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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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[newspaper clipping: first column]
ted by and almost impervious to water.  We have
passed living ones growing in the fields, where, under
the tropical noontide, they seem appropriate enough.
One would hardly be surprised at seeing a lion
emerge from the jungle of young palmetto-leaves
by the wayside, or a striped, saber-toothed tiger, but
nothing of the kind occurs.  All is sultriness and
   At a house once tenanted by the overseer of the
plantation, now by a negro ex-driver, retained as
subordinate to our agent, we were mounted, Mr.
Ruggles upon a horse, myself upon a mule, whose
accouterments were of a most primitive descrip-
tion.  The saddle consisted of a bag partially filled
with cotton, the bridle was a halter, the blinkers a
pair of old book-covers, from which the sun and
rain had shriveled up the leather until it looked like
some extraordinary fungus growing out to the ani-
mal s ears amid a web of knotted string.  It needed
some dexterity to ride that mule, for the slightest
swerving affected the length of the stirrups.  I
consider I did very well; I only came to the ground
   Down a grove of orange trees, where the green
globes peeped out from between the thick leaves
with such ample autumnal promise as to make one s
mouth water involuntarily, through new cotton-
fields and past fresh woods, we rode, my companion
satisfying himself that industry was the rule and a
goodly promise of a crop toward.  The geography
of the inland (the minor ones are but portions of
St. Helena) may be stated as follows:  Interior
woods, girdled by plantations, consisting almost ex-

[newspaper clipping continued: second column]
clusively of cotton and corn-fields, with houses on
the sea-board or shores of the rivers or inlets.  A
road circumscribes the island, and one runs across it.
   It would swell an already lengthy letter beyond
reasonable limits to narrate all I witnessed in that
morning s journey.  Suffice it to say that the ne-
groes were everywhere civil, obliging, and indus-
trious   full, also, of confidence in the Yankees.
They brought us tribute of ripe figs and a fine wa-
termelon   eaten, as usual, under the shade of a
live-oak, in company with its donor and a select in-
stallent of his children.  He, a man of forty and
upward, was born in a cabin hard by, had been
once to Charleston, oftener to Beaufort; his massa
was  very hard man   nebber gave him  nuff to
eat    and that was his story.
   I will close with a suggestive picture.  A deserted
house, at least a hundred and fifty years old, in
whose wainscoted rooms Uncle Toby might have
whistled  Lilliburlero  with perfect consistency,
or Col. Esmond sat reading The Spectator; and,
five minutes further from it, a little family church,
in the rear of which is absolutely the most enormous
live-oak I have ever seen, its branches, fringed with
pendant gray moss, literally covering the small
churchyard, where, perhaps, a dozen of the Sama
and Fripp families lie buried.  In that church a 
dozen negro children, boys and girls, and a
 Yankee  U. S. agent, spelling-book in hand,
teaching them.  Mr. Ruggles is a busy man, but he
finds leisure for the self-imposed addition to his
duties.  Verily, the Yankees have not invaded this
portion of Dixie for nothing!

[Gunn s diary continued]
peculiarity, a glass cylinder of large
diameter, open at top and bottom, intended
to be placed over a candle, to keep it from
flickering, as the heat necessitated the
keeping open of windows and doors, day and
   14.  Monday. Loafing.  To Rice and
Hay at Hickox s.  Rambling about with
the first : to Morrow s   a bathe off a
bath house in the river, of which Morrow had
the key.  A proposition to ride out to Port
Royal Ferry rendered abortive by some
acquaintance of Hickox s having gone off
with the chaise we had intended using.
Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Twenty: page one hundred and five
Description:Newspaper clipping continuing description of the trip across Palawala Island and arrival in Beaufort, South Carolina.
Subject:African Americans; Civil War; Children; Education; Food; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Hay, Charles; Hickox, Volney; Horses; Journalism; Morrow, Colonel; New York tribune.; Rice, J.M.; Ruggles; Schools; St. Helena Island (S.C.)
Coverage (City/State):Beaufort, [South Carolina]
Scan Date:2010-09-10


Title:Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries, Volume Twenty
Description:Includes Gunn's descriptions of his experiences as a war correspondent for ""The New York Tribune"" at Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, especially Hilton Head, Port Royal, St. Augustine, Key West, and the end of his experiences with the Army of the Potomac during the Peninsular Campaign when he had to leave camp due to illness.
Subject:African Americans; Boardinghouses; Bohemians; Civil War; Diseases; Gunn, Thomas Butler; Journalism; Marches (U.S. Army); Medical care (U.S. Army); Military; Military camp life; Peninsular Campaign (Va.); Travel; Women
Coverage (City/State):New York, New York; Port Royal, South Carolina; Hilton Head, South Carolina; Key West, Florida; St. Augustine, Florida; Virginia
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.