John Wesley Turner
|John Wesley Turner|
July 19, 1833|
Saratoga, New York
|Died||April 8, 1899
St. Louis, Missouri
|Place of burial||Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum, St. Louis, Missouri|
|Allegiance||United States of America
|Service/branch||United States Army
|Years of service||1851–1871|
|Rank|| Brigadier General
Brevet Major General, U.S.V.
|Commands held||XXIV Corps|
John Wesley Turner was a career U.S. Army officer and Union Army general during the American Civil War. Turner spent much of the war as a staff officer and division commander taking a prominent part in the Appomattox Campaign.
When the Civil War began, Turner was 1st lieutenant and was quickly promoted to captain. He served on the staff of David Hunter first in Kansas then in the Department of the South where he rendered valuable services at the battle of Fort Pulaski.
On June 13, 1863 Turner was appointed chief of staff in the Department of the South under Quincy A. Gillmore. He participated in the operations against Charleston, South Carolina in 1863. On September 6, 1863 Turner was awarded a brevet promotion to Major, U.S. Army for his service at Battery Wagner. The following day he was appointed brigadier general of U.S. Volunteers.
In May 1864 Gillmore's X Corps was transferred to the Petersburg 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, X Corps. Turner and his division participated in the Siege of Petersburg, primarily north of the James River. Although held in reserve at the battle of the Crater, Turner was nonetheless given a brevet promotion to lieutenant colonel, U.S. Army. During the Winter of 1864/1865 he served as chief of staff to the Army of the James.
Fort Gregg and Appomattox
The defeat of Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley freed up available units in Philip H. Sheridan's Army of the Shenandoah to be sent to the Petersburg front. In March, Turner assumed command of the so-called 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 XXIV Corps under 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 Robert S. Foster in the main thrust against Fort Gregg. With the fall of Petersburg, Turner participated in the forced march to Appomattox Courthouse, where he and other troops of the Army of the James directly intercepted Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. Turner was given a brevet promotions to colonel, brigadier general and major general in the U.S. Army for services at Petersburg.
Turner was in command of the XXIV Corps when he was mustered out of the volunteer service on September 1, 1866. He continued service in the U.S. Army until 1871. In private life he worked as a banker, civil engineer and public works commissioner in St. Louis until his death in 1899. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery.