Portrait of Clara Gunby Huffington



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Portrait of Clara Gunby Huffington

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Portrait of Clara Gunby Huffington

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Clara Gunby was born in Forktown (Fruitland), MD, on September 9, 1839. Her parents were John and Charlotte Somers Gunby. Clara Gunby attended school in Salisbury and college in Baltimore.

During the Civil War, while in Salisbury, Miss Gunby was arrested by Union Troops because she refused to walk under a union flag. For this offense she was sent to Baltimore where she was tried and convicted of treason.

She was sent to prison at Fortress Monroe, VA where she met a Confederate female spy. Clara Gunby was to be sent to Richmond as part of a prisoner exchange program between the Union and Confederacy. Knowing this, the female spy asked Clara Gunby to carry a very important message to President Jefferson Davis in Richmond. Miss Gunby carried the message to Davis, who in turn, rewarded her by giving her a job as a clerk with the Confederacy in Richmond.

She was united with her brothers in Richmond. They fought for the South during the Civil War. Miss Gunby witnessed the falling of Richmond and describes the sights in her journal. The original journal is in the archival possession of the Nabb Research Center, and transcribed copies are available for sale. You may also read an excerpt of the journal on this site.

Following the war, she returned to Somerset County (now Wicomico County) and was married to William Huffington of Trappe (now Allen). Clara Gunby Huffington died on October 2, 1890, and is interred in the L. W. Gunby plot in Parsons Cemetery in Salisbury, MD.