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–January and February 1864

NEWS OF 150 YEARS AGO

January and February 1864

After pro-secession Governor Claiborne Jackson fled the state, the Missouri Constitutional Convention declared his office vacant and appointed Hamilton Gamble provisional Governor on August 1, 1861. Gamble was considered a pro-slavery conservative by the emancipationist Radical Republican faction, which was supported by the DEMOCRAT, and so he was often attacked in its pages. He died January 31, 1864, from complications of an injury.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, February 1, 1864.

DEATH OF GOVERNOR GAMBLE.

Hon. Hamilton Rowan Gamble, the Provisional Governor of Missouri, died at ten o’clock yesterday forenoon, at his mansion in the city. Since the casual fracture of his arm, during a trip to the East last summer, his Excellency has been in a more or less prostrated condition. Recovering at last sufficiently to reach his home, he was compelled to resign himself to medical care and to keep his room. Within a few weeks it has been painfully evident to his friends that his situation was critical….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

Union General William T. Sherman left Vicksburg on February 3, 1864, with an army of 20,000 men,with an initial objective of Meridian, Mississippi. Meridian was an important railroad center and had a Confederate arsenal, military hospital, and prisoner-of-war camp. If all went well, he planned to continue on to Selma, Alabama, and possibly even Mobile. Sherman ordered feints in several surrounding areas to keep Confederate leaders uncertain of his true objectives. As a result, the Confederates evacuated Meridian without a fight. Sherman had expected a large cavalry column to reach him at Meridian from Memphis while he was there, but, unknown to him, this force had been turned back. When it did not arrive by February 20, Sherman headed his army back to Vicksburg. The Meridian Campaign, during which Sherman’s army lived off the land, is considered a precursor to his later March to the Sea.

From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, February 19, 1864.

FROM MEMPHIS.

PROGRESS OF GEN. SHERMAN.

HIS ADVANCE AT MERIDIAN, MISS.

ITEMS, RUMORS, ETC.

[Special dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

MEMPHIS, February 14, VIA CAIRO, February 18. – I learned from a gentleman from below that the advance of General Sherman’s expedition, at later accounts, had reached Meridian. The rebel General Polk, who was at Meridian, with 16,000 men, managed to evacuate the place in time to avoid our forces, which passed on unopposed, while the rebels, under Wirt Adams and Logan came up and took possession of Jackson after our troops have left it. In the meantime, Sherman is moving onward. Sherman has a long and hazardous march before him, and will probably subsist his large army upon the enemy’s country….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, February 26, 1864.

FROM MEMPHIS.

Progress of Sherman’s Expedition.

His Reported Occupation of Selma.

ITEMS, RUMORS, ETC.

[Special dispatch to the Missouri Democrat.]

MEMPHIS, Feb. 21, VIA CAIRO, Feb. 25. – By arrival of steamers from Vicksburg we have the following news from Sherman’s expedition:

VICKSBURG, Feb. 19. – We have just received news from General Sherman’s expedition, which left here two or three weeks since. It had occupied Selma, Ala., after a severe fight. The above you may regard as positive….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

The DEMOCRAT expressed its admiration for Sherman’s generalship in this editorial:

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, February 29, 1864.

SHERMAN’S MOVEMENT.

Sherman defies all calculation. Instead of pushing directly down for Mobile as was certainly predicted of him, his course at last accounts was eastward, and he turns up at Selma. We shall probably hear of him next at Montgomery, the capital of Alabama….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

In July 1863, Horace Hunley launched a submarine that he had designed and built into the waters of Mobile Bay. The following month it was shipped by rail to Charleston, S.C., where it was hoped it could help break the Union naval blockade of that city. Two test runs resulted only in the repeated sinking of the vessel, with loss of crew members in both incidents, including Mr. Hunley. On the night of February 17, 1864, the Hunley, with a third volunteer crew, attacked the U.S.S. Housatonic in Charleston’s outer harbor, sinking her with a spar torpedo. Due to still unknown reasons, the Hunley sank again after the attack, with the loss of the entire crew. Curiously, the following account is not part of the Hunley’s known history, and the actual attack was not reported in the DEMOCRAT.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, February 15, 1864.

Operations off Charleston.

