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.

The Escaped Officers.


January and February 1864

From The Missouri Democrat, Thursday, February 18, 1864.


Interesting Particulars of their Preliminary Operations and Subsequent Flight from the Libby – Their Severe Hardships and Narrow Escape from Recapture.

BALTIMORE, February 17. – The escaped Union officers reached here this morning and go to Washington this afternoon. The account of their escape is full of thrilling interest, but from prudential reasons many particulars are withheld from publication at present. They were fifty-one days making a tunnel. Having managed to find access to the cellar they commenced work, relieving one another as opportunity offered. Their instruments were case knives, pocket knives, chisels and files; twice they had to abandon their work and commence anew on account of the obstructions which they could not pass.

They had hoped to avail themselves of a culvert, but found it impracticable. After getting through the wall they disposed of the excavated soil by drawing it out in a spittoon which they attached to a cord. This would be filled by a party at work in the tunnel, and pulled out into the cellar by their companions, who disposed of it by spreading it in shallow layers over the floor, concealing it beneath the straw. The work was necessarily very slow. So close was the atmosphere in the tunnel that they could remain in it but a few minutes at a time, and their candles would go out.

At one time they got so near the bend of the street that a small hole, about the size of a stove-pipe, broke through; but, fortunately, this was not discovered by the guard, and was of great service, admitting air, and enabling them to prosecute their work more rapidly. The tunnel, when completed, was about sixty feet long, and opened into an old tobacco shed beyond the line of guards.

As soon as they found the way clear they emerged slowly in single squads of two or three and sauntered off until they got clear of the guards, making their way toward the Williamsburg road by the shortest route. The darkness favored them, and the fact that the rebel soldiers whom they met were habited in the army coat of Uncle Sam, which they had stolen from the supplies sent to our prisoners by our Government was of great help to them.

Although they were attired in our army overcoats, and many of them had their haversacks, they found the National uniform a better disguise than if they had been provided with genuine rebel uniforms. In order to elude the pursuers whom they knew would soon be on their tracks, they scattered as much as possible.

Many were there hardships, sufferings and frequent narrow escapes from the rebel cavalry, with the next morning were bushwhacking in every direction for them.

The joy which they experienced when they first caught sight of our troops sent out to meet them and protect them from their pursuers cannot be expressed.

To the officers and men of the 11th Pennsylvania cavalry, whom they first met, they expressed most profound gratitude for their unbounded kindness, and also bear testimony to the gallantry with which these excellent fellows pursued the rebel cavalry and released many more fugitives who would have been recaptured. There is good reason to hope that many more will yet come in safe.