Who was Turner anyway?

Who was Turner anyway?

Click on this image to find out who Turner was.

Field Musicians Wanted!

A Turner Bugler, 2004

Click on this image to learn about opportunities as a bugler, fifer or drummer with the Turner Brigade.

News of 150 Years Ago–July and August 1863

NEWS OF 150 YEARS AGO

July and August 1863

July 1863 saw the culmination of two pivotal campaigns of the Civil War—Gettysburg in the East and Vicksburg in the West. Their stories are well-known and need not be repeated here; if you need a refresher, the book Receding Tide: Vicksburg and Gettysburg—The Campaigns that Changed the Civil War, by Edwin C. Bearss with J. Parker Hills, is a concise, readable account of both campaigns.

First news of the Union victory at Gettysburg prompted relief in the North that the Army of the Potomac could actually defeat Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in the East. The DEMOCRAT’s editors responded with a somewhat overly optimistic prediction of future successes.

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, July 7, 1863.

THE NEWS FROM THE EAST

Although we as yet have no very satisfactory account of the details of the great battle, there would appear to be no longer a question of the substantial success of our arms. The great invasion is brought to an ignominious conclusion, and Lee is flying in hot haste from the victorious Meade. At this result we are not surprised, and have on several occasions placed our predictions on record that something similar to what has happened would follow from Lee’s movement. Yet the result is not the less gratifying because anticipated. Consequences of the utmost importance we expect to follow from this victory, largely affecting the termination of the struggle. Never was a victory so much needed in the East….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

The DEMOCRAT carried daily accounts of the action at Gettysburg, reprinted from eastern newspapers some days after their original publication. This excerpt from a New York Herald report recounts the Confederate bombardment of Cemetery Ridge preceding Pickett’s Charge.

From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, July 9, 1863.

THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG.

THE CULMINATING CONFLICT OF FRIDAY.

Total Defeat and Rout of the Rebel Army.

THE SCENE AT HEADQUARTERS.

Terrible Charge of the Rebels Under Hill and Longstreet.

INCIDENTS OF THE DAY

[Correspondence of the N. Y. Herald]

GETTYSBURG, July 4, 1863.

PREPARATIONS FOR FRIDAY’S BATTLE.

During Thursday night our Army was all brought up, and most admirably disposed of by General Meade for the apprehended battle of Friday. At midnight a council of war was held, at which it was determined that the enemy would probably renew the attack at daylight on the following morning, and that for that day we had better act purely on the defensive. Dispositions were therefore made this view for the 11th and 12th Corps to hold the right, with reinforcements of fresh troops expected during the day to act as a reserve; the 1st and 2d the center, and the 5th and 6th the left, with the 3d as a reserve.

FORMATION OF THE LINE.

The line was formed in this manner during the night, the left resting on the mountains between the Tarrytown and Emmitsburg roads, and the left at the base of the mountain, opposite the Cemetery Hill; the line encircling the cemetery and embracing the upper portion of the town. Our artillery on Cemetery Hill was largely reinforced from the artillery reserve and earthworks thrown up in front of it. Batteries were also planted on all the commanding positions within the lines, and such of the reserve as was not thus disposed of was held for use in the field, where and as occasion demanded it. The dispositions were most admirably made, and reflected the highest credit on the Commanding general.

APPEARANCE OF THE ENEMY.

Scarcely were these dispositions perfected and wearied soldiers thrown themselves upon the ground to catch an hour’s repose, when at the first dawn of morning, the enemy opened on our left, with musketry and artillery. Our men sprang to their arms with promptness, and in the grey light of morning the contest opened….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

In the West, the DEMOCRAT had its own correspondents reporting on the surrender of Vicksburg.

From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, July 9, 1863.

THE VERY LATEST.

BY TELEGRAPH.

FROM VICKSBURG.

ITS SURRENDER CONFIRMED.

The Interview Between Grant and Pemberton.

“UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER” THE ONLY TERMS.

THE STARS AND STRIPES WAVING PROUDLY OVER THE REBEL STRONGHOLD.

The Triumphant Heroes of the West Covered with Glory.

From 20,000 to 30,000 Prisoners Captured.

HIGHLY INTERESTING AND IMPORTANT DETAILS.

TERMS OF THE SURRENDER.

[Special dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

CAIRO, July 8. – By arrival this morning of the steamer Niagara, from Memphis, 7th, with Lieut. Wm. Dunn, of Gen. J. C. Sullivan’s staff, from Vicksburg, on the 4th, who is bearer of dispatches from Gen. Grant to the War Department, we have the confirmation of Admiral Porter’s dispatch, stating that Vicksburg had capitulated.

A. T. Woodall, correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette, was also a passenger upon the Niagara from Vicksburg. Dr. Dunn came as far as Memphis on the V. F. Wilson.

From reliable sources I have been able to gather the following particulars in regard to the closing scenes of the siege of Vicksburg:

The first flag of truce of late from the rebels was received upon July 1st. It was for the purpose of making an escort for two Englishmen who had been long enough penned up in the Confederacy and eaten mule beef enough to satisfy their ideas of comfort. Gen. Grant readily granted Pemberton’s request. The English subjects were not detained longer than necessary. They came and went unquestioned.

On the previous day the rebels made an unsuccessful sortie upon the works on our left, meaning to take our soldiers out of their rifle pits.

On this day Johnston was reported only twenty miles off. The men were in line of battle to receive the attack. His main force fronted on Haines’s Bluff.

On Friday morning, the 3rd, another flag of truce came into our lines. It was brought by two Confederate officers dressed in most festive attire.

They proved to be Major-General Bowen, late commandant at Grand Gulf, and a Virginia Colonel named Montgomery. They rode splendid animals which were rather thin in flesh even for racers. The messengers were blindfolded and sent to Gen. Burbridge’s tent, where for two hours they remained awaiting the return of Gen. Smith, who took their dispatch from Pemberton to Gen. Grant….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

A July 4th celebration in St. Louis got seriously out of hand, resulting in five dead.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, July 7, 1863.

FOURTH OF JULY TRAGEDY AT HYDE PARK.

Immense Crown—A Wild Riot—The Rioters Fired Upon—Innocent Persons Killed.

A series of aggravated disturbances, resulting in the immediate killing of five persons, and the wounding of about a dozen others, some of them fatally, disgraced the afternoon of the Fourth, at Hyde Park.

Extensive preparations had been made by the lessee of the Park, Mr. Kuhlage, to attract thither crowds of men, women and children for the enjoyment of the national festival, and multitudes flocked to the place. Among them came large throngs of soldiers, principally paroled Union prisoners, from Benton Barracks. Their officers had given them the day for recreation, and they were bent upon making the most of it. It is not true, as has been reported, that they came to the Park with arms, except so for as, like other citizens, they may have had knives or pistols concealed on the person. Nor does it appear that they were intoxicated when entering the Park. The cause and the occasion of the subsequent difficulty, so far as we could learn them, are about as follows:

Among the soldiers of Benton Barracks, or a considerable portion of them, had sprung up a feeling inimical to Mr. Kuhlage, they accusing him of being a secessionist, refusing to hoist the national flag till compelled, &c., &c. The Park being in the neighborhood of the Barracks, soldiers were frequently calling there for beer, and occasional difficulties occurred to aggravate the animosity. It is alleged that, when out of funds, some of the paroled soldiers persistently drank and failed to pay. It is also averred that, in view of the feeling of certain soldiers and in consequence of their threats, number of citizens refrained from visiting the Park on the Fourth, through apprehensions of a riot. On that day, however, affairs there seemed progressing as smoothly as could be reasonably desired until about 2 P. M.

By that hour, the beer and other liquors furnished at the place, having flowed copiously, produced their natural effect, rendering hundreds noisy and excitable, and producing frequent but comparatively harmless altercations….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

While violent civil disturbances had marred St. Louis’s 1863 July 4th celebrations, leaving five dead, the city was granted a kind of do-over when the Mayor and Common Council decreed that it would mount a grand celebration on July 11 to honor the recent string of Union victories at Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Tullahoma, and Helena. This one apparently topped anything that had gone before. The account runs to nearly 5,000 words, and presents a virtual tour of 1863 St. Louis, touching on significant businesses, institutions, and residences in the city.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, July 13, 1863.

A GLORIOUS CELEBRATION.

IMMENSE AND MAGNIFICENT DISPLAY.

Unparalleled Exhibition of the National Colors.

Overflow of Popular Enthusiasm.

MYRIADS OF PATRIOTIC DEVICES.

Resplendent Illumination of St. Louis.

DISPLAY OF FIREWORKS.

INTERESTING DETAILS.

The Eleventh Day of July, A. D., 1863, shall be long and vividly remembered in St. Louis, and by all who had the felicity to be present here on that day. The glorious and decisive triumphs at Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Tullahoma and Helena had flooded the broad land of the loyal with joy, yet they were hailed with peculiar delight by the harassed Unionists of Missouri, and especially by the anxious people of St. Louis. The popular rapture here found fit expression in one of the grandest exhibitions of national ensigns, and one of the most resplendent illuminations ever witnessed either on this or on any other continent. Our relieved people celebrated the rescue from imminent and long continued peril, of all that men prize and patriots hold dear. They commemorated the new and most grateful assurance of national and political salvation.

When, on last Tuesday, the date of the receipt of the tidings of gladness, our Common Council came together, the one thought of its members, caught from the popular mind, was to designate a day of jubilee. Several Councilmen were anticipated by the member who, on the instant that the body was called to order, moved that the Mayor be requested to issue his proclamation, to enable the citizens to join in a fitting commemoration of the triumphs of the national arms. It was a spontaneous impulse of the popular heart, and therefore it was that Mayor Filley’s eloquent proclamation, in unison with that impulse, received the most cordial and glorious of responses….

Click here to read the complete article.