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Autograph, General John W. Turner

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Your Price: $ 125.00
Item Number: Auto5224
 

 



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1865 Autograph Endorsement Signed

Recommendation for captain of the 20th N.Y.S.M.


(1833-99) Born in New York, he was appointed to West Point, and graduated in 1855, and assigned to the 1st U.S. Artillery who he fought with in the Third Seminole Indian War. When the Civil War began, Turner was quickly promoted to captain, and he served on the staff of General David Hunter, first in Kansas, then in the Department of the South where he rendered valuable services at the battle of Fort Pulaski, Ga. On June 13, 1863, Turner was appointed chief of staff in the Department of the South under General Quincy A. Gillmore, and participated in the operations against Charleston, South Carolina. On September 6, 1863, he was awarded a brevet promotion to Major, U.S. Army for his service at Battery Wagner, where the gallant 54th Massachuseets Colored Regiment commanded by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw led the assault. The following day he was appointed brigadier general of U.S. Volunteers. In May 1864, General Gillmore's 10th Corps was transferred to the Petersburg, Va., front and Turner continued as chief of staff through the Bermuda Hundred Campaign. On June 22, 1864, he received his first infantry command of the war at the head of the 2nd Division, 10th Corps. Turner and his division participated in the Siege of Petersburg, and during the winter of 1864-65, he served as chief of staff of the Army of the James. The defeat of the Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley freed up available units in General Philip H. Sheridan's Army of the Shenandoah to be sent to the Petersburg front and in March, General Turner assumed command of the Independent Division of reinforcements from the recently victorious Army of the Shenandoah. Despite its name, Turner's Independent Division was attached to the newly created 24th Corps under General John Gibbon. At the end of the Petersburg Campaign, Gibbon's corps was assigned the task of assaulting Forts Gregg and Whitworth. Turner's division was split between the two forts, sending one brigade against the lesser Fort Whitworth, while the other two joined General Robert S. Foster in the main attack against Fort Gregg. Turner received praise from his commanding officers for gallant services at Petersburg, and after the fall of the city, he participated in the forced march to Appomattox Courthouse, where he and other troops of the Army of the James directly intercepted General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Turner remained in command of the 24th Corps, and was responsible for overseeing occupied Virginia. He then commanded the District of Henrico, Virginia, including Richmond, the former Confederate capital, from June 9, 1865 until April 6, 1866, and the entire Department of Virginia, from April 7th until May 17th. Part of his responsibility in Virginia was re-establishing the local government and persuading it to take the responsibility for law enforcement as well as support of the unemployed persons both former Rebel soldiers and former slaves! This proved especially problematic, as Richmond's long-time mayor, Joseph C. Mayo used vagrancy laws against black persons, and the vast majority of those fed by soup kitchens were African Americans. Thus, General Turner ordered his men not to follow Mayo's orders until Governor Francis Pierpont replaced him with city council president David J. Saunders, who was also appointed head of the city run gasworks and waterworks. John W.Turner continued as major general in the U.S. Army until 1871, and commanded the purchasing depot and commissary in St. Louis, Missouri from October 31, 1866 to February 1871, and he resigned from the regular army on September 4, 1871. Upon retiring from the army, he settled in St. Louis, where he became a prominent citizen. He worked as a banker, civil engineer and served more than a decade as commissioner of streets and public works until his death. General Turner died in St. Louis, on April 8, 1899, and was buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis.

1865 Autograph Endorsement Signed: 7 1/2 x 9 1/2, in ink, with the endorsement by General Turner on the verso. The front page is a letter written by Brevet Major W.W. Beckwith, U.S.V. & Assistant Provost Marshal.

Office of the Provost Marshal
Head Quarters Dist. of Henrico
Richmond, Va., Dec. 16th, 1865

This is to certify that I am personally acquainted with Capt. Charles S. Parker, 20th N.Y.S.M. During my acquaintances with him his conduct as an officer in the army has been such as to merit the approval and praise of his superior officers. While the Regiment served under the orders of Brig. Genl. M.R. Patrick, Captain Parker's gentlemanly qualities were so well recognized as to induce his selection for the discharge of delicate and important duties.

W.W. Beckwith
Capt. 20th N.Y.S.M.
& Brevet Major U.S.V.
Asst. Pro. Marshal

The autograph endorsement signed by General Turner on the verso is as follows:

Hd. Qrs. Dist. Henrico
Richmond, Va.
Dec. 18, 1865

The endorsement of Maj. Beckwith is cordially recommended.

Jno. W. Turner
Bvt. Maj. Genl.
Comdg.

Very fine. Excellent content and endorsement.



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