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              The Disaster at Galveston.
[newspaper clipping]
From Our Special Correspondent.
		NEW-ORLEANS, La., Jan. 6 Noon, 1863.
  A visit to the Owasco, now lying in this harbor,
has afforded the following additional particulars
relative to the recent disaster at Galveston, Texas.
  When the Rebel attack upon the Harriet Lane
began, the Owasco was lying at her wharf, at about
a mile s distance, guarding the Union troops.  She 
instantly steamed to within 300 yards of the action,
and only paused when nearly aground.  She was
fired upon, hotly, by the sharpshooters upon the
cotton-bulwarks of the Mississippi steamer, hence
her casualties (of which I append a list) are mostly
rifle or musket wounds.  On the capture of the
Harriet Lane, just at daybreak, the Owasco backed 
off, out of musket range.  The guns of the last ves-
sel were then turned upon her by the Rebels.
She responded by sending an 11-inch shell through
the Harriet Lane, just above water-mark, utterly
disabling her machinery.  But for this the Rebels
would undoubtedly have manned and used her
against the rest of the Union vessels.  The rigging
of the Owasco was shot away and her bulwarks per-
forated with musketry.
  At an hour after daylight Magruder, from on
shore, sent a flag of truce, under charge of two
officers, in company with Lubbock, the Rebel Gov-
ernor of Texas.  He demanded the surrender of the
entire flotilla, giving three hours for consideration
of this proposition.  It was, of course, referred to
Commodore Renshaw, on board the ill-fated West-
field.  The Rebels boasted that they had killed
nearly all of the crew of the Harriet Lane.
  The Rebel Governor staid awhile on the Owasco, 
praising her build, suggesting that she would prove
a fine acquisition to the  Confederate Navy,  and
otherwise entertaining himself with his own con-
versation.  During this, the captain of the Owasco 
quietly put on steam, and gently moved past, the
Rebel batteries.  Discovering the maneuver, Lub-
Bock demanded to be put on shore.  His request was
complied with when the Owasco was out of dan-
  After the explosion of the Westfield, the command 
of the flotilla devolved upon Captain Law, of the
Clifton.  There is some apprehension expressed
as to the safety of the Cumbria.  The Rebels may
have captured her and the troops on board.
  9 p. m. The Cumbria, with the Second Texas 
Cavalry on board, is safe.  She is coming up the
river.  She was warned of the catastrophe at Gal-
veston by two negroes, who put off in a boat to
inform her.				T. B. G.

[Gunn s diary continued]
the lad Hayes, who has
voluntarily accompanied
the other two.  His eyes

[newspaper clipping]
  {A letter containing the first account received of the Gal-
Veston affair was forwarded by our Correspondent, on the
steamer which left the day prior to that on which the Illinois
sailed, but has not yet reached us.}
Attempt by the Rebels to Capture the Steam-
  er Cumbria, with Troops on Board, on 
  their way to Galveston Capture of a
  Rebel Pretended Pilot The Attack at
  Galveston Full Particulars of the
From Our Special Correspondent.
			NEW-ORLEANS, Jan. 8, 1863 3 p. m.
  The arrival of the Cumbria at this port affords us
additional information in relation to the recent dis-
aster at Galveston, Texas.
  The Cumbria is an iron propeller of English build, 
captured in one of the many attempts to run the
blockade.  She left this city at 8 o clock on the even-
ing of the 31st of December, having on board 250 of
the 2d Texas Cavalry, under command of Col. Davis,
a section of the 2d Vermont Battery, with horses,
&c.; also, Lieut. Noyes, formerly of the 2d Cavalry,
bearing the commission of Captain in the Texas
regiment.  She came to achor at 16 miles south-west
of Galveston on Friday evening, Jan. 2, lying there all
night.  The morning dawned rainy and cloudy, the city
being but imperfectly visible.  On the Cumbria s
weighing anchor at 8 a. m., and starting for the city,
she could neither see boat nor pilot.  At 11 a. m.
she fired a gun as signal for the latter, without re-
sponse.  She then dispatched a boat with its crew to
the city, and kept cruising up and down during the
whole of the day and night.  Of course her boat did
not return it had been captured by the Rebels.
At 10 p. m. on Sunday morning a good-sized
sail-boat was espied making toward the
Cumbria, and simultaneously a bark mov-
ing insidiously in the same direction.
Presently the boat came alongside, when there ap-
peared in her four men, one of whom hailed Capt.
Sumner of the Cumbria and asked how much water
the vessel drew.  The answer was nine and a half
feet.  The inquirer then stated that the bar had ten
feet draft of water.  Being asked if he were a pilot,
he responded  No, not a regular one,  but that he
occasionally acted in that capacity, and was now
employed to take out the bark, but that if the Cum-
bria would follow him he would pilot her safely in,
going ahead and taking soundings.  While parleying
thus, the sail-boat passed toward the stern and then
tacked back.  Suddenly the Union refugees on board
recognized in the volunteer pilot a Capt. Payne,
formerly commander of a boat on the Brazos River,
and a notorious Secessionist.  Hailing him by name,
they addressed questions to him, to his evident alarm
and trepidation.  On Capt. Sumner inquiring who
was in command on shore, Payne responded  Capt.
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Twenty-One: page one hundred and sixty-one
Description:Newspaper clippings written by Gunn for ''The New York Tribune,'' regarding the naval disaster at Galveston.
Subject:Civil War; Clifton (Ship); Cumbria (Ship); Davis, Colonel; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Harriet Lane (Ship); Hayes (reporter); Journalism; Law, Captain; Lubbock, Francis Richard; Magruder, John B.; Mississippi (Ship); New York tribune.; Noyes, Edward L.; Owasco (Ship); Payne, Captain; Renshaw, Commodore; Sumner, Captain; Texas Cavalry Regiment, 2nd (Union); United States Navy; Westfield (Ship)
Coverage (City/State):New Orleans, Louisiana; Galveston, Texas
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.