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.

Company M, 1st Missouri Light Artillery

Company M, 1st Missouri Light Artillery

Company M, 1st Missouri Light Artillery, at Pilot Knob, MO, September 2014 2014

Company M stands by its guns at Fort Davidson State Historic Site, during the September 2014 reenactment of the Battle of Pilot Knob, Pilot Knob, Missouri

Company M fields a battery of a 4-pounder Filley gun, a Woodruff gun, and two 12-pounder mountain howitzers. With the smaller guns, Company M serves as mobile artillery at reenactments, often advancing with the infantry in line of battle. For national events, the Company is affiliated with the Western Artillery Reserve, 1st Federal Division.

The 4-pounder gun is patterned after a cannon made by Giles F. Filley, an example of which is in the collection of the Missouri Historical Society.

Giles F. Filley was a prominent St. Louis businessman during the mid-to-late 19th century. He founded the Excelsior Stove Works in St. Louis in 1849 and ran the company until his retirement in 1895. Before and during the Civil War, he was an ardent Unionist, and his brother Oliver D. Filley was Republican mayor of St. Louis from 1858-1861. The Filley brothers and their cousins were all active in the raising of Union militia in St. Louis at the outset of the war.

In a note written to the Missouri Historical Society accompanying a donation in 1898, he described his gift:

This wrought-iron cannon is one of thirty I had made in 1861. Half were rifled, the remainder smoothbore. They carried a lead conical ball weighing about four pounds. The balls were grooved and wrapped with woollen yarn. The shooting was accurate with great penetration. They were used against the Guerrillas and by unprotected towns, and other places about the country. The carriages were burned at our foundry in 1881.The tube remains in the collection of the Society and was on display in the History Museum’s special exhibit on “The Civil War in Missouri” in 2013. The tube is 42.5″ long, with a bore of 2.125″.

For an official history of the various units of the 1st Missouri Light Artillery during the War of the Rebellion, read the excerpt of Annual Report of the Adjutant General of Missouri for the Year ending December 31, 1865.

For information about Company M, or if you have additional information about Giles F. Filley or the cannon he had made, contact:

Capt. Steve Allen, Company M commander

For a general biography of Giles F. Filley, click here.

For a reprint of an 1861 newspaper article on the History of Rifled Cannon, click here. This article includes a description of French 4-pounder guns.

For a reprint of a 1973 Civil War Times Illustrated article on the The Woodruff Gun, click here.