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						159
                         At Baton Rouge.

[newspaper clipping continued: first column]
him two letters, one palpably feminine, the other
purporting to be so.  They were written to friends
outside, and contained a few uncomplimentary allu-
sions to the  Yankees,  relating how  they turned
out, like fools, last Sunday, evidently expecting that
our boys were coming,  with a few local particulars,
but nothing of real importance.  Coutt  had his 
pass an old one taken from him, as ample punish-
ment.
  Among the Rebel prisoners recently captured by
our scouts are three soldiers from the 9th Louisiana
Battalion, one of them a corporal.  They were taken
on the other side of the river, and are more than
suspected of being deserters, though they strenuously
deny the impeachment, possibly in dread of the re-
sentment of those with whom they are confined.
Recently, both at Clinton and Port Hudson, they
declare there are but 230 men at the former place,
all suffering great hardships from want of food
and clothes, and that the latter derives its entire sup-
plies from the Red River; two boats laden with
meat and grain arriving each week.
  The gunboat Essex, long the terror of the Rebels
in and above this part of the river, has discovered
torpedoes sunk in its bed two miles below Port
Hudson.  Attaching a string to one of them, it ex-
ploded with a noise plainly audible at this place;
the two others being brought to Gen. Grover as curi-
osities.  There are doubtless more in the same
vicinity.
  The son of Col. Hunter, formerly Rebel Provost-
Marshal of this place, is now under arrest.  When
brought into town by Capt. McGee, his captor, a
small band of sympathizers assembled round him,
and two of them, young men, exhorted him to
 hurry up and get his parole,  with derisive re-
marks as to the ease with which he would attain
his freedom, for which indulgence they were incon-
tinently deprived of their own.  I saw them in jail
this morning, when one assumed a braggadocio air,
but looked withal very much inclined to cry.  He
is, by the way, the son of my involuntary landlord 
the owner of the house assigned to myself and two
comrades as quarters.  An Illinoian by birth, an
ice-merchant by trade, he resides on the other side
of the river, having removed thither bfore our
first occupation of Baton Rouge, abandoning the
house one of the handsomest in the place to the
alternate possession of the Rebels and our troops.
I believe he has the reputation of being a Union
man; at all events he withdrew his son from the
Confederate army when that young enthusiast ran
away from school to join it.  The father visits us
almost every day, crossing the river at pleasure.
When I was introduced to him, as correspondent of
THE TRIBUNE, he was good enough to remark,
 that there were plenty of people around who had
halters for the hanging of such as me;  to which I
responded, by quoting the first sentene of Mrs.
Glasse s celebrated receipt for the cooking of hares.
  He owned but one slave, a negro woman, who
joins with her husband in giving him the best of
characters, adding also that at the beginning of  the
troubles  he virtually presented her with her
freedom.  Notwithstanding which, when the Presi-
dent s Emancipation Proclamation was communi-
cated to both, they manifested an amount of exulta-
tion touching to witness.  I was requested to read
said Proclamation again and again to other negroes,
who were brought to me for that purpose.  And I
never did anything in my life with heartier good
will.

[newspaper clipping continued: second column]
  One remark uttered by the husband I thought
terse, and very much to the purpose.   Whar s
my eight dollars a week?  said he, subsequent to
hearing the good news.  He referred to the sum
earned by him as boatman and fisherman, during the
last four or five years, and duly appropriated by
his  owner.   I don t think that portion of his
income will be forthcoming in future.
  As an illustration both of the abject condition of
dependence of the whites upon their slaves, and of
the workings of the Proclamation, I append a letter
received by Capt. Seamans, our Provost-Marshal,
and written to him by a widow, a resident of this
place.  It belongs properly to THE TRIBUNE, and I
have copied it literally.  Reading it, one pities the
poor petitioner, no less the victim of an infernal
sysem founded in injustice than her ex slave, whose
rightful revolt has reduced her to penury and help-
lessness.  But comment is superfluous:
  Batton Rouge  January 20, 1863.  To the Honorable Provost-
Marshal  Ser you no doubt Recolect my fear in regard to a
Negraw man Louis Clark a fellow inherited and raised his
bien kindly treated in regard to food and clothing was never
whip or abused in any way and Since my Weddow Hood 14 years
I have given Him Wages by the Week and boarded and
Clothed him if he earned dollar and 50 cents per day the 40
cents was his, if less earned according no charg for medical
attention or nursing, I have treated him like myself, he came
no more to eat or sleep at Home I sent for him yesterday he
came I enquired of him the Meaning of Such a Step as he
very well Knew I was destitute of Means of Support I have
my home a Shelter from the Weather I will repeat his answer
to me that he was now free and must look out for his self but
perhaps he would call occasionally and hand me a dime or 2 he
has always Boasted to his friends that he had proved me to be
a Kind Mother to him not a mistress I know not what Stept
to take to make a Support for Myself and daughter I am old and
unhealthy my childs education not finished my brother
promised me protection if I would give up the union question
and follow him with my Negrow into the Confederate Army
I could not dey him consienously and now you find me un-
protected under the Federal Government and abandoned by
my only Brother for my politick he is under the Confederate
and I among the Federals we sepprated in sorrow and many
tears  On the bended knees of my perishing Body I call of
you to advise me like a Brother and Simpathize like a Son if
I loose my Servant I must with your aid seek some respecta-
ble occupation for myself and daughter.
  Pardon me for troubling you I have no one els to call on by
the Mercy of God and your influence I hope for brighter and
happier dayes.
  My brother told me that I would loose my Negrow if I
brought him hear but he promist not to leave me as he was
with me hear last year and did not leave me I trusted him in
confidents he was taken last year by your people but he would
not stay  he runaway and come home.
  Please oblig me by a call a moment if ever in my power to
serve or oblige you I will with the greatest pleasure  May the
Blessings of our Heavenly father be with and conduct you
through life is the prayer of your Humble Servent
					         
  advise Louis to be a good fellow and take care of me.	
						T. B. G.
		                  

Port Hudson Its Strength and Position 
  Escape of the Harriet Lane from Gal-
  veston A New Privateer The 290 Off
  the Mouth of the Mississippi.
From Our Special Correspondent.
	ST. CHARLES HOTEL, NEW-ORLEANS, Jan. 24, 1863.
  This letter will reach you simultaneously with one
written by me two days ago, at Baton Rouge no
Northern mail having left this port since the dispatch
of the latter.  To-morrow morning the Columbia
departs for New-York, via Havana.  By it I propose
to post you fully as to what remains to be told about
things up the river; and also to record such stray 
items pertinent to this locality as may seem worthy
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Twenty-One: page one hundred and seventy-four
Description:Newspaper clipping written by Gunn for ''The New York Tribune,'' regarding the state of affairs at Baton Rouge.
Date:1863-01-22
Subject:African Americans; Civil War; Clark, Louis; Coutte; Emancipation Proclamation; Essex (Ship); Grover, Cuvier; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Louisiana Infantry Regiment, 9th; Mann; Mann, Nat; McGee, Captain; New York tribune.; Seamans, William H.; Slaveholders; Slavery; Slaves; Women
Coverage (City/State):Baton Rouge, Louisiana; New Orleans, Louisiana
Scan Date:2010-11-18

 

Volume
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.