Friday, August 14, 2020


Marker Details

Historical Marker:

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.
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
Coles County Historical Society and The Illinois State Historical Society

Marker Description:
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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