May 2 1862: Rape of Athens

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John Basil Turchin (1822-1901) was a Union officer during the Civil War. He is best remembered for commanding the Eighth Brigade, Third Division, Army of the Ohio that targeted and destroyed civilian property in Athens, Alabama, on May 2, 1862.

On May 2, 1862, Athens was seized by Union forces under the command of Colonel John Basil Turchin.

Confederate Troops

Confederate Troops

Business were hit first, and anything of value that could be carried away were looted and anything that could not be was simply destroyed. After rampaging through stores the soldiers plundered private homes. A slave girl was raped. The soldiers also attempted to rape a servant girl.

The violent behavior of the soldiers caused a pregnant woman to suffer a miscarriage and die. The townpeople estimated the damage to be fifty-five thousand dollars. The resulting pillage and plunder came to be known as the Rape of Athens.

The Rape of Athens Alabama


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