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Diaries, Vol. 20

Gunn, Thomas Butler. Diaries, Vol. 20. Missouri History Museum, 1862.
personal record

Covers the period from May 23, 1862 to September 13, 1862.

People who Created this Work

Gunn, Thomas author

People Mentioned in this Work

Clare, Ada [pages:54]

Halpin is described as knowing Ada Clare: "Fanny Fern possessed a manuscript poem by Halpin, which we should have inserted but for its being too personal – and amorous. (It had been addressed to Fanny, herself.) Halpin knew 'Ada Clare' too, and Died July 1, 1864."

Eytinge, Solomon [pages:170]

Gunn says Waud has replaced Nast at the "Illustrated News" because of a row between Nast and Eytinge: "W. Waud is at work on the Illustrated, replacing Nast, subsequent to a row between the latter and Sol, apropos of Mrs Nast's objection to receive Mrs Sol Eytinge as an acquaintance. Hayes' wife is with her friends down east. Alf Waud, according to his acquaintance, came back full of soldier manners and oaths" (170).

Halpine, Charles [pages:56-57, 60, 61, 62, 71, 74-75, 140, 189, 191]

Gunn describes Halpine's well-known writings: "Halpin, or Halpine, an ex-newspaper man himself, was very civil to the representatives of the press generally, and democratically politic in propitiating them. He had a wife and children in New York or Washington. He was destined, a couple of years after this date, to attain considerable celebrity by writing certain poems, satirical and serious, on the war, under the nom de plume of 'Miles O'Reilly', many of them published, I think, in the Herald, which started one of its customary canards about them, attributing their authorship to a private soldier and asserting that he had been punished for it" (56-57).

Gunn describes Halpine's appearance at supper: "At night I loafed on deck with my fellow passengers. Halpine appeared at supper only, being then only half sober. He had came on board after a debauch which brought him to the verge of delirium Tremens, and had with him a huge demijohn of brandy, which he intended taking to his friends at Port Royal, but as it remained in his berth all the time and he applied himself to it without stint, I don't think one drop of it reached South Carolina" (60).

Gunn describes Halpine's illness during the voyage: "Summer lighting in the evening and some prospects of rough weather. Below, the vicinity of Halpine's cabin was nauseous from the combined smell of spirits and sea-sickness. He kept his berth, nor hardly quitted it once during the remainder of the voyage" (61).

Gunn details the worsening of Halpine's illness at sea: "Really rough weather; woman passenger washed out of her berth into the saloon. More howling. Fellows staggering about; Capt King alert and attentive. Halpine carried into a cabin aft, where his odour would be less perceptible: last night he had an attack of delirium tremens and was chanting vociferously, before the beginning of the gale" (62).

Gunn describes his time at Port Royal: "At Port Royal again: with Babcock to the asistant [sic] -adjutant-general's office, where Halpine received me very hospitably. Introduced by him to Lieut. Stockton, a nephew of the wife of Gen. Hunter, and a very gentlemanly young fellow. Drinking claret punch in the coolest of undress, in Halpine's back-office, and writing my letter to the Tribune, being favored with all the documents that had come to hand about the James Island affair, including a lively letter from a young officer who had been a witness of it. Congratulated myself on my position, as contrasted with reporting in Virginia" (71).

Gunn describes his time at Gen. Hunter's headquarters: "Rode back to headquarters with Fessenden and Hickox, another of Gen. Hunter's aides; at the lodgings of the former awhile, then to Halpine's. Quite a little claret party of young fellows, temporarily visited by the General. Songs and smoke. Presently I adjourned to the front office and got to work scribbling till 1 1/2 A.M. finishing my account of the James Island disaster for the Tribune, to go North by the next day's steamer. As I wrote a tremendous storm of thunder, lightning and rain was raging without, which presently exhausted itself. Not very fall off, in one of the apartments ending the row, was Gen Benham (the same unprepossessing officer I had once met in New York at the house of Martin the clergyman) now placed under arrest by Gen Hunter, as a reward for his recent 'successful reconnaisance [sic]' as he called it. Halpine had shown me Hunter's order-book containing a letter expressly forbidding Benham making any attempt of the sort, and I could perceive, was anxious that such an account should go to the Tribune as should exonerate Hunter from all responsibility in the matter. Indeed all The officers with whom I talked subsequently blamed Benham, most of them ridiculing him as a braggart. Surely if an innocent he was a most unlucky man. Finishing my letter I left it on Halpine's desk for mailing and turned out, finding the sentry sitting on the steps in front of the building, fast asleep. I didn't wake the young fellow" (74-75).

Gunn learns of Halpine's new position in Washington: "We learn that Halpine has gone to Washington to assume a position on the staff of Gen. Halleck that the negro regiment has been disbanded because Gen. Hunter couldn't get money to pay the men or clothing from the government" (140).

Halpine is featured in a newspaper clipping. Gun annotates it with Halpine's cause of death: "PRIVATE MYLES O'REILLY – General Charles G. Halpine, better known as 'Private Myles O'Reilly', has been elected by a majority of 20,000 votes to the post of Registrar of the city of New York, worth upwards of 6,000 sterling. As editor of the Citizen, General Halpine has rendered important support to the Conservative party in America by his popularity and active political service. – Tablet. [Gunn's handwriting] He died Dec 1866. from an overdose of chloroform – perhaps committed suicide" (189).

A newspaper clipping of one of Halpine's poems is annotated by Gunn (191).

Nast, Thomas [pages:116, 164, 170, 180-181]

Gunn includes a newspaper clipping of Julia Nast's death, an apparent drug overdose: "MISS NAST DEAD. Daughter of the Noted Cartoonist Expired Suddenly in New York. Miss Julia Nast, daughter of Thomas Nast, of this place, died suddenly on Saturday last in the house of Mrs. Elizabeth B. Grannis, No. 33 East Twenty Second street, New York. Dr. O'Hanlon held an autopsy and gave fatty degeneration of the heart as the cause of death. The body was buried at Woodlawn, Wednesday. Miss Nast was a trained nurse and like many others of her profession, had become accustomed to using drugs as a stimulant when fatigued and when troubled with insomnia. Her friends think that she took an overdose of Friday night and from this, death resulted. She has been troubled with a severe cold recently. [handwritten by Gunn] June 1899" (116).

Haney tells Gunn that Nast is a father: "Mr Nast is a happy father, if you have not already heard. Little girl about four weeks old at this present time of writing. Mother and child doing well and father very proud and happy" (164).

Hayes and Gunn talk catch up on acquaintances: "Talk of the two Wauds, Eytinge and Nast. W. Waud is at work on the Illustrated, replacing Nast, subsequent to a row between the latter and Sol, apropos of Mrs Nast's objection to receive Mrs Sol Eytinge as an acquaintance. Hayes' wife is with her friends down east. Alf Waud, according to his acquaintance, came back full of soldier manners and oaths" (170).

Gunn describes Thomson's attempt to bully Nast: "Then he attempted a similar thing in Nast, who had introduced a caricature of Fanny (not at all a good one and only recognizable from the little curls and hair-tendrils with which she surrounds her raddled old face) in a comic picture in the illustrated N.Y. News. Meeting Tommy in Spruce Street, nearly opposite the Courier office, from the window of which Haney surveyed the whole scene, Thomson threatened Nast with personal vengeance if he "dared" &c., but Tommy proved singularly cool and the bully slunk away to his father who waited ata distance, with the big stick ! He really seems to have constituted himself his son's body guard. I saw a ludicrous caricature of the scene by Tommy himself, at 745, in which he had represented himself in an awful funk, shedding tears of contrition before a gigantic adversary – and a double opera-glass protruding out of the Courier window" (180-181)!

O'Brien, Fitz-James [pages:178]

Gunn mentions that Turner had beaten O'Brien: "Met Capt. Jim Turner. Did I ever chronicle his licking O'Brien for ridiculing an actress who was Turner's mistress, and who played at Burton's in Chamber Street seven or eight years ago. Turner was in the police, then; and O'Brien had got Raymond to let him do some sensation criticism in the Times."

Shaw, Dora [pages:152]

Gunn says Richard Thompson speaks of Dora Shaw often: "Has done a a large amount of drinking and fornication in his time and tells anecdotes about western actresses, especially one Dora Shaw, who was, I think, one of the Bohemians at Pfaffs" (152).