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.

Freedmen’s and Union Refugees’ Department of the Mississippi Valley Sanitary Fair.


March and April 1864

From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, March 18, 1864.


Freedmen’s and Union Refugees’ Department of the Mississippi Valley Sanitary Fair.

By unanimous vote of the Executive Committee of the Mississippi Valley Sanitary Fair, a special department has been assigned to the interests of freedmen and Union refugees, and the undersigned were appointed a committee to prepare an appeal to the friends of freedom everywhere, soliciting sympathy and co-operation.  On such a subject few words are needed, for the cause speaks for itself.

From the beginning of the rebellion the Western Sanitary Commission has devoted much time and attention to the Union refugees, and had done all in its power for their protection.  The Refugee Home in St. Louis was placed and has been kept under its care by orders of Major Generals Halleck, Curtis, Schofield, and now of Major General Rosecrans, and many thousands of this most unfortunate class of loyal citizens have been provided for.  They have been clothed, fed, sheltered, and, when practicable, forwarded to their friends in the loyal States, or returned to their former homes, as the military lines have been extended.  In this work the Commission has acted partly as agents of the Government and partly with funds entrusted to them for such uses.  It has always felt much restricted by want of means and has been unable to extend its care, except in a few cases, much beyond the city and its suburbs; but of those who have succeeded in reaching this city, none have been left to suffer.  They have come from Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, and many of them have endured hardships almost incredible to relate, in escaping from the homes out of which they were driven because they hated treason and were hated by traitors.  It is impossible to imagine a stronger claim upon the Christian sympathy of American citizens than this, and large sums are needed to do what is absolutely essential even for temporary relief.

Since the month of October, 1863, the Western Sanitary Commission has also acted as the agents of relief to the freed people of the Mississippi valley.  It has received and distributed goods and clothing to the amount of forty thousand dollars, and is still prosecuting the work through its own agents and those of the Freedmen’s Aid Associations of St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, New York and other cities.  It has also labored with success to ameliorate the condition of the freedmen, by exposing the oppression, almost worse than slavery, to which they were subjected by unmerciful contractors and army sharks, with reason to hope that a just system of work and wages will soon be established in its place.  If the freed people are but treated with justice, generosity will not long be needed.  But for the current year, during the transition period, there is enough to do and all the funds that the largest philanthropy can spare will find profitable employment.  In elevating two million of slaves to the condition of freedmen all the zeal and liberality of a Christian community will find room to work.

These statements are made to show that this department of relief has a legitimate place in the M. V. S. F., and that the proper agencies are already established for the use of all contributions which may be sent.

Direct such contributions, Western Sanitary Commission, (M. V. S. F.,) “for Freedmen,” or “for Refugees,” so that they may be kept separate and distinct from each other, and the whole value shall be sacredly used for the purposes indicated.


N. B.  A committee to take charge of this department has been appointed, who will issue an additional appeal in a few days.