Thomas P. Turner Compiled Service Record, M331, National Archives
U. S. Mil. Academy,
West Point N. Y.
16th March 1861
Hon. L. P. Walker,
For two years I was a cadet at the Va. Mil. Institution and last spring was fortunate enough to obtain an appointment as cadet at this Institution where I have since remained. I am a poor young man and of course the advantages to be derived from an education at this Academy are very great, and a position in the U. S. Army very tempting. But I can not without a very great sacrifice of principle, agree to take the oath of allegiance to this Black Republican Government. My native State Va., I regret to say, still remains a member of this Union, but I can not, and will [page break] not so falsify my feelings as to continue in the service of, and swear allegiance to, a Government I despise and abhor. All that remains for me, is to resign & seek a clime more congenial to my feelings. My sympathies are all with the Confederate States, I regard their cause as just, and wish myself to be identified with it.
These considerations have emboldened me, though a perfect stranger, to address you this communication to solicit a position in the Army of the Confederate States. Hoping (whether this application be favorably received or not) that you will excuse me for the liberty I have taken in thus addressing you, I remain Sir,
Thos. P. Turner.