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S.S. Turner

S.S. Turner

Confederate (CSV)


Smith Spangler Turner

(1842 - 1898)

Home State: Virginia

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 17th Virginia Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

He was a first-year cadet at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) at the start of the war. He served as a Drill Master at Harpers Ferry and Manassas, VA from the Spring of 1861 to 10 March 1862, when he enlisted at Front Royal as a Private in Company B of the 17th Virginia Infantry. He was elected 2nd Lieutenant on 26 April 1862.

On the Campaign

He was cited by Colonel Corse for his actions on South Mountain on 14 September and was wounded at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to First Lieutenant in November 1862. He was in a hospital in Charlottesville from 21 November to 3 January 1863 with diphtheria. His left foot was injured in March 1865 by the explosion of an ammunition car, but he was back with his Company about 2 April. He was paroled at Danville, VA on 23 June 1865.

After the War

He taught mathematics in Winchester, VA from 1865 to 1867, studied the law, and was admitted to the bar in 1867 and practiced law in Front Royal. He served in the Virginia legislature from 1869-72, was Prosecutor for Warren County 1872-79, and elected to the US House of Representatives 1894-97.

References & notes

Basic information from Wise1 with service details from his Compiled Service Records,2 online from fold3. Personal details from the roster in the VMI Archives, his bio sketch in the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, and family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph in the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs at the Library of Congress; thanks to Dan Masters for the pointer to that.

He married Mary Louisa Bird (1843-1904) in November 1872 and they had 4 children.


11/21/1842; Warren County, VA


04/081898; Front Royal, VA; burial in Prospect Hill Cemetery, Front Royal, VA


1   Wise, George, History of the Seventeenth Virginia Infantry, C.S.A., Baltimore: Kelly, Piet & Company, 1870, pp. 117 - 118  [AotW citation 9422]

2   US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, Record Group No. 109 (War Department Collection of Confederate Records), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927  [AotW citation 29855]