Who was Turner anyway?

Who was Turner anyway?

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A Turner Bugler, 2004

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Remarks Made by Mr. Jas. B. Eads.


January/February 1861

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, February 6, 1861.

THE following is a portion of the remarks made by Mr. Jas. B. Eads, at the Union meeting on Monday evening at the Soulard market house:

The danger which threatens our existence as a nation imperatively demands the cordial and earnest co-operation of every patriot in the land, in a vigorous effort to defeat the enemies of the republic.  It is not only our duty to preserve and transmit unimpaired to our children, the priceless charter of our liberties, bequeathed us by our fathers, but also to preserve, as the common heritage of the whole nation, every acre of soil that has been won by the valor or our countrymen, or that has been paid for by the treasury of the Confederacy.  [In this context, before the official creation of the Confederate States of America on February 8, 1861, Eads means the Union.]

We are called upon not only to defend and protect that flag which has waved in triumph on so many battle fields, and which has spread its protecting folds over us in foreign lands, but it is our duty to see to it that the brilliancy of that constellation which adorns that banner, be not dimmed in its lustre by the loss of a single star.

Every noble impulse of the human heart demands that we set aside all party feeling and unite in one common brotherhood to save the Union.  As a mother who has given to her sons wealth, happiness and position, appeals to them for support in the hour adversity, so does the Union, from whence has come to us liberty, power and prosperity, now appeal to her patriot sons in the day of her affliction.  Is this, then, my countrymen, a time for planning fusion schemes to defeat this party or that party in the April election, when the enemies of the Union are scaling the battlements of the nation?  Is this the time to be struggling for spoils and office, when traitors are about to fire the mine whose explosion will bury us all in one common ruin?  Shall we be found fighting amongst ourselves like caged rats, when the dogs of civil war are about to be let loose upon us?  Is it not wiser, is it not nobler, to offer up on the altar of our country all party pride, all party jealousies, all party feelings, of whatever name or nature, and unite in one glorious effort for the salvation of the Union?  Let us with one accord obliterate all party lines, and diligently bestir ourselves to see what we can do to reconcile these unhappy differences.  Let us see that the untarnished escutcheon of Missouri be not defiled with any secession ordinances.  Let us preserve her as a mighty bulwark, to resist this destructive wave of Southern fanaticism.  Thus may it come to pass that the child which cost the Union such throes at its birth in 1820, may be its savior in 1861.

But my friends, whatever we do, let us be careful that no traitors are harbored by us.  Trust no man who believes that evils exist in this Union which can be cured out of it.  Trust no man who measures his allegiance to the Union with an if or a but.  Trust no man’s patriotism or his judgment, who believes that this government can be improved by destroying this Union and reconstructing a better one with its dismembered parts.  As well may you attempt to reconstruct some splendid mirror whose ruined fragments lie scattered on the earth.  Forms of heavenly grace upon its scarred and disfigured surface would be reflected from it in helpless deformity.  Once break asunder and disarrange the beautiful harmony of this Union, and we can never hope to see re-established a government which will so perfectly reflect the will of its people.  Liberty, justice and equality will no longer be seen in matchless beauty; but, in their stead, imperfect and revolting images, disgracing their names, will command worship and obedience from an unwilling people.