BOSTON, Feb. 12. – The correspondent of the Boston Herald, writing from the fleet off Charleston, describes the destruction of the blockade runner as follows:

Off Charleston, very early this morning, some daring Englishman made a bold attempt, just before daybreak, and during a fog, to run the blockade. He succeeded in getting in as far as the mouth of the harbor, where he was run ashore by trying to avoid the shells from our batteries, which were flying in every direction. The fog soon cleared up, and there was the blockade runner, hard and fast on the beach….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

Early in the war, the Confederates established a prison for captured Union officers in Richmond, Virginia, in a former ship supply warehouse operated by one Luther Libby. In February 1864, Libby Prison was the site of one of the most celebrated prison breaks of the Civil War, when 109 Union officers escaped through a tunnel they had constructed under the building’s wall. Fifty-nine succeeded in reaching Union lines, 48 were recaptured, and 2 drowned in the nearby James River.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, February 15, 1864.

THE LATEST NEWS.

BY TELEGRAPH.

FROM WASHINGTON.

Secretary Stanton’s Reply to the Senate.

THE GOLD FIELDS OF IDAHO.

Congressional and Other Items.

Etc., Etc., Etc.

(To the Associated Press.)

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14. – A gentleman who arrived to-night from the Army of the Potomac saw before he left there a Richmond paper of Thursday, found upon the person of a deserter who came into our lines, in which appears an article stating that one hundred and nine officers have escaped from Libby prison by digging a tunnel under the street for that purpose. It is supposed the prisoners had been engaged upon that work for at least a month….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, February 18, 1864.

THE ESCAPED OFFICERS.

Interesting Particulars of their Preliminary Operations and Subsequent Flight from the Libby – Their Severe Hardships and Narrow Escape from Recapture.

BALTIMORE, February 17. – The escaped Union officers reached here this morning and go to Washington this afternoon. The account of their escape is full of thrilling interest, but from prudential reasons many particulars are withheld from publication at present. They were fifty-one days making a tunnel. Having managed to find access to the cellar they commenced work, relieving one another as opportunity offered. Their instruments were case knives, pocket knives, chisels and files; twice they had to abandon their work and commence anew on account of the obstructions which they could not pass….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

The challenge of responding to the needs of increasing numbers of sick and wounded soldiers returning from the front was met across the North by ladies’ aid societies and sanitary commissions. By mid-war, the resource requirements necessitated a greater fund-raising capacity than small benefit concerts, tableaux, and public readings could supply. The answer was the sanitary fair, a massive exposition displaying a wide variety of goods and services that could draw large numbers of people over an extended period of time and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. Aid organizations across the North mounted these fairs, in Philadelphia, Chicago, Brooklyn, Poughkeepsie, and other cities. Alton, Illinois, held a modest one in February 1864. Not to be outdone, the Western Sanitary Commission, the Ladies’ Union Aid Society, and other groups came together and announced that St. Louis would host the Mississippi Valley Sanitary Fair in mid-May 1864. The DEMOCRAT expressed its wholehearted support in this editorial.

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, February 1, 1864.

GREAT MISSISSIPPI VALLEY SANITARY FAIR.

By an advertisement in another column, it will be seen that the loyal ladies of St. Louis are about organizing for a great Mississippi Valley Fair, to be held in St. Louis in May next, for the benefit of sick and wounded soldiers. No better enterprise than this could have been set on foot. It will attract aid and sympathy from all the Northwestern States, and re-animate thousands of loyal and generous hearts to do for the soldiers who are fighting the battles for our country. The meeting on this Monday evening, at Mercantile Library Hall, will be addressed by able and popular speakers, and it is confidently expected that the great Generals of our army, now in the city, will be present, and give this noble enterprise their presence, as we know they already do their encouragement and sympathy….

Click here to read the complete article.

 

The winter of 1863-64 was a severe one in St. Louis. The new year began with a heavy snowstorm which practically shut down the city. Weather reports were not a very common subject in the pages of the DEMOCRAT, but this storm did warrant a few words.

From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, January 1, 1864.

THE WIND AND THE SNOW. – All day yesterday the snow fell. All day the wind blew. Over the house-tops, under the eaves, through the window blinds, down cellar steps, and through crevices and crannies, the strong wind thrust the feathery flakes, whirling them against dead walls, and dashing them into the faces of the few pedestrians who ventured into the streets. The wind seemed to blow from all points of the compass at once. If you turned your face to the south, it dashed a handful of snow into your face; if you looked northward, it took your breath away, and pelted your cheeks with fine particles of snow; if you wheeled to the east, the blast met you on the turn, and filled your nostrils with snow; if you boxed around to the west, old Boreas whistled in your ears, and filled them full of snow….

Click here to read the complete article.