Tonight was the last session of the Beginning Genealogy class that I'm teaching this quarter. I shared with students some of the things that we can do with our family history findings...picture books, reunions, histories, blogs...and how one family, like the Turpins, can get us totally addicted to this endeavor. So, there are 5 freshly-hatched and very enthusiastic genealogists on the streets this week.
Thomas Benton Turpin was the oldest child of Robert Newton and Sarah Turpin. So this is a good place to start with that first family.
Thomas born 14 February 1843 in Owen County, Indiana. On 23 August 1861, at age 18, Thomas enlisted to fight for the Union in the Civil War with approximately thirty others from Greene County. It was passed down to through the first family that the Turpins were not in favor of slavery and that might have been part of the reason they left Virginia. And here is Thomas enlisting.
He was mustered in at Camp Fremont near Iowa City with the 10th Infantry, Company H of Iowa. His group embarked for St. Louis on September 24th where they received their arms, uniforms and camp equipment.
They were ordered to Cape Girardeau on the 1st of October and later, on November 12th, to Bird's Point. Here the regiment suffered greatly from fighting casualties and sickness. The prevailing and most fatal malady was the measles. Hardships from exposure in camp and the march during the winter campaign wore the soldiers down.
Thomas was one of the victims of the measles. Robert and Sarah lost their only son on Christmas Day in 1861 -- just as the war was in it's initial stages. He died at Mound City, Illinois, his body not returned home for burial. It is told that he was buried there in the National Cemetery although his grave has not been located. And thus far, I've found no photographs of Thomas. If anyone has photos of the Iowa 10th Infantry, Company H, I would love to see them.