan Date:2010-11-18


Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Twenty-One
Description:Includes Gunn's descriptions of his experiences as a war correspondent for ""The New York Tribune"" at New Orleans, Louisiana, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; boarding house living; a visit to the Rawlings family; a fight with Mr. Blankman at his boarding house; his journey on the North Star with the Banks expedition; the re-occupation of Baton Rouge by Union forces; a visit to a sugar plantation in Louisiana; and Fanny Fern's daughter Grace Thomson's death.
Subject:African Americans; Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Civil War; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Military; Publishers and publishing; Transportation; Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; New Orleans, Louisiana; Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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.