From Russia with Love: John and Nadine Turchin

By Ryan Nadeau ’16

In August 1856, Ivan Vasilievitch Turchaninov and Nedezhda Dmitrievna Lvow arrived in the United States. The two had been married for only three months, and were both natives of the Russian Empire. Ivan was descended from a family of Cossacks with a strong military background in whose footsteps he followed by attending military school in St. Petersburg. He had served as an army captain during the Crimean War, stationed in the critical port city of Sevastopol, and was part of the forces sent to put down rebellions in both Poland and Hungary. It was while stationed in Russia that he had met Nedezhda, a highly educated and articulate woman with ties to the aristocracy.

Brigadier General John Basil Turchin [120156]
Brigadier General John Basil Turchin.
The two shared a secret passion—aside, that is, from their love. Both were committed liberals, with connections to republican intellectuals considered subversive to the autocratic reign of the Tsars. And after Russia’s humiliating defeat at the hands on the Western powers in 1856, both were firmly tired of that autocracy. In April 1856, after Ivan obtained a one year leave of absence from the army, he and Nedezhda eloped to Krakow, then part of the Austrian Empire, and quickly fled to the United States, where they hoped to make a new home in a republican state. Neither spoke a word of English upon arrival, but they wasted little time Anglicizing their names. Ivan and Nedezhda Turchaninov became John and Nadine Turchin. Continue reading “From Russia with Love: John and Nadine Turchin”

To Be Or Not To Be: A Kentucky Battlefield’s Drive to Become a National Park

By Elizabeth Smith ’17

On January 4, 2016 a large group of people met in the theater of the Mill Springs Battlefield Visitor Center in Nancy, Kentucky. Only a few weeks shy of the 154th anniversary of the small Kentucky battle, these individuals gathered on the chilly night to attend a public forum in support of the addition of Mill Springs into the National Park system.

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On January 4, people gathered to attend a public forum at the Mill Springs Battlefield Visitor Center. Photograph taken by author January 2016.

The Battle of Mill Springs occurred on January 19, 1862 between Confederate forces under Felix Zollicoffer and Union forces under George H. Thomas. The battle begin in the early morning fog and would continue for four hours in a cold rainstorm. Men from Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Minnesota, Indiana, and Alabama would meet at the fields near Logan’s Crossroads where they would engage in a short but influential fight that would see the death of Zollicoffer supposedly at the hands of Speed Fry. Though small compared to later battles, Mill Springs would become the first major Union victory since First Bull Run, help to stop the Confederate defensive line in the West, and gain nationwide recognition for George H. Thomas and Speed Fry. Continue reading “To Be Or Not To Be: A Kentucky Battlefield’s Drive to Become a National Park”