A Fugitive s Diary.
[newspaper clipping continued: first column]
with the faces mutilated to prevent recognition.
Others, names unknown, shared a similar fate.
The survivors are yet at Fort Birney, 35 miles
from San Antonio. The officers of the regiment are
as follows: Col. I. D. Reeve, commander; Capt.
E. D. Blake; Major Jas. V. Romford; Dr. Peters;
Lieut. Freedley, acting Quartermaster; 2d Lieut.
M. Lazelle; Lieuts. Peck, Jones, Van Horne,
Frank, and Bliss. All these gentlemen, unless pa-
roled, released, or dead, are still prisoners.
I now present a portion of the narrative of Ser-
geant Coan, a diary written by the way:
I am about to give an account of the escape of
myself, Corp. Chas. Worch, and Ed. Waller, of Co.
I. 8th Regiment U. S. Infantry, from Texas:
Sept. 15, 1862. We left our camp at the head of
the San Antonio River, which was guarded by Tay-
lor s battalion of cavalry, over night, passed through
the town, and marched as far as St. Lucas Springs,
where we arrived at daybreak next morning and to
our great displeasure found a camp of Rangers there.
We were obliged to venture down to the spring for
some water. While filling our canteens we were
hailed by a Who goes there? to which we re-
plied, Friends, and passed on without further
notice. We then made the best of our way to the
bushes in the neighborhood. There we lay until
dark, when we again set out.
16th. Left the road to our right and took a
south-westerly course for the Rio Grande. In about
three hours march we came to a pool of water on
the prairie, where we stopped and ate for the first
time since we started. Then we marched all night,
crossing the river by wading, about five miles be-
low Castroville, and at daylight crawled into a
thicket for safety.
17th. To-day we lay concealed, and at night
continued our journey, traveling until the heat of
the sun drove us to the shade of a tree on the prairie.
18th. Lay in the shade of a tree until about 3 p.
m., when we were obliged, for want of water, to
push on. In an hour we came to a lagoon, where
we stopped and had lunch. We then resumed our
march, which lay through a cluster of bills, thickly
covered with underbrush, until we struck a road
leading exactly in our course, which we followed
for 12 miles. Then we crossed the trio and continued
on until 9 a. m., when we came to a pool of rain-
water. Our food on leaving San Antonio consisted
of two small corn-cakes, each not weighing more
than three pounds, and a piece of wheat bread,
about one pound each.
19th. Started at 3 o clock, and traveled till
dark, when we found impossible to march, there
being many prickly pears, and thorns to impede us.
So we stopped for the night by the side of a hill, and
were nearly devoured there by huge musketoes.
20th Started at dawn and traveled all day
through a dense forest of prickly pears and thorns,
until sunset, when we came to a halt at a pond of
water on the prairie, and camped there for the night.
21st Same as the previous day until we came
to the Nueces River, about half an hour before sun-
set, and were glad to find ourselves so near the Rio
Grande. I succeeded in catching four very fine cat-
fish, which were a great addition to our stock of pro-
22d Started at 7 and traveled through a dry
waste of country with scarcely any vegetation ex-
cept the cactus. Suffered a litte for want of water,
having but one canteen between three. Very much
[newspaper clipping continued: second column]
fatigued with traveling through brush and sand, with
very little to eat. We have already been obliged to
eat the fruit of the cactus.
23d Marching hard all day, and obliged to pass
another day on Texas soil, and take another supper
of prickly pears. A rolling prairie country, better
watered than those previously mentioned.
24th On the tramp at dawn, and after five or
six miles, to our great joy discovered a house, that
of a Mexican ranchero, where we procured a little
dried beef, milk and cheese. Here we learned that
we were within four miles of Fort Duncan, and de-
termined to cross the river, but when we arrived
there we found it so high that it could not be done.
We then concealed ourselves for the day, and at night
passed the post and crossed below it at a more con-
25th Twelve miles below the fort, on the river, at
a Mexican ranch, where we procured some milk and
tortillas. We then hired a Mexican to ferry us over
in a boat made of the skin of an ox, of the size of a
wash-tub; only one could be ferried at a time with
the Mexican swimming at the side. The river being
high and running very swift, the craft was upset
twice during my passage and that of Corporal
Worch. Three rangers from Fort Duncan came
riding up and demanded Worch s passport as he was
embarking a second time. He told them we had
taken it over with us, when they demanded $5 to let
him go. He promised to send it back by the ferry-
man, but when he was over we concluded to let
them whistle for the money.
26th Traveled all night and arrived at Prosideo,
very tired and hungry. Purchased 25 pounds of
flour and some sugar, came to a halt close to the
town and rested all day.
27th. Marched till 11 a. m., being received with
hospitality at two Mexican houses.
It would be tiring your patience to enter into a
long description of our march to Monterey. I will
merely give a few sketches of it. In one place we
were obliged to make 50 miles without water. . .
. . We altered our marches by starting before day-
light and marching till 8 or 9, laying over during the
heat of the day till evening. On the morning of Oc-
tober 7, we arrived at Monterey and went to the
United States Consul to ask assistance, which he
readily gave to the amount of $10. We then pur-
chased the necessary articles and set out for Mata-
The sergeant and his companions are going to
New-York soon. I bespeak a welcome for them.
Forty thousand dollars worth of quinine, chloro-
form, drugs, &c., was captured at 3 a. m. this day,
on the point of being smuggled across Lake Pont-
chartrain into Dixie. The discovery occurred just be-
yond Hickox s Landing, on the shell road. T. B. G.
Gen. Hamilton and Texas How the Rebels
Obtain their Supplies The Mexican
Frontier and Ports The Blockade In-
From Our Special Correspondent.
ST. CHARLES HOTEL, NEW-ORLEANS, Feb. 2, 1863.
A week before this reaches you, Gen. A. J. Hamil-
ton of Texas will be in Washington, [words cut off]
cause of his State probably that sh[words cut off]
tuted a separate military department [words cut off]
he accompanied the expedition of Gen. [words cut off]
|Title:||Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Twenty-One: page two hundred and nine|
|Description:||Newspaper clipping written by Gunn for ''The New York Tribune,'' regarding the arrival of refugees from Texas in New Orleans.|
|Subject:||Blake, E.D.; Bliss, Lieutenant; Civil War; Coan, Ira S.; Food; Frank, Lieutenant; Freedley, Lieutenant; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hamilton, Andrew Jackson; Jones, Lieutenant; Journalism; Lazelle, M.; Military; New York tribune.; Peck, Lieutenant; Peters, Dr.; Prisoners of war (Union); Reeve, I.D.; Romford, Jas. V.; United States Army Infantry Regiment, 8th; Van Horne, Lieutenant; Waller, Ed.; Worch, Charles|
|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.|