Who was Turner anyway?

Who was Turner anyway?

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A Turner Bugler, 2004

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The Military Exhibition Yesterday.


May 1861

From The Missouri Democrat, Tuesday, May 7, 1861.

The Military Exhibition Yesterday—A Glance at the Opposing Forces.

Strange as it may seem, the military demonstration of yesterday has had a singularly tranquilizing effect on the public mind. A feeling had prevailed for some time that the occasion which has passed away so quietly might result in a collision between the Militia and the Federal troops. It was supposed that the Governor might be rash enough to precipitate the soldiers that acknowledge obedience to him on the Arsenal. That supposition has been effectually dissipated. Notwithstanding the prodigious efforts made for the last two months to swell the ranks of the militia, Gen. Frost’s command, all told, when drawn up yesterday on Washington avenue, was less than a thousand. It will be increased to-morrow or next day by the addition of the Southwest division, which has been withdrawn from the frontier at the very time the frontier is in most danger. But the force at Camp Jackson will not number at any time two thousand, one half of which would never draw a sword or pull a trigger against the STARS AND STRIPES. Nobody knows this better than Jackson and Frost. There is, therefore, no danger of an assault upon the Arsenal; and hence the tranquility referred to above. The thin ranks of the secessionists are an excellent guarantee of peace. The determination of the Irish companies to take no new cunningly contrived oaths—oaths that may be properly termed conscience traps—is another excellent guarantee of peace, for Irishmen are the bone, sinew and muscle of the State troops in St. Louis. In brief, then, Gov. Jackson and his confederates are too weak to give practical effect to their designs. True, these desperate men may endeavor to concentrate the militia of the other districts of the State at Camp Jackson; but in that event the troops of Illinois will rush to the aid of our own eight thousand bayonets in defense of the Arsenal, in the security of which that State has just as much interest as Missouri. Soldiers can be concentrated at Alton, Belleville, and other points on the Illinois side of the river, with more rapidity than the half armed regiments of the interior can be brought to St. Louis. The traitors are, therefore, checkmated, and a consciousness of this fact pervades the community, diffusing a more genial spirit abroad, imparting an upward motion to Missouri stocks, and even infusing a new born vigor to business. The utter ruin of our commercial class, in the event of secession, is becoming obvious to the dullest and most prejudiced of that class. The moment a strict blockade of the river is enforced at Cairo, and the right of way through Illinois is cut off, that moment the commerce of St. Louis is as completely annihilated as the commerce of Tyre or Sidon. Thenceforth there will be neither buying nor selling in the marts or shops of this city, and the rich will be made poor by exactions and confiscations. But it is the bright, and not the dark side of the picture that now solicits our inspection, and we are justified in saying that the public welfare is secure so long as the Governor and his confederate traitors abstain from aggression. It is secure in any event. An attack on the troops at the Arsenal and its vicinity would call up the Home Guard on the rear of the assailants. Col Blair’s fine regiment—a thousand strong—would be on the ground from the Barracks in less than an hour. The regiments stationed at Alton and Belleville would arrive on the scene in two or three hours, although their aid, we firmly believe, would not be needed. We state these circumstances, not with a view of discouraging Gen. Frost, who, whatever else he may be, is too experienced a soldier not to have set them down in his estimate of the chances, but to reassure the public, who have been held so long in anxiety and suspense.