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Nadine Lvova Turchin (1826 – July 17, 1904) was the wife of Union Brig. Gen. John Basil Turchin. During the American Civil War, she frequently traveled with her husband on his military campaigns and at times acted as his surrogate in command of his troops. She kept a detailed diary that remains a leading eyewitness account of her husband's colorful career. She became widely known in the army as "Madame Turchin."

She was born as Nadezhda Dmitrievna L'vova (or Lovow) in Russia, the daughter of an officer in the Russian Army. On May 10, 1856, in Krakow, Poland, she married Ivan Vasilovitch Turchinov, one of her father's subordinate officers, with whom she immigrated to the United States. Upon their arrival in the U.S. and their eventual settlement on a farm in New York, they anglicized their names. They later moved to Philadelphia and then to Chicago, where he worked as an architect for the railroad.

With the outbreak of the Civil War in early 1861, John Turchin joined the 19th Illinois Infantry and later would be the only Russian-born general to serve in the Union Army. Nadine traveled with her husband throughout the war (despite orders against wives travelling on camapigns) and kept a diary that included her opinions on her husband’s fellow officers, as well as commentary on battles that she participated in, including Chickamauga. During the battle, she stayed with the brigade and division wagons which were parked just on the western edge of the battlefield, and she climbed up on to the eastern hills of Missionary Ridge to observe events during the Battle of Missionary Ridge. She left detailed accounts of both battles, in effect being the only Union female diarist of those battles.[1][2]

Nadine Turchin died in 1904 and was buried next to her husband in Mound City National Cemetery in southern Illinois.

References[]

  1. Benge, Shawn, National Park Service press release, Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
  2. White, Lee, Chattanooga.com. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
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