John Turchin: as don Cossack became a General of the US army

Heroes 21/11/19 John Turchin: as don Cossack became a General of the US army

Serfdom in Russia was often compared to the slave order in the US. And release to the Russian “white slaves” came even earlier. “The emancipation proclamation of the slaves” President Lincoln issued on September 22, 1962 – a year and a half after the abolition of serfdom by Tsar Alexander II. However, not everyone knows that one of the generals of the army of the North-American United States, who fought against slave owners, was by origin a Russian landowner. In the US, Ivan Vasilyevich Turchaninov, more remember John Turchin Basil.

In Russia,

Ivan Turchaninov was descended from the famous dynasty of the Cossacks-the nobility of the don Cossacks. After graduating in 1843, the St. Petersburg Mikhailovsky artillery school and was enlisted in the Imperial guard. A part of the Cossack horse-artillery battery was sent to campaign in revolutionary Hungary in 1849. During the Crimean war Ivan Turchaninov was responsible for topographical survey of the coast of the Baltic sea – one of the potential landing of the enemy. He completed his service in the tsarist army in the rank of Colonel.


In 1856, the 34-year-old Turchaninov was in Poland, as chief of staff of one of the buildings. By the time the Colonel had married a young girl named Hope. He personally knew the new Emperor – Alexander II. The career of Colonel promised a lot of UPS, but Turchaninov himself abruptly it broke off, fleeing across the border. At that time he was already 3 years been in correspondence with the well-known “dissidents” of that time – Alexander Herzen. Turchaninov has acquired a sharp opposition of anti-serfdom views. Not waiting for the abolition of serfdom, he chose to emigrate.

Seeing in London by Herzen, Ivan Turchaninov sailed to the United States. However, upon arrival he was disappointed by this country. In the letter to Herzen of Illinois Colonel Peasel that in America “no hair” there is no “real freedom”, while the runs are not monarchs in Europe, and “dollars thundering merchants”. At the same time, he noted that at the new place, “reborn”, izzhiv aristocratic prejudices.

Before the Civil war, Turchaninov odd jobs, using his talent as an artist and trying to write plays, then got an engineer-surveyor for the railroad. As in Russia, fate brings him with top officials. In particular, Turchaninov met with the future President Abraham Lincoln.

On the sidelines of the Civil war in the U.S.

on April 12, 1861 dissatisfied with the election of Lincoln, southerners attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Turchaninov, by that time became John Turchin, entered the American army as a volunteer. Retaining the rank of Colonel, he took 19th Illinojsky infantry regiment. Then he began to lead a brigade of 4 regiments.

In 1862, relations between Russian military and its immediate leader General Buell deteriorated. Being a principled opponent of slavery, Turchin refused to return him coming to the camp of the blacks. Buell himself owned slaves, though he fought on the side of the North. In the spring of 1862 Turchin troops without orders from Buell captured the city Athens in Alabama. His soldiers staged in the city of excesses, called “Rape of Athens”. Buell sent Turchin, who was given the nickname “the mad Cossack”, a Tribunal. However, the native of Russia has received support from the President Lincoln – the President appointed him a Brigadier General directly during the trial.

When Turchin returned to the army, the unexpected happened on the way to Virginia military train, which went to soldiers who fell in the river in September 1862. 25 people were killed, hundreds were maimed. The commander and his wife personally cared for the wounded.

the following year, Turchin twice proved. During the great battle at Chickamauga, he made a heroic breakthrough of the front in the rear of the southerners. In the ethat battle killed another Russian volunteer Alexei Smirnov – who fought in the brigade Turchaninov. But in the battle of Chattanooga that his men played a decisive role in the victory of the northerners.

Military service for Turchin ended in Georgia. In the summer of 1864 he suffered a heart attack that forced him to resign.

Recent years

Russian General returned to Chicago, where he worked in construction and was also responsible for the resettlement of migrants. His efforts in southern Illinois were mostly Polish settlement Radom. Also Turchin wrote memoirs about their actions at the front. Mental General condition deteriorated due to the effects of the attack. Turchin asked Alexander II for permission to return home, but the Emperor refused him. In recent years he lived in poverty, surrounded by caring wife, and died in 1901. Turchin monument in the cemetery mound city, Illinois maintained by the state.

Kristina Rudich

© Russian Seven

see also: editor’s choice, “Russian Seven”what the KGB agreed with the thieves before the Olympics in Mosquito Stalin did with his teenage lover dechirico not relatives of the deceased on pohorence actually hurt Greta Thunberg suggested articles to Share: Comments Comments on the article “John Turchin: as don Cossack became a General of the U.S. army” Please log in to leave a comment! br>
Share on Tumblr