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Some Turchin info

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  • George Hall
    I am presently reading a Christmas present, and in the course of making some notes thought I d post them to you – if you don t mind. John Basil Turchin and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 22, 2005
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      I am presently reading a Christmas present, and in the course of
      making some notes thought I'd post them to you – if you don't mind.

      John Basil Turchin and the Fight to Free the Slaves, Steven
      Chicoine, Praeger Publishers: Westport CT & London, 2003.

      1. Turchin's father was high ranking Russian officer in what was
      called the Don Cossack Regiment. The son followed in his steps by
      going to military academy after a rigorous academic education. His
      was a five year Artillery curriculum with concentrations in math,
      engineering and military tactics (artillery, infantry and cavalry)
      graduating in 1841. He was commissioned and assigned to a mounted
      artillery unit at age 19. In 1844 he was transferred to the Imperial
      Guard(Later, in the AOC, he was known as "the mad Cossack".)

      2. In 1854 then-secretary of war Jefferson Davis sent a US Captain
      to observe the intense fighting of the Crimean War. That Captain was
      George McClellan. He and the later-anglicized John Turchin made a
      friendship, and the impressions left on him about America were
      intense.

      3. Turchin was recognized for distinguished service in the Crimean
      war. In 1856 he found reason to go to Europe, an excuse to head for
      America with his bride, Nadine. He essentially barely looked back
      due to the freedom and Democracy he sought.

      4. For a time the Turchins both studied in Philadelphia. John
      published two technical papers, one on topographical mapping and
      coastal charting. Nadine studied medicine, something that served her
      well in the company of John during the war.

      5. By 1858 they joined his friend George McClellan (now chief
      engineer for the railroad), meeting other future Generals Banks and
      Burnside as they worked for the Illinois railroad out of Chicago.
      Debating military tactics among them was a regular practice when
      they were together.

      6. Due to Turchin's strong political bent, he became an active
      republican right away, probably knowing Lincoln personally. He is
      known to have drawn a very influential anti-Douglas, pro-Lincoln
      cartoon that stayed popular for many years.

      7. The 19th Illinois elected the Russian Turchin upon the
      recommendation of McClellan. The loser, a regular Army Captain named
      Grant, who they "didn't know from a side of shoe leather".

      More installments to come, ... as interested.
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