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						197
                       Tribune Letters.

[newspaper clipping continued: first column]
proved effective.  As ordered, the gunboats rescued
Sabine Pass at noon, and were discerned when
about eight miles distance from it by the Rebels,
then engaged in attempting to secure their prize by
hauling the Morning Light over the bar by the aid
of a steam-tug, a task which the shoal water ren-
dered difficult, if not impossible.  Perceiving this
and the approaching danger they instantly set fire
to the captured vessel and abandoned her, escaping
on shore.  By the time that the gunboats arrived it
was to witness the Morning Light all ablaze, and
her guns, exploded by the conflagration, discharge-
ing themselves one by one in sonorous death-roar
into the blue ether and bright sunny morning.
  The wreck lies outside the bar, at about five miles
distance from the coast.  From it the Rebels have
probably obtained nothing beyond the smallest port-
ables.  The New-London and the Cayuga remain on
the station blockading the port  let us hope with
less probability of shameful defeat and discomforture
than seems to have attended the Morning Light.
They draw nine feet of water, and therefore, may 
find it practicable to cross the bar, and to visit Sa-
bine City with condign punishment.
  One or three deserters from on shore afforded
Capt. Abner Read of the New-London a few meager
particulars relative to the surprisal and capture.  He
asserted that Capt. Dillingham had been duly and
uselessly warned of the attempt; that it was made
during the calm, on the morning of the 21st, by two
Rebel gunboats, the Josiah Gunn, a high-pressure
river steamer, mounting three guns (two long 32s,
and one 64), and the Uncle Ben, with a similar
number, caliber unknown, both completely pro-
tected by cotton bales after the fashion of those
which effected the clearance of our fleet in Galves-
ton Bay.  When the Morning Light and Velocity
saw them coming, they attempted to escape (?) by
flight, but were outsailed and captured.  The former
had on board 75 men, the latter 12.  Two companies
of Rebel cavalry and two of infantry were perceived 
on shore by the New-London and Cayuga, busily
engaged in throwing up batteries.
  The Tennessee left Galveston on the morning of
the 26th, arriving at New-Orleans on the night of
the 28th, as already mentioned.  She reports the
following state of things in that locality:
  The Brooklyn (flag-ship), Commander Bell; the
Owasco, Capt. Wilson; the Kathardin, Capt.
Johnson; the Sciota, Capt. Lawry, and the Itasco,
Capt. Lewis, are all engaged in maintaining the
blockade outside of the harbor.  Ashore Magruder
has unlimited and unchallenged control.  Almost
every day he sends a boat with a flag of truce to
Commander Bell, in one instance obliging him with 
a Texas newspaper, containing a flaming account
about the great Confederate victory at Sabine Pass,
in which two Rebel gunboats, manned by 300 men, 
chased the Morning Light for 10 miles, finally suc-
ceding in capturing her, after a nominal flight,  the
Yankees exhibiting their usual cowardice. 
  The Rinaldo, British war-frigate, is there also.
When she arrived, on the 24th, (from this port), she
sent a boat on shore to communicate with H. B. M.
Consul, who presently came out, and after a conver-
ence, returned, on board a Rebel yacht, with a flag
of truce flying over the Confederate colors, which
event was duly recognized by a salute of 7 guns
from the Rinaldo.   Commander Bell professes him-
self quite ready to attack the town; on one occasion
the Brooklyn actually steamed in and began shell-
ing the Rebel batteries, when  of course  the in-

[newspaper clipping continued: second column]
evitable flag of truce appeared, with a polite message
on the part of Gen. Magruder, to the effect that his 
hospitals, containing  both of your wounded and
ours,  were directly in rage, also that there were
many women and children in the city, furthermore
that the Confederate Government had proclaimed
Galveston a free port, and that the foreign consuls
were decidedly of the opinion that the blockade had
been successfully broken, and could not be recog-
nized until they had been communicated with their respect-
tive governments.  On which  equally of course  
Commander Bell deferred further belligerent opera-
tions.  And so (with Rebel batteries progressing
ashore, apace) we rest for the present.  And proba-
bly we shall continue to do so, unless Commodore
Farragut grows indignant and issues rash orders.
  Apropos of the Galveston tragedy on New-Year s
Day, the Rebels now declare that less than a dozen
of the crew of the Harriet Lane were killed, and
admit that one of their steamers were sunk in the
attack.  Beyond the usual desire to assert that they
encountered no adequate resistance, no ostensible
temptation to falsehood in the former particular can
be suggested.
  The wreck of the Hatteras lies sunken about 20
miles south of Galveston.  There is a wild rumor
(much too good to be true) that the Alabama, dis-
abled in the fight, has been towed into Vera Cruz by
a French vessel, there to undergo repairs.  I have
very little doubt that the next mail will disabuse
any confiding souls who may place credence in the
report.
  The Tennessee does not believe that the Harriet
Lane, manned by a Rebel crew, has turned Confed-
erate privateer in conjunction with the  290.   Her
guns (so says the Tennessee) have been removed,
like those of the wrecked Westfield, to the batteries
on shore, and she herself, so transformed that her
builder would not recognize her, lies in the harbor.
Certain it is, that no official intimation of her escape
has reached Commodore Farragut.  I append the
reasons for supposing it probable.
  On Sunday, Jan. 18, a  norther  of unusual vio-
lence prevailed on the Texan coast, obliging both
the Brooklyn and the Owasco to put out to sea, and
continuing throughout the day until the morning of
the 19th.  The schooner which brought the last dis-
patches to Com. Farragut, bearing the date of the
previous night, set out that morning.  Then, the
storm had passed away, and the day broke clear and
unclouded, affording an excellent view of the bay
and harbor.  And it was the universal opinion of
those on board that schooner  confirmed by excel-
lent glasses  that the Harriet Lane was nowhere
visible; that she had escaped at 3 a. m. by one chan-
nel, while the New-London kept an ineffective
watch over the other.  Pending later official ad-
vices from Commander Bell, by the Tennessee  of
which I heard nothing yesterday  such is the im-
pression of.				T. B. G.
		            
A Curious Story about Jeff. Davis and the
	Privateer Florida.
From Our Special Correspondent.
	ST. CHARLES HOTEL, NEW-ORLEANS, Jan. 29, 1863.
  I have a good story to tell you, with only the
slight drawback that not a word of it may be true.
It is credited, however, by its narrators, and [words cut off]
cost me at least two miles of bipedal [words cut off]
the attempt to trace it to some autho[words cut off]
very day.  Considering this, you will [words cut off]
Page
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Twenty-One: page two hundred and thirteen
Description:Newspaper clippings written by Gunn for ''The New York Tribune,'' regarding the state of affairs in Texas.
Date:1863-01-30
Subject:Alabama (Ship); Bell, Commander; Brooklyn (Ship); Cayuga (Ship); Civil War; Dillingham, Captain; Farragut, David Glasgow; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Harriet Lane (Ship); Hatteras (Ship); Itasco (Ship); Johnson, Captain; Josiah Gunn (Ship); Journalism; Kathardin (Ship); Lawry, Captain; Lewis, Captain; Magruder, John B.; Morning Light (Ship); New London (Ship); New York tribune.; Owasco (Ship); Read, Abner; Rinaldo (Ship); Scioto (Ship); Tennessee (Ship); Uncle Ben (Ship); Velocity (Ship); Wilson, Captain (Texas)
Coverage (City/State):Galveston, Texas
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.