Who was Turner anyway?

Who was Turner anyway?

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A Turner Bugler, 2004

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Our Victory.


November and December 1863

From The Missouri Democrat, Wednesday, November 4, 1863.


Never have we derived as great satisfaction in recording triumph at the ballot box, as in the one which yesterday crowned the labors of the Radical Unionists of St. Louis.  The victory is of no ordinary significance.  It is, in fact, a double success.  It is a victory over open enemies and pretended but treacherous friends.  The defeat is that of a coalition of most extraordinary character—a coalition in which representatives of the National Government and open mouthed advocates of the rebel Confederacy joined hands under the common name of Conservatives.  It is the overthrow of an enemy which entered the contest boastful, insolent, defiant, and utterly reckless of the agencies it employed for success.  That foe is to-day utterly routed and humbled in the chief city of the West—never more to raise its head in intimidation of loyal and freedom-loving men.

The circumstances under which the Radicals of St. Louis have won this, their latest and greatest triumph, make it a success perhaps without a precedent.  Any one not engaged in the contest can form no real conception of the discouragements under which they were compelled to labor.  They formed one of three parties which have heretofore disputed the field—the others being, first, the disloyalists and, second, those Union men who have always mingled conservatism with their loyalty.  In this instance the two parties last named, which have heretofore exhibited an aggregate majority of votes, combined their forces and attacked the Radicals both in front and flank.  Nor were these by any means the sole antagonists against which the Radicals had to contend.  The influence of the Federal Government was arrayed against them.  Mr. Lincoln was quoted as their enemy, and his reply to the Radical delegation from this State, recently visiting him, was adduced in proof of his hostility.  In addition to this use of the President’s name, all the weight of his patronage, which in this city is very considerable, was thrown into the Conservative scale.  The men holding appointments from the President, the Government contractors, the expectants and applicants for office—all were found fighting in the combined rebel and Conservative ranks, and contributing of their means for the defeat of the Radicals.  Thousands on thousands of dollars of Federal money were expended for the purpose, not a little of it in bringing rebels to the polls to vote the Conservative ticket.  Thus, as will be readily understood, the Radicals were placed between two fires—the rebels and professed followers of the Administration alike warring upon them, while they, on their part, had nothing but their principles to fall back upon.

A victory under such circumstances by any vote would be a signal triumph, but when the Radical majority comes to be counted by thousands, it tells a tale which has indeed a significance.  It determines beyond all controversy the political status of Missouri.  As St. Louis goes—must go the State.  If the two are not already in complete accord, that result is merely a question of time.  In fact the battle for the mastery of Missouri was fought between Radicalism and Conservatism in this city, on yesterday, and decided.  We have now the assurance, as positive as passing events can make anything in the future, that Missouri at the next election for President will give her vote for that candidate who represents Unionism upon a Radical platform.

Other results of the most gratifying character—all of which we will not now attempt to enumerate, will follow this most signal triumph.  Not least of these is the complete and final overthrow of that most detestable coalition attempted to be formed between known rebels to the Government and men professing friendship for it.  Hereafter we will have no half-loyal and half-disloyal parties in Missouri.  The Union men will be upon one side and all disunionists upon the other.  What a withering and crushing rebuke the true men of St. Louis have administered to those political leaders, who, for the sake of success, have joined hands with enemies of their country!  The prize for which they have sacrificed principle, and honor has eluded their grasp.  They have earned the fame and fate of Judas, without so much as receiving the prize.