August 13, 2013

Auditors and a Russian Civil War General

Last Thursday and Friday the OCA’s internal auditors, Michael Strelka, Vera Bozko Summer, and Karen Simons Durkish were at the chancery reviewing accounts with Treasurer Melanie Ringa.

Internal Auditors
OCA Auditors Vera Bozko-Summer and Michael Strelka
GEN Turchin
General John B. Turchin

As an interesting aside, Michael and his wife Anna (who was also visiting the Chancery) take part in living history reenactments of the American Civil War. They depict a Russian couple, Brigadier General John B. Turchin and his wife Nadine, who immigrated to the US in 1856 and had a leading role in the Union forces. He was also a controversial figure. First, as a Colonel in the 19th Illinois Volunteer Regiment he unconventionally flouted norms and insisted that his wife could accompany him on military campaigns. Second, and more ominously, as an early advocate of total war, Turchin was infamous in the South for pillage and savagery. He was eventually court-martialed for the alleged misconduct of his troops toward civilians in Alabama but President Lincoln overturned the verdict and promoted Turchin to Brigadier General. He went on to fight in the Battles of Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and the Atlanta campaign. He was welcomed back to Chicago as a conquering hero. 

Turchin was a Cossack from Novo-Cherkask, Nadine was from the aristocratic Lvov family in Saint Petersburg. They came to the US in 1856 and initially settled in Long Island, NY, buying a farm in Huntington not far from the current Chancery on August 15, 1856. After the Civil War they returned to Illinois, founded the town of Radom as a colony for Polish immigrants and died peacefully early in the 20th century. They are buried together in the National Military Cemetery in Mound City, Illinois.

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His Beatitude is at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery today to celebrate the feast of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk (it is also the day he was ordained deacon in 1995).