Company D, 48th Illinois Infantry
submitted by David A, Stumpf, M.D., Ph.D.
1101 Alpine Lane; Woodstock, IL 60098
List of all Co D. 48th Illinois Infantry Soldiers
Alfred P. Turner
"A. P. Turner, Co. D, 48th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, believes
that he was the youngest enlisting soldier of the first regiments
who was at the reunion here last week. He enlisted in August
1861, at the age of 13 years and 11 months. He served just
four years, and weighed 98 pounds when entering the service."
His descendent, Joe Murphy (also email@example.com) writes:
I'm not sure of just what newspaper this is from, nor the date, but I thought
that maybe you might have some idea, or maybe knew someone who might.
Alfred was just short of his fourteenth birthday when he enlisted in the Union Army as a drummer boy. I know that he lived many years after the war, finally passing on while a patient at the State Home in Anna, Illinois. I have records indicating that his body was taken to Centralia for burial, but for some time could find nothing. He passed away on November 18, 1918, and I have several letters from a lawyer in Centralia, who represented Alfred's wife, Mary Ella (Henshilwood) Turner, to the US Government Pension Office trying to obtain his Civil War pension for his wife, upon his passing.
I did make the trip from Indiana to Illinois to check on the gravesite for
Alfred, and he is, indeed, buried in the Elmwood Cemetery there at Centralia.
His headstone is made of pink marble, and looks as good today as the day it
was set in place. The cemetery there is well maintained, and I noticed that
there were several markers for some of the other members of the 48th. They
have also erected an oblisk within the cemetery grounds in memory of all Civil
War veterans from Marion County.
I visited the library while there in Centralia, and was able to find minimal
information of any significance that pertained to the 48th. I was able to
locate the dates of the reunions that the 48th Illinois Volunteers had held.
That information is not at hand right this moment, but there were three (3)
different years that the reunions were held, that were listed.
As far as the picture is concerned, even though he looks to be younger, Alfred
had just celebrated his thirteenth birthday a couple of months earlier, if the
date on the back is to be believed. The girl in the picture is Alfred's older
sister, was Martha J. Turner. Alfred was never big for his age, as attested to by his physical
description on his military discharge certificate. It list his heighth in 1865
as 5' 5", and that was just before his eighteeenth birthday.
I also have a letter from Captain Redden of the 48th, to Alfred's mother, requesting
her permission to take Alfred into the conflict with the 48th, promising her
the best of care for her son. Alfred penned a note in the margin of the same
letter that he wanted to stay with Captain Redden, to assure his mother that
this was indeed what he himself wanted.
John F. Henshilwood, another member of the 48th Volunteers, was related to
Alfred P. Turner by marriage, John having been a brother to Alfred's wife,
Mary Ella Turner