Who was Turner anyway?

Who was Turner anyway?

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A Turner Bugler, 2004

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Escape of the Rebel Mail Carrier and Spy Absalom C. Grimes


October 1862

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, October 8, 1862.

ESCAPE OF THE REBEL MAIL CARRIER AND SPY ABSALOM C. GRIMES.—A few mornings ago we were surprised with the information—officially given—that during the night Absalom C. Grimes had succeeded in effecting his escape from the Gratiot street prison.  The intelligence was accompanied by an injunction not then to publish the fact, in the hope that secrecy might contribute to the fugitive’s recapture.  How such secresy [sic] could so contribute we could not understand, but compiled with the request.  The injunction being removed, it is proper that the public, which had taken a deep interest in the success of the prosecution of Grines [sic], should know the fact of his flight from prison.

As yet he remains unarrested, nor is there any prospect, so far as we can learn, that he will be retaken.  He is a St. Louisian, and has many acquaintances and friends here; besides having enlisted in his behalf the sympathies of the entire secesh community of our city.  Under these circumstances it is to be expected that he will elude those in search of him.

He had been placed in a separate apartment, with ball and chain fastened to one of his feet.  He contrived to cut through the floor of his cell, descend into the cellar, burrow through the wall and part of the foundation of the prison, and cut an additional aperture through a two-inch plank.  Thus he gained the open are, then left his fetters at a short distance from the prison, and moved off without hindrance!

What still aggravates the matter is that he had fully and repeatedly announced his intention and boasted his ability to escape, despite the best precautions that should be taken to secure him.

He had been tried by military commission, convicted of being a spy, and sentenced to suffer death.  It only remained that this sentence should be duly approved and carried into execution.  He has gone the way of Capt. Hampton Booze, also an important prisoner, and who also escaped after giving full warning of his determination to do so.