Letter from George Turner to his Father, 19 Jun 1862



Fort Welles Hilton Head June 19th 1862.

Dear Father,

Yours of the 9inst I received last evening also a newspaper and a letter from Ursula. I am very glad to hear that you have received the $20.00 which I sent for I felt very anxious about it I was afraid it would not arrive safe. There is so many of my letters goes wrong I hardly know when to send anything, I have written letters to the following persons. Barber Hall Billy Miller, Aunt Susuan, Aunt Mary, Uncle William and Aunt Hannah. And I have not had an answer to either of them. Your letter was the first letter I had received in six weeks. I tell you what it is I began to feel a little out of sorts since I wrote you last I have been out to meet the rebels twice. The first time we did not find them but the last time we found some of their cavelery. Now I will tell you about the two excursions as I call them. One morning as we sat in our quarter smoking and chatting away to our selves an orderly came into the fort on the run with an orer for the Captain. The Capt read the order and then ordered us to roll up our blankets get one days rations in our haversacks and get twenty rounds of extra ammunition and be ready to march at a moments notice. Then everybody wanted to know where we were going and we soon found out that our pickets had been driven in up to Beaufort and we were going up to help the city. We arrived there of a Saturday night about 7 oclock. It was raining in torrents when we landed on the wharf. We marched up the main streets through the mud and splash up to our ankles. We met no one but a few soldiers now and then. It was a queer sight 150 armed men blackened by the sun and exposure to the weather marching up through the deserted city. We marched into New Castle street and quartered in a meeting house. We stayed in the city three days and then went back to the Head. The city is a splendid place being very shady and plenty Octaroon girls there. While I was there I lived on roast chicken, chicken pies, boiled ham, green peas and good nice sweet corn. But I had to pay .50 cts a meal for it. I went to meeting Sunday held by some abolitionists which were there and there from Mass and there was so much about the confounded contrabands that I came out. And by the way if any one ever comes to you and wants you to give something for the help of the contrabands you can tell them you have a son in the army who needs your help about as much as they do. For they are used a great deal better than the soldiers. And there is not a soldier but what hates the confounded niggers. Father I once respected the negro but every spark of it has left me now and I hate them worse than dirt. I am very well and tough as ever. I will tell about my other expedition in Ursula's letter. Write soon give my love to Mother and coz John and take a share for your self. Write soon and if you have a chance send a small box for a piece of cake would not go very bad. Farewell. Yours JC


Geo M Turner




Turner, George M.


Turner describes his active engagements at Fort Beaufort. Turner expresses his disdain for the contrabands, and his lack of respect for the "negro," but describes the beauty of the "Octaroon" girls.


United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865


Harris Collection on the Civil War and Slavery


Turner, George M., “Letter from George Turner to his Father, 19 Jun 1862,” George Turner Letters, accessed April 25, 2018, http://pplspc.org/turner/items/show/248.