Charleston Riot, The
The marker is located in Charleston on the southeast corner of the County Courthouse on the Public Square at the intersection of Seventh and Jackson.
Coles County Historical Society and The Illinois State Historical Society
On March 28, 1864, a gunfight erupted here between Union soldiers and Civil War opponents known as "Copperheads." In eastern Illinois, many Democrats were pro-southern while the Republicans were uniformly pro-Union. Disturbances had occurred earlier in the area, and Copperheads had been killed in Mattoon and Paris. In March, 1863, at Charleston there had been a highly controversial trial of Union deserters. On the day of the riot a large crowd had gathered here for a Democratic rally. Union soldiers were in town on leave. Drinking and fighting led to gunfire. Nine men killed and twelve wounded before troops arrived from Mattoon and quelled the disturbance.
